The amazing Sid Jacobs pays tribute to Jimmy Wyble…

On April 17, 2010 a host of guitarists paid tribute to the late, great Jimmy Wyble.  Sid Jacob’s performances particularly hit me. I have the honor to share a chair in the LA Wirechoir with Sid and I am always in awe of his guitar mastery.

Terry Carter documented the concert and you can follow the link to both of Sid’s performances here:

Sid Jacobs from the Jimmy Wyble Tribute

Jimmy was an extraordinary musician and human being who deeply touched everyone who knew him. The memorial concert was heartfelt, drawing stellar musicians from all over the country to pay tribute to this wonderful man. Thank you Jimmy!

Enjoy Sid Jacobs’ Gershwin medley below…

Jensen-Macchia-Lockett-Briggs at The York 3-21-10

I played a very nice gig at The York in Highland Park Sunday night. The band consisted of yours truly on guitar, Frank Macchia on bass flute and tenor sax, Tommy Lockett on bass, and Frank Briggs on drums.

…a mix of standards and my originals…

Great players, friendly staff, and a good crowd at this hip, neighborhood bistro….


Brandon Bernstein pays tribute to Jimmy Wyble…

Guitarist Brandon Bernstein pays tribute to the late, great, Jimmy Wyble in this beautiful version of Sammy Kanh’s, I’ll Be Seeing You.

Brandon has a new release coming out featuring himself, Aaron Shragge (trumpet), Matt Otto (tenor), Greg Leisz (pedal steel/dobro), Ryan McGillicuddy (bass),  & Jason Harnell (drums) playing the music of Tom Waits. Look for a full review here. Enjoy!

Rizzo, Breadman, Oles – March 5, 2010 at The Blue Whale, Los Angeles

At The Blue Whale in downtown Los Angeles last Friday night I was reminded of the spirit of openness and musical invention I experienced as a music student in Boston. I was quite fortunate to stumble into  a very inspiring, wide open, musical community. Gary Burton’s groups included groundbreaking guitarists Mick Goodrick and Pat Metheny and featured new composers like Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, and Michael Gibbs. The music was crossing boundaries, exploring approaches beyond the language of bebop and post-bebop traditions. Manfred Eicher’s ECM records was a rising force, bringing European classical harmony and a lush sonic palette to the mix, and ‘world music’ influences were making deep inroads into the American improvisational tradition. Some of the most influential guitarists in the last thirty years passed through Boston during this time; John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Mike Stern, and many others less well known. It was an exciting time when anything seemed possible.

Tom Rizzo (Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen) guitar, Scott Breadman (Jose Feliciano, Lindsey Buckingham, The Rippingtons) percussion, and Darek Oles (Brad Mehldau, Billy Higgins, Pat Metheny) upright bass, brought their unique, collective sound to this intimate venue. After warming up with their take on a couple of classic tunes (including a beautiful version of Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered”), they dug into their own material, primarily composed by Rizzo.
Rizzo is a seasoned writer and his strong compositions focused the band’s identity and sound. His guitar playing has a playful, uplifting feel. He is a modern, straight-ahead guitarist with fluid single note and chordal chops. His lines are melodic and he builds his solos well, developing thematic ideas and directing the energy of the band. I enjoyed his use of harmonics and at one point he played a comping figure that sounded like a Brazilian berimbau. It was great. Rizzo’s “straight into the amp” tone was warm and present. His sound sat perfectly in the room between the bass and percussion.
Darek Oles is a powerful, emotive bass player. His time feel and intonation were dead on, laying down a solid foundation for the trio’s explorations. His solos were melodic and passionate. Rizzo’s light touch and sensitive, conversational accompaniment was the perfect compliment.
Breadman has mastered a multitude of percussion styles from around the world. He seamlessly integrates a variety of techniques across his unique setup: congas, tablas, cymbals, hand percussion and various miscellaneous noise makers including a frying pan. He is very sensitive to dynamics and at one point laid down a solid fatback groove with only a shaker and a few accents…Right in the pocket…Breadman moves effortlessly across his array of instruments, following the ebb and flow of the music.
I saw this group several weeks ago and they sound more comfortable and adventurous with each gig. I look forward to hearing this band develop and grow…Perhaps extended compositions, grooves, free improvisation..Who knows? With musicians of this caliber anything can happen.
The Blue Whale is a great new music room in downtown LA. It’s comfortable, hip, and has an excellent bar…see Mitch for his special concoctions. The proprietor, Joon Lee is committed to showcasing the best musicians in LA. They are continually expanding their music nights. Check the online calendar and Facebook page for updates. The club is a little off the beaten path, on the top floor of a mall in Little Tokyo, off of East 1st between Grand and South San Pedro. Drop in for a drink and enjoy the great music…then tell your friends!

Sid Jacobs demonstrates Jimmy Wyble’s Two Line Improvising techniques

Master guitarist Sid Jacobs demonstrates two line improvisation techniques developed by the late, Jimmy Wyble. Jimmy’s contributions to the art of guitar playing have influenced guitarists around the world, but particularly in Los Angeles where he was best known. Sid is a world renowned performer and teacher who has incorporated Jimmy’s wisdom into his own amazing style. He will be part of a tribute to Jimmy coming up in April at Vitello’s in Studio City.

Look for Sid at upcoming Wirechoir gigs and on the LA club scene. Enjoy!

Mike Clinco Quartet at The Oyster House

I caught guitarist and composer, Mike Clinco with his quartet, at The Oyster House in North Hollywood Monday night. Mike is a fluid, melodic player with a warm, open, sound and a great relaxed feel. He has worked with many extraordinary artists including: Bo Diddley, Bobby McFerrin, Ella Fitzgerald and Henry Mancini. Mike has composed music for film and television, including underscore and source music for ‘Big Shots’, ‘Outer Limits’, and ‘Sex in The City’.

Mike’s group featuring Jeff Driscoll on tenor, Adam Cohen on bass, and Bob Leatherbarrow on drums, played a mix of originals, jazz standards, and tunes by John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Vic Juris, and Marc Johnson (“Union Pacific” from The Sound of Summer Running…a great record featuring Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Joey Baron). Singer Janelle Sadler and trumpeter Ron King sat in for a couple of tunes adding their magic to the mix.
The sound of the group was conversational, chamber jazz with a swinging groove and a deep pocket thanks to Adam and Bob. The melodic interplay between the guitar and sax was super musical and sensitive. The rhythm section listened hard, provided solid, energizing support and contributed some nice solos.
Mike and I both studied with the late Charlie Banacos, legendary jazz educator. In one way or another, Charlie’s influence touched many of the musicians who were there last night. 
Great players and a wonderful night of music. Thanks Mike! I’m looking forward to the next gig…