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SoCal Jazz

Sam First Records: Live Jazz on Vinyl

Read "Sam First Records: Live Jazz on Vinyl" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Four short years ago I had the pleasure of attending and putting pen to paper (well, not literally anymore) about Sam First, jny: Los Angeles' hottest new jazz, haunt, which had made a splash on the city's jazz scene. Subsequent visits further validated the hip vibe of modernism combined with vintage jazz. To say that the formula has worked is quite the understatement. The atmosphere and acoustics allow jazz to be presented and heard the way it was meant to ...


Album Review

Joe La Barbera Quintet: World Travelers

Read "World Travelers" reviewed by Jim Worsley

February is surely a bit early in the year to be talking about the best live recording released in 2023. Still, when you have your socks blown off, time of year is of little concern. Drumming icon Joe La Barbera is back, and in a big way. The pendulum has swung and La Barbera's Quintet was swinging like some hep cats in a small club back in the '50s. It has been some time since La Barbera's last recording. This ...



Joe La Barbera: Experiencing Bill Evans

Read "Joe La Barbera: Experiencing Bill Evans" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

This interview was first published at All About Jazz in May 2017. In his own unassuming way, Bill Evans changed the face of jazz piano trio forever. He made the piano a lyrical, expressive voice for the most subtle and deep emotions, and he transformed the rhythm section from a time-beating, swing-maintaining outfit into an intimate, conversational musical unit. He loved tradition. It was just his grasp of the music and the special way that he composed, arranged, ...



A Fireside Chat with Joe La Barbera

Read "A Fireside Chat with Joe La Barbera" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Familiarity breeds a docile apathy. And certainly the temperamental constitution of Tinseltown commits to one constant - inconsistency. But not among those in the arena. Bona fide heroes of the Los Angeles standard like Joe La Barbera (unedited and in his own words), who elevate the routine to an art. Perhaps spectators ought to be beholden to that kind of loyalty and celebrate our local stock as much as the visiting nationally lauded.

All About Jazz: Let's start from the ...


Album Review

The Joe LaBarbera Quintet: Live!

Read "Live!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Stung too often by inscrutable contracts and creative bookkeeping, a growing number of jazz musicians are taking matters into their own hands, producing and distributing albums on their own independent labels as an alternative to the bondage in which they’ve long been held by corporate overseers. Four of these artists -- trumpeter Clay Jenkins, guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Joe LaBarbera -- have come together to form Jazz Compass Records, an online label whose mandate is to ...


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