Band on top if the word Fusion

The Levin Brothers made up of bassist Tony, best known for his long association with progressive rock icons the King Crimson band and Peter Gabriel, and keyboardist Pete who was a longtime member of jazz innovators Gil Evans and Jimmy Giuffre bands, along with drummer Jeff “Siege” Siegel appeared at the Baked Potato for two nights. The Levins have worked on many recordings and performed together a lot over the years, but never made their own CD. It finally happened in 2014 with their eponymous release and at the beginning of 2019, a lengthy tour came together. Judging from the show being sold-out, fans were very excited that the brothers finally made it all happen.

The Levins also toured with Paul Simon in the ‘70s, and in memory of that period they played a jazzy and subtle version of the pop hit-maker’s “Scarborough Fair.” Jimi Hendrix’s “Up From The Skies,” which has become a modern-day standard was done similarly with Tony playing the melody line and scatting to the audience’s delight. For a slight change several tracks from Pete’s new recording MoBius were showcased during the set. Included was gentle atmospheric ballad “Gate to The Moon” featuring mostly keyboards and a strong bass solo. While “Kakilambe” incorporated African rhythms, kalimba keyboard sounds and was coolly jamming. Not to be overlooked were Siegel’s compositional talents and his “Ballad of The Innocents,” a slow-drawn number bolstered by Tony’s signature and lyrical bass lines.

All the while, the audience really wanted to hear the trio’s interpretations of King Crimson material. Almost like the Levin’s were saving the best for last the highly anticipated songs highlighted the last segment of the show. Bolero was a tasteful and thematic ballad played supplely by the brothers and Siegel. Contrarily, “Matte Kudasai”
was slightly upbeat with bass textures dominating, as keyboards and drums supplied a fluid backdrop. Rounding things out “Sleepless” was propelled by a funky and driving backbeat for the brothers to impressively stretch out, with Tony’s amazing bowing included. There was barely any resemblance to the originals, but the audience didn’t seem to mind. Interestingly, the show concluded with a light and jazzy version of Ralph Towner’s classically themed gem “Icarius” featuring drums soloing and trading off with bass and keyboards for an intense standing ovation. For more info go to:, and


Also at the Baked Potato for a couple of nights and sharing a couple dates with The Levins (not in LA) was Soft Machine. The band, formed in the mid ‘60s was named after William S. Burroughs 1961 book The Soft Machine. The group was part of the burgeoning Canterbury England underground psychedelic and jazz-rock scenes that spawned groups such as Gong, Caravan and Pink Floyd, though never a commercial success like many of the other groups. SM initially sought out to not have a guitar driven sound and conceived suite-like compositions. Interestingly, they were managed by Jimi Hendrix’s team and opened for his 1968 North America tour. Notably, former Police guitarist Andy Summers was a band member during that period, and in 1975 guitar god Allan Holdsworth became intermittently linked to band and its offshoots (Soft Ware, Soft Cell and Soft Machine Legacy) until 2004.

The present band with no original members is guitarist John Etheridge, drummer John Marshall, bass player Roy Babbington, and sax, flute and keyboard player Theo Travis. Hidden Details title track of SM latest CD opened with Mahavishnu Orchestra-like guitar intro and quickly shifted to jazz rock jamming featuring ripping sax and guitar solos, and finished with the opening section. Travis’ shimmering flute work was featured for mid-tempo piece “The Man Who Waved at Trains” to draw strong crowd reactions. Alternatively, “Life on Bridges” employing intense waves of saxophone and guitar, was an edgy composition.

Going back to1970’s Third album was prog-rock classic “Out-Bloody-Rageous” originally 20 minutes long, and garnered with an astounding keyboard intro and flowing jazz-rock. From 1976 Softs recording, which included most of the present band, was “The Tale of Taliesin,” also a masterpiece that amazed the audience. For a changeup and returned to present-day selections for saxophone-laden ballad “Heart of God” from the SM’s newest CD and also did a dynamic medley of older songs that featured extensive drums and snarling guitar solos to draw a hearty standing ovation. From the encore very upbeat flute-driven “Fourteen Hour Dream” was featured with the band impressively jamming away.




logo for blues previews

Alligator Records artists Coco Montoya and Tinsley Ellis will make stops in Pasadena, San Juan Capistrano and Agoura Hills on their current Blues Rock Titans tour. The artists will also join forces each night for an unforgettable jam session.

