Hesitation Blues #8
Why does LA only have free outdoor shows in the summer? This is sunny, Randy Newman hollering LA. You could have an outdoor show on New Year’s Day and people would be comfortable. I guess musicians have sensitive fingers though. Nobody likes chapped hands but if you like free jazz and unbearable traffic, you are in luck.
LACMA resumes their usual Friday night freebies. They always have interesting bookings over there. Who’s doing those? Give me a job! Drummer Alphonse Mouzon is there on the 1st of June and saxophone legend Ernie Watts follows him a week later. But Ernie Watts is everywhere.
Watts can play alongside the tasteful Charlie Haden but was also just handy alongside the less-than-tasteful Frank Zappa. Aside from LACMA he is also doing the 3rd Street Farmer’s Market free jazz night on Thursday, July 12th. That series has a pretty great lineup plus old people eating donuts and lots of Price is Right fans. Multi-reedist Katisse Buckingham is there on the 7th of June and Josh Nelson is there with his group the following Thursday.
As they have done the last few years, the Hollywood and Highland center will be offering up free jazz concerts every Tuesday night. The evening as build as wine and jazz so, yes, the music is wine jazz. It’s the usual rotation of local jazzbos but Pete Escovedo is playing on July 8th and he’s bringing an orchestra. That should at least get your toes tapping. If he can’t do it, maybe his daughter can. She’ll be performing for a boogalooing Hugh Hefner on June 16th.
The 34th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival is happening on June 16th and 17th at the Hollywood Bowl. Amid the crowd-pleasing ticket sellers like Ozomatli, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and the aforementioned Ms. E. are a few more challenging acts like the Global Gumbo All-Stars which features drummer Francisco Mela and guitarist Lionel Loueke and Spectrum Road which features Vernon Reid and John Medeski. I got to go to the Playboy mansion this year and dig on the free bar and strange, angry jokes from Bill Cosby. They have peacocks just roaming around over there but very few women roaming around.
On June 10th the annual Vibe Summit is happening at the Remo Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood. I could never figure out who plays the vibes. How do you get into that? Do you have to own a van? Expect every mallet-wielding swinger in town to make their way to that regular event. This is the 19th one!
Good old reliable Blue Whale is offering a June residency from Nine Winds records, who are happily celebrating their 35th year. Every Wednesday the label will present some of the artists that label founder and multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia helped to nurture. Golia himself will play the last two Wednesdays. Challenging stuff that proves the West Coast can compete with any of those cities with better public transportation.
I usually like to point out a good show in Orange County for this column too but their ain’t shit. Soka University, whoever those guys are, put on a few good shows earlier in the year. I guess once the kiddies skedaddle for the summer there is no point because no one else is going to haul ass down to Aliso Viejo at 6 o’clock on a Friday night. Maybe in September? In the meantime, dig on Yanni at Segerstrom Hall on July 18th and catch up on your rest.
Hesitation Blues @ LA Record