Saturday, May 29, 2010

Timur and The Dime Museum at the ALOUD Series

Operatic Vaudeville with a Bohemian Attitude

with Timur Bekbosunov, tenor; Daniel Corral, accordion; Matthew Setzer, guitar; David Tranchina, bass; Brian Walsh, clarinet; with special guests Cassia Streib, viola; Jennifer Lindsay, violin; Mary Au, toy piano and Alex Noice, guitar.

Blending a tenor's haunting vocals with cabaret-inspired reinventions of songs both old and new. Featuring selections by Russian Gypsy songwriter Vadim Kozin from the 1930s to songs by Radiohead, NIN and David Bowie, this eclectic performance will provide the eyes and ears with beautiful and slightly dark entertainment.

$7.00 Admission/Free to Library Associates

Purchase Tickets:
To reserve 6 or more tickets for a single program,
please call (213) 228-7025.

Kazakh-American tenor Timur Bekbosunov is a renowned interpreter of contemporary music in the United States. He has made solo appearances with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Israeli Opera/JMCLA, BAM, Santa Cecilia Academy, Opera Boston, American Repertory Theater, DeVotchKa band, Long Beach Opera and Rosanna Gamson/World Wide; at the Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Berlin Konzerthaus, among many others. Praised by La Reppublica as "effective and rewarding" and the Wall Street Journal as "program's promise fulfilled", he is currently producing his debut album, The Collection, and collaborating on Total Eclipse project with filmmaker Sandra Powers.

Daniel Corral is a composer and multi-instrumentalist. He has accompanied avante-garde puppetry all across the USA, had his music performed by an orchestra riding the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel, been featured at a USC faculty concert of original player piano music, and displayed his massive multi-movement music boxes at galleries all over Los Angeles.

Brian Walsh is a clarinetist, bass clarinetist, saxophonist, improviser, composer and teacher, active in Los Angeles. He has studied clarinet with William Powell, Gary Bovyer, Debra Kanter, and Val Grayson. He has studied improvisation with Bobby Bradford, Vinny Golia, and Ben Goldberg.

Matthew Setzer is a musician, composer, and music technologist living in Los Angeles California. He is the guitarist for the gothic industrial band London After Midnight.

David Tranchina, bassist, teacher, and composer, is an up and coming musician on the Los Angeles scene. David has played some of the top jazz venues in LA, and performed with Bennie Maupin, Patrice Rushen, Bob Mintzer (The Yellowjackets), Nate Wood (Kneebody), Bobby Watson (Art Blakey), Butch Morris, William Winant, Smith Dobson, Vinny Golia and many others.

Jennifer Lindsay is a classically-trained singer, violinist and composer. At the age 11, she was a founding member of the Disney Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. Since then, she has gone to perform at the Essence Awards/NYC and Carnegie Hall.

Hong Kong born pianist Mary Au collaborated with many renowned artists, including appearances in Columbia Artists Management Community Concerts, has been enthusiastically received. As a former executive of the GRAMMY Awards, Mary Au continues to dedicate herself to cross cultural projects.

Alex Noice is a graduate of CalArts' jazz guitar department where he studied with Larry Koonse, Miroslav Tadic and others. He's been teaching for over five years and enjoys working with beginners through advanced students. He also teaches and leads clinics at Glendale Community College and Hoover High School.

Open Gate Theatre Sunday concert, Feedback Wave Riders and Devin Sarno & G.E. Stinson

Open Gate Theatre Sunday concert, Feedback Wave Riders and Devin Sarno & G.E. Stinson

The Feedback Wave Riders

Michael Jon Fink- electric guitar
Ulrich Krieger- electric guitar
Tony DiGennaro- electric guitar
Chas Smith- "enhanced" pedal steel guitar
Vinny Golia- woodwinds
Brian Walsh- woodwinds

Devin Sarno + G.R. Stinson

Devin Sarno- bass guitar, electronics
G.E. Stinson- electric guitars, electronics

Eagle Rock, Center for the Arts

2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock
(one block west of Eagle Rock Blvd.)

General Admission: $10 General
Students, Seniors, and Series Performers: $5

About Open Gate Theatre

Open Gate Theatre was founded in 1982 by Artistic Director Will Salmon. They are dedicated to opening the gates between music, dance, and drama; between cultures; between the unconscious and the conscious; between emotion, mind and spirit. Open Gate is both an ensemble and a creative collective, combining image with sound, voice with movement, and poetics with light; Open Gate strives for a theatre that is both passionate and numinous. Open Gate is a unique approach to theatre; unified in its expression and impulse, diverse in its sources and disciplines. For more information, contact Artistic Director Will Salmon 626.795.4989.

Vinny Golia Sextet @ ASTO Museum of Art

Vinny Golia Sextet @ ASTO Museum of Art Saturday, June 5, 2010
7:30pm - 9:30pm

This will be a great night of music featuring Vinny Golia and his outstanding ensemble.