Legendary blues-rock guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya will feature songs from his latest Alligator Records release, HARD TRUTH. On it Montoya unleashes one career-topping performance after another, the music immediately ranking among the best he’s ever recorded. Produced by Tony Braunagel (Eric Burdon, Curtis Salgado, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt), the album features eleven songs, each delivering a hard truth of its own. Montoya’s unpredictable guitar playing and smoking soul vocals blend effortlessly with a backing band featuring renowned musicians including bassist Bob Glaub, keyboardist Mike Finnigan, guitarists Billy Watts and Johnny Lee Schell and Braunagel on drums.


Montoya earned his status as a master guitarist and soul-powered vocalist through years of paying his dues as a sideman with Albert Collins (first as a drummer) and then as a featured guitarist with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, before launching his solo career in 1993. Five years of constant touring with Collins and ten years with Mayall turned him into a monster player and dynamic performer. Montoya has released eight previous solo albums to great critical and popular acclaim, and has played at clubs, concert halls and major festivals all over the world. Guitar Player says Montoya plays “stunning, powerhouse blues with a searing tone, emotional soloing, and energetic, unforced vocals.”

Tinsley Ellis is among the blues world’s best-loved, hardest working and most well traveled statesmen. Ellis’ latest release, 2018’s WINNING HAND, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. Since his first Alligator album 30 years ago, Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.” He is also revered as a guitarist’s guitarist, with famous friends including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Jonny Lang and members of Widespread Panic calling on him to sit in and jam. “A musician never got famous staying home,” he says.

Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, the ten brilliantly performed, fervently sung tracks on WINNING HAND include nine originals, ranging from blistering blues to heart-pounding rock to soulful ballads. “Guitar, guitar, guitar is what this album is all about,” says Ellis, who recorded primarily with his 1959 Fender Stratocaster, his 1967 Gibson ES 345 and his 1973 Les Paul Deluxe.

Over the course of his career, Ellis has shared stages with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, The Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins and many others. Back home on Alligator Records, Tinsley Ellis is ready to prove again that whenever he picks up a guitar, he’s playing with a winning hand.

Blues Rock Titans Tour

March 1, 2019
Doors: 6:00pm
The Coach House
33157 Camino Capistrano
San Juan Capistrano, CA

March 3, 2019
Doors: 6:00pm
The Canyon
28912 Roadside Dr.
Agoura Hills, CA

Text Special Mention

As part of the Jazz Bakery’s Movable Feast series, New York-based drummer Matt Wilson’s Quartet appeared at the Moss Theatre. Exuberant post-bop filled the auditorium with the bandleader grooving away on the JB’s old drum set (been in storage since 2009 when it closed in Culver City) while being coolly supported by Jeff Lederer-sax, Larry Koonse-guitar and Darek Oles-bass for the opening upbeat number “Joie De Vivre” by Wilson’s longtime former band mate Dewey Redman. The composition abounded with solos by all and Wilson continued with an adventurous sax/drums initial duet featuring Lederer hitting piercing high notes. From there, the full band joined in for angular “Bubbles” that closed with drummer inserting Carl Sandburg’s words during the closing moments. Other longtime friend, bassist Charlie Haden’s elegant ballad “There in a Dream” was rendered and gently enhanced by clarinet, guitar and bass to draw strong audience reactions.


Changing up the program a bit was Sphere saxophonist Charlie Rouse’s “Pumpkin’s Delight” that was bumping with bebop rhythms mixed. Sax was aggressive and energetic, while guitar was sprawling and even keeled, with bass and drums maintaining a solid foundation. Also in memory of Haden, Redman and other threshold pushing artists was an oft-kilter and stimulating version of Woody Guthrie’s’ classic “This Land is Your Land” accented by sax and drums. Also in gratitude of drummer Billy Higgin’s jazz and community contributions was 15-year old post-bop “Thank You Billy Higgins” featuring the saxophonist and bandleader wailing away, with the other band members also contributing.

Additionally, Michel Legrand’s Summer of 42 Theme was performed as condolences for his recent passing. From a more jubilant perspective, actually related to Los Angeles’ infamous freeway traffic was “Hug” that included Wilson going into the audience to hug everyone and do group hugs. For the closing number the quartet returned to spirited and vibrant post bop featuring the band playing intensely to receive a robust standing ovation.


In a very ambitious and strong effort to celebrate Black History Month, the Jazz Bakery presented a grand total of six diverse and interesting shows at the Moss Theatre. Bookending them was the Black Art Jazz Collective Co-Op Sextet, and Ralph Peterson And The Messenger Legacy Sextet, also the Art Blakey Centennial Celebration (October 11th).

