Peter Erskine, Bob Sheppard, Darek Oles at LJ Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, 7/26/12

It’s pretty rare for me to have a chance to see a show with a musician who I’ve been following for half my life. Peter Erskine’s playing on Weather Report’s Night Passage is a perfect example of how to match wits with the best bass player in the world.

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-006

As part of the Lounge Art Ensemble with Bob Sheppard on horns and Derek Oles on bass, Mr. Erskine has been bending jazz standards into newer forms.

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-010

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-017

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-013

A mark of a master is making the difficult look easy. The drumming seemed effortless, the music pouring out like fine wine from a bottle.

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-015

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-008

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-025

Mr. Oles’s lines were always supportive, grounded, and melodic. Playing beyond chops, the musicians focused on interacting with each other in a beautiful, intimate setting.

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-020

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-016

After the show, I took some photos of the LA and SD twins together.

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-027

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-028

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-030

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery. As always, Robert Bush’s review shines a spotlight on the most riveting moments.

Lounge Art Ensemble at LJ Music and Arts Library 72612 © Michael Klayman