(An old piece, reworked a bit, from 2006, I think. I can’t remember if it was from a Brick’s Picks or not, but I can still hear that lonely Autumn Leaves, and I probably always will.)
Last night I was down on Degnan going back and forth between the World Stage and Sonny’s Spot. At the Stage Azar Lawrence was blowing his head off, and the vibe in the room got really deep. Afterward Derrick Finch sat at the piano and man, what a player. A lot of that old stride in his style. Richard Grant picked up his muted trumpet and played some absolutely gorgeous horn. Beautiful player. There was a fast “Autumn Leaves”. A Miles tune. Some others. Bass player joined in for one before splitting. Then as a duo again they worked out two ballad interpretations: “Giant Steps” and “Confirmation”. Finch finally had to leave and the few of us there walked outside. We hung out talking for a few minutes, then went our ways, and as we left you could still hear Grant in there, alone, blowing another “Autumn Leaves” into the empty room.
Richard Grant, blowing in the shadows. I think the shot is by LeRoy Downs, off his essential LA jazz site, thejazzcat.net
Had my mind blown by an open air Dwight Trible set yesterday afternoon (on Saturday, April 30) in Leimert Park. Trevor Ware on bass. Theo Saunders on piano. Yow. Apparently there will be another open air Dwight Trible set next weekend also in Leimert Park (and also absolutely free, money wise). Will keep you posted. Every time I see him perform I think that Dwight Trible is maybe the greatest thing in jazz at this moment, and has been for many moments so far, and yet so few seem to realize it. Next week add in Justo Almario on tenor, and there will be a point where your mind will sizzle past the point of no return.
Leimert Park is gorgeous, and cool and amiably funky, a hipness as yet unhipsterized, where people wear Eric Dolphy tee shirts because they actually knew Eric Dolphy, and kids in dreads do the Big Apple. Dwight soars above it, meanders through it, grooves inside it. I could hear him two blocks away as I drove up. I walked in, said hey to a pal and was nearly run down by Barbara Morrison in her souped up motorized wheel chair. I love the place. Seen so much incredible jazz down there over the years. Ordinarily jazz in LA comes in tiny confined spaces, like Charlie O’s or the Blue Whale or the World Stage or the four tables in front of the stage at JAX, rest in peace. But in Leimert Park it can cover entire city blocks, audible blocks away. It’s in the air, in the streets, in the bones.
So next week, Dwight Trible in Leimert Park. Details anon. Be there.
Dwight Trible (I believe from a London gig, unknown photographer.)