The Black Art Jazz Collective Co-Op Sextet a fairly new group consisting of Jeremy Pelt-trumpet/bandleader, Wayne Escoffery-tenor sax, Johnathan Blake-drums, James Burton III-trombone, Xavier Davis-piano and Corcoran Holt-bass showcased neo-bop numbers from their two CDs, The Black Art Jazz Collective Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club and Armor of Pride. They opened with “Miller Time” dedicated to the late great pianist Mulgrew Miller. Following it was thematic and mid-tempo “Salvador da Bahia” featuring the stellar interactions and solos of the brass players, along with piano and explosive drums.

“Awuraa Amma” written by Pelt for his two-year old daughter was lengthy and slowed things down some, yet retained some of the ensemble’s edginess. In the same regard, “And There She Was, Lovely as Ever,” described by the bandleader as a “real ballad” featured Davis’ subtle piano work with the other players gently supporting. Afterwards, the mood transcended to more lively and political oriented “Awaiting Change” written by tenor saxophonist Escoffery for former President Barack Obama that was well received. In the same spirit Davis’ “When Will We Learn?” was powerful and engaging, enhanced by scorching trombone, trumpet, saxophone and piano solos that kept the audience spellbound. Pelt and ensemble quickly segued into a hard-driven piece to conclude the show and receive a standing ovation.


From a classic hard-bop standpoint, drummer Ralph Peterson and The Messenger Legacy celebrated the iconic bandleader Art Blakey and his Jazz Messengers’ music. Enlisted for the cause were Bobby Watson-alto sax, Bill Pierce-tenor sax, Brian Lynch-trumpet, Essiet Essiet-bass and Zaccai Curtis-piano. Prior to launching into the set Peterson stated, “Fasten your seatbelts, put your tray tables in the upright position and we’ll do the smoking.” Living up to the promise, Wayne Shorter’s “One By One” was red-hot with the brass players, piano and bass turning in blazing solos, while Peterson accented with Blakey styled drum forays and bombs. Adding sophistication to the affair was Curis Fuller’s dynamic brass chorus number “Alamode” with Watson and Lynch breaking out into a hard swinging solos, while Pierce’s was denser and soulful, along with Curtis masterfully adding an interlude, all to the audience’s delight.

Bandleader Peterson put his massive drum kit to use for an extensive solo intro that both amused and impressed the audience. The drumming led to Watson’s resoundingly thematic “A Wheel Within a Wheel” featuring him and the other principal players masterfully soloing and intersecting. Curtis the youngest member of the band was showcased ironically for “That Old Feeling,” which also was probably the most traditionally sounding number played by the group in addition to “Someone to Watch Over Me” spotlighting Pierce.

Even more so on the standard side was “Three Blind Mice.” However, in the hands of Blakey, along with Peterson and his group the children’s song was a hip and swinging piece full of life. The same could be said for regal chestnut “Caravan” that began with a fiery drum intro and was further perpetuated by ripping brass work to generate an enthusiastic standing ovation and roars from the audience. Obliging the audience Peterson and crew served up Blakey signature composition “Blues March” that was much to crowd’s delight.

The other Black History Month Jazz Bakery shows between The Black Art Jazz Collective Co-Op Sextet and Ralph Peterson and The Messenger Legacy were: vibraphonist Stefon Harris + the Blackout Quintet, pianist Eric Reed’s Quartet In the Spirit: A Celebration of Black Ancestry, The Bennie Maupin Ensemble Sextet and saxophonist Don Braden’s Quartet Earth Wind and Wonder. Unquestionably, the concerts were the best offering of jazz for Black History Month in Los Angeles.



NAMM, once again took over the Anaheim Convention Center, with adjacent Hilton and Marriott hotels also hosting related activities. Musicians, songwriters, composers, arrangers, producers, manufacturers, marketers, vendors, executives and equipment technicians flooded the grounds to checkout the latest gear and innovations through booth exhibitions, demos and showcases.

Noted among them were: South African singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler performing, bass icon Marcus Miller presenting his signature Markbass amp lineup. Acclaimed producer Terrace Martin hosted a live panel discussing music and gear, with an audience Q&A. Bassist Doug Wimbish & WimBash All-Stars performed with some very special guests. New York-based jazz guitarist/singer/songwriter Allan Harris also did a special set. Reedist Bob Mintzer and guitarist John Pisano performed for Eastman Winds and Eastman Guitars. Bass hero Hadrien Feraud and guitar icon Dean Brown also did a special showcase, along with bass icon Jeff Berlin and the Italian jazz guitarist Alessio Menconi. Additionally, saxophonist Danny Janklow did a live performance and interview.

Furthermore Groovesmith featuring drummer Omar Hakim, bassist Darryl Jones and keyboardist Rachel Z performed and discussed their love of QSC gear. Five-time Grammy Winner, bassist Victor Wooten did a Meet & Greet. Ultra funky Bobby Vega gave his soulful insight on playing though tube amps. Guitarist Frank Gambale/bassist Brian Bromberg performed together and also individually. Dave Weckl discussed why and how he mixes his drums from stage using the TouchMix digital mixer. Saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa of the Rippingtons and The Sax Pack shared his experiences on the road and in the studio. Guitar hero Eric Gales presented his new signature amps at DV Mark booth, and popular bassist Nathan East, respected guitarist Wayne Bruce and master percussionist Mark Walker performed with the H9 Harmonizer by Eventide.

Grammy-winning guitarist Laurence Juber showcased a mix of folk, jazz, blues, pop and classical styles. Alternately, Pedro Andrea from Spain spotlighted electric guitar flamenco. Barney Kessel Live exhibited new reissues of Barney Kessel signature guitar models The Pro, The Artist and The Jazz Special. Jazz harpist Lyrika Holmes did a demo and signed her Play Your Harp Out – Be Fierce posters. Chad Wackerman demoed Roland Hybrid Drums and Bromberg performed again. Exciting multi-instrumentalist Ellis Hall spotlighted using a digital snake in both live and studio situations. Bass icon Richard Bona presented his new Markbass bass guitar.

Other artist appearances included Jeff Berlin demoing his Cort signature model Rithimic, Kirk Fletcher performing with the Roland Blues Cube and Ultimate Blues Tone Capsule and Frank Gambale demoing his Cort signature new model Luxe. Gregg Bissonette did an autograph session for Dixon Drums with Tony Pia and Rom Gov. Reggae star drummer Carlton Santa Devis also played and followed with a signing/meet-and-greet. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter also performed with the Roland Blues Cube Amplifier. Renowned guitarist Vernon Reid did a H9 Max, ROSE & iPad DJ set. Andy Vargas lead singer for Santana gave a special acoustic performance with his band Souleros, and discussed why he and his band members choose QSC power.

Not to be overlooked, singer/YouTuber Vidya Vox brought together influences of her Indian-American heritage to create music that is refreshingly new, unique, and contemporary. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s performance, featured Kosmic, a melding jazz, R&B, pop, funk, soul, hip hop, and fusion. Tori Roze & Johnny Alexander from the San Diego did funky soul-jazz. Black Violin consisting of classically trained violist and violinist Wil B. and Kev Marcus combined classical and hip-hop. Accordion duo Creosote comprised of Jamie Maschler and Gabriel Rodrigues presented interesting world music. Cleveland rhythm bassist Doug Johns showcased new rock/funk CD Vodka in the Woodpile.

NAMM Foundation presented: The Lennon Bus Imagine Party featuring singer/songwriter Elle King blending pop, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll into her own sound. Guitarist Ed Gerhard showcased Hawaiian styled playing on 6-string, 12-string, and acoustic Hawaiian lap slide. From an earthy perspective gospel vocalist Daneen Wilburn showcased her debut recording produced by two-time Grammy Winner, pianist/saxophonist Kamau Kenyatta, who also performed with her and funk bassist Michael Kennedy.

If all that wasn’t enough, there were more showcases by: Bernie Williams and Gil Parris, Felah-Enkum, The Lao Tizer Band, Jonathan Dely, and Gregory Boyd. Furthermore, there was Daniela Padrón, SCSBOA Jazz All-Stars, Freedoms Trio, Nathan & Jessie, James Labrosse, Lloyd Spiegel, The Junebugs, Steph Johnson, Gigi Rich, Rogue Theory Band, Down North, Janice Freeman, Cristina Vane, Dawn Joseph, Magnolia Boulevard, Jon Hammond Funk Unit, Tom Griesgraber, Slim KuttaR, Julia Lucius, Metts Ryan & Collins, Sugartone Brass Band, Haji Basim, Boscoe France, Sarah Elizabeth Charles & SCOPE, Nina Francis, Midnight Satellites
& Kodi Lee, The Paul Reed Smith Band, Julia Vari, Kevin Spears “KalimbaMan,” Bayou City Brass Band, Manuel The Band, iLLism, Gene Evaro Jr., Thomas Claxton, Monette Marino Band and Zem Audu.

