Keith Jarrett has yet another solo album out, called Rio. As the title would suggest, it was recorded in Rio de Janeiro. On it we hear the now familiar musical mood swings: from angular vertical runs, acrid harmonies, to unbearably lovely encores. The audience once again goes wild at the end. It’s a two disc set, probably covering most of the concert that night in April, 2011. I wondered as I unpeeled the shrink wrap and label–with a tried and true technique Kurt Elling taught me—how the cariocas–as the residents of Rio de Janeiro are called–would greet a solo piano concert. Brazilian music is often very upbeat, but there is always saudade lurking in the background. As it turned out, Jarrett supplied both in the concert. I particularly love the three encores that close the second cd—the audience goes wild at the end, typical of Jarrett’s fans, although this was, I believe, his first concert in Brazil. He seemed to really be enjoying it. There’s even a photo of him smiling, while sipping a demitasse cup of espresso.
Of course as a solo Keith Jarrett sprung to fame with his Köln Concert of 1977, a record that sold preposterously well for a jazz album. Read More →
The other day I was reading the latest issue of Absolute Sound, an audiophile publication that recently published a piece about Henry Rollins called “Henry Rollins: I Am an Audiophile!” I wrote a blogpost about that on my KCRW Rhythm Planet column (http://blogs.kcrw.com/rhythmplanet/henry-rollins-i-am-an-audiophile/). In the new ish there was an article about classic lp’s that have never been reissued/need to get reissued. One of those lp’s was an album by one of my favorite jazz pianists, Paul Bley: it was issued on the Dutch label Fontana Records in 1966 and was titled “Blood”. Now I was sure, as I approached the “B” section of my vinyl library, that I didn’t have this lp or if I did it must have been sold, loaned out, or otherwise gone. (I sold my vinyl collection in 1976 to Rhino Records to help pay for long distance phone bills occasioned by my breakup with my French girlfriend. What a waste!). Read More →
Catalina Bar and Grill, one of the few jazz clubs left in LA, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Longevity isn’t something associated with jazz clubs; there were many of them in the 70s and 80s: Donte’s, Carmelos, Concerts By The Sea, Hop Singh’s, Chadney’s, Marla’s Memory Lane, to name just a few. They’re all gone now, which makes the continuing existence of Catalina’s even more valuable.
Catalina Bar and Grill is named after Catalina Popescu, who came here from Rumania 35 years ago. Perhaps it’s because she survived the brutal Ceaucescu regime that she is persistant, stubborn, and steely, and it is these traits that have helped her establishment survive.
I have many wonderful memories of Catalina’s. Read More →