Vinny Golia (baritone & soprano saxophones, piccolo)
Gavin Templeton (alto saxophone)
Dan Rosenboom (trumpet & flugelhorn)
Alex Noice (guitar)
Jon Armstrong (bass)
Andrew Lessman (drums)

ASTO Museum of Art
4505 Huntington Dr. South
Los Angeles, CA
BYOB or coffee and rose tea at their cafe

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CD Review: Neck N Neck, "All In" on Nextagem Records

Neck N Neck
Nextagem Records

CD Review: All In


Joe Caploe (electric vibes & percussion)
Andy Strasmich (flutes)
Rob Block (piano & guitar)
Mark London Sims(electric bass)
Leonice Shinneman (African drum set, tabla, and kanjira)

“All In” is the second release by vibraphonist/percussionist Joe Caploe’s world jazz ensemble Neck N Neck, an ensemble that dates itself back when the members attended the California Institute of the Arts together in the 80’s, and what an impressive recording it is! “All In” features Interesting compositions/arrangements with musicianship that can only be described as world-class! Players are all veterans and have played with such luminaries as Frank Zappa, Roscoe Mitchell, Don Cherry, Stevie Wonder, and Sting; as well, Neck N Neck have delivered performances at San Jose Jazz Festival, The America Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, and much, much more.

Each of the players in Neck N Neck is masterful. Joe Caploe’s vibraphone playing is highly skilled and he is surely a vibraphone player to listen for. He plays with great imagination and skill. Percussionist Leonice Shinneman and bassist Mark London Sims attention to groove is impeccable, and Marks modern bass tone is spot-on. You wish more bassists had this balanced and smooth of a sound. Leonice Shinneman is a percussionist of the first order, masterful. Rob Blocks piano and guitar playing (!!?) are flawless, lines well-developed, and interesting to listen to. The flute of Andy Strasmich is elegant, fantastic tone, and simply beautiful.

With this much great musicianship, you’d think the CD would devolve into a chops fest, but it is simply not the case. The ensembles musical skills are used to bring out the compositions and are used in subtle, tasteful ways, while still leaving you impressed. Not an easy feat to accomplish, for sure!

I find it difficult to single out any single track on Neck N Neck’s “All In” as each of the tracks are all excellent in their execution, but I did enjoy No Space For Space, Jacob’s Well, and Hang Time immensely. Overall, this CD is expertly produced, has interesting compositions, and features a masterful, well-rounded ensemble that is second to none. Definitely not another world music snooze/cheese fest, these guys have the musical skills and credentials to lay it down. Fans of the Repercussion Unit or maybe the Pat Metheny Group would find this an easy add to their collection. I highly recommend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

CD Review: Scott Heustis Group - Ushante and Live at Spincycle

Ensemble: Scott Heustis Group
Label: Redline Park


Scott Heustis (guitar)
Breeze Smith (drums, percussion)
Jeff Schwartz (upright/electric bass)
Robert Leng (alto sax, tenor sax, keyboards)

Here are two great releases, Ushante and Live at Spincycle from the Scott Heustis Group on the Redline Park label, an online “net” label that is a subscription-based Internet music label featuring adventurous, experimental and innovative music from the Los Angeles area. The Scott Heustis Group features some of LA’s best improvisers and each of these recordings were done live, are completely improvised, and show-off what these extremely capable musicians can do.

Ushante includes eleven tracks and runs just about an hour. The titles are mostly humorous and add to the playfulness of the music. The laughter and the pseudo Miles Davis “between take banter” of Scott and band also gives you insight to the fact that they are happy to be there and to be making music together. While serious, they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. The chemistry of the ensemble is evident and there is a deep level of listening going on. Never does the music seem to erupt into a free-for-all, noise-fest. Each player shows mature restraint. Stand out tracks for me are the opening track “Enter The Bagman” and “Translucent Geometry”. “Enter The Bagman” is a guitar and drum duet that starts off with Scott playing his guitar is quirky and melodic and the track builds with a thoughtful, angular, momentum. “Translucent Geometry” is a very successful ballad. Robert Leng plays some nice keys on the track and adds a nice texture to the ensemble. Jeff Schwartz bass playing is commanding and Breeze Smiths drums are supportive and always seem to be the right thing at the right time. The group never devolves into mere showing off.

Live at Spincycle includes seven tracks and comes in around thirty-one minutes. Guitarist/bandleader, Scott Heustis’ sound is reminiscent of Frank Zappa/Adrian Belew at times and the overall group sound is reminiscent of Tim Berne’s Science Friction at others. The music on this recording is also a bit edgier compared to the Ushante recording, partially due to the fact that Jeff Schwartz is playing electric bass instead of the upright. The vibe of the music on this session is a more overall rock & roll sound. The group has some great moments and there is again, definitely some deep listening going on. Saxophonist, Robert Leng and percussionist Breeze Smith are also very complimentary and are able to add their ideas sympathetically and the right amount of firepower when it is called for. Highlights for me included track 5, "Subatomic Courtship Ritual" (which features a great sax and drum intro) and track 7, Dilemma Darwin, a moody piece that has an interesting arc.

I can recommend both of these recordings of the Scott Heustis Group. The band is made up of musically sensitive, veteran players that know how to listen and how provide interesting information to the musical dialogue. Redline Park's business model, with their subscription based format of distribution, is interesting. For improvised and experimental music that doesn't generate a lot of revenue, this might be a good way to get the music out there and generate some income for these deserved artists.