text previews




Janis Mann
Guest Vocalist, Sherry Williams
Peter Smith-piano,
Ken Wild-bass
Dick Weller-drums

March 23, 2019
San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
Doors open at 7 pm / Show starts at 8 pm


Mr. Musichead, celebrating 20 years as a premier boutique art gallery and its owner Sam Milgrom, teamed up with Los Angeles Jazz Radio Broadcaster and Producer LeRoy
Downs and All Music Television Founder & CEO Frederick Smith, Jr to present Just Jazz featuring a lineup of internationally recognized jazz artists. From 6:30pm to Showtime, before each show, tune into “The Jazzcat” LeRoy Downs as he spins one hour of supreme, eclectic jazz live on direct from the Mr Musichead Gallery! Downs will play music and interview the weekly artist as jazz patrons are arriving for the performance, enticing listeners to come on out and be a part of the Curated Jazz Experience!! A portion of the proceeds from each show will be donated to a local charity.

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Drinks & Appetizer Reception: 6:30pm
Live Music: 7:30pm

March 6 Eric Reed

March 13 Jonah Levine Collective

March 20 Artyom Manukyan Trio

Other upcoming artists include Marquis Hill and more…

Mr Musichead Gallery
7420 W. Sunset Blvd (across from Guitar Center)
Los Angeles, CA 90046




March 22 Alicia Olatuja
March 23 Omar Sosa
March 24 Phil Norman Tentet 25th Anniversary
March 29 Mary Stallings Quintet

Moss Theater
New Roads School at The Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts
(800) 838-3006

“Concerts and Conversations with Southern California Jazz Legends” made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. KJAZZ 88.1 – official media sponsor.


Performances à la carte presents collaborative concerts, productions and events encompassing music, dance, theatre, fine art, visual arts, culinary arts, literature and drama to showcase the diverse talent within San Gabriel and Crescenta Valleys and throughout Los Angeles County. Singer, songwriter and Artistic Director of Performances à la Carte, Carla (Jamie) Perez, is considered a very versatile singer, a performance artist of eclectic tastes and total vocality. Although she studied with some of the world’s most renown classical singers/teachers, she considers her first voice teachers and interpreters of song growing up to be jazz greats Sarah Vaughan, Nancy Wilson and Ella Fitzgerald and admits she frequently gave “Frankie” a spin (all via vinyl). Through her artistic endeavors with Performances à la Carte, Perez continues to create collaborative projects that promote artists, serve the public interest and that fuel her passion for beauty, authenticity and social justice.

Opening on February 24th, the first of three concerts presented on the fourth Sunday of each month features Black Market Reverie, a unique combination of New Orleans Bayou and French Cabaret Jazz with Lyman Medeiros on Bass and Renee Myara on vocals, followed by the legendary Barbara Morrison and her Trio on March 24th, and the final concert on April 28th with Eclectic Collective, featuring Jamie Perez with the Nick Mancini Collective, a nine-piece band including such jazz front-runners as saxophone tour de force, Danny Janklow and the amazingly gifted jazz pianist Michael Ragonese, in a concert of improv standards, originals and Elton John tunes that will blow your mind.





Performances à la Carte
Jazz ‘n Paz
Spring 2019 Intimate Jazz Concert Series

March 24
Barbara Morrison and her Trio

April 28
Eclectic Collective

5:00 pm
Neighborhood UU Church
301 North Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Series subscriptions are now on sale, offering a discount from individual concert tickets.



is celebrating her

Anytime between 11:00am thru 3:00pm
At the famed




Lighthouse Cafe
30 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, Ca 90254

Paul Kreibich (D)
Rich Eames (P)
Luther Hughes (B)
Rickey Woodard (S)

***Instrumentalists and Singers Please Note***
Merle would love you to sing or play. Bring your axe!
Feel free to join us on the bandstand to “Jam”
with many of your talented colleagues attending!
All Other Guests…Get ready for a musically outrageous JAZZ HANG!
PS… Remember the two “P’s”
Your “Presence” to celebrate
No “Presents” are necessary
Love, Merle

CAP UCLA’s 2018-19 season highlights

Red TicketMarch 20
An Evening with Lettuce and John Scofield
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

March 23
Roberto Fonseca & Fatoumata Diawara
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Mar 28
Zakir Hussain & Masters of Percussion
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Mar 30
Nano Stern
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 6
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Apr 7
Caetano, Moreno, Zeca & Tom Veloso
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 12
The Gloaming
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Apr 19
Anoushka Shankar
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Subscriptions and individual tickets on sale at:
CAP Reel: Lettuce Live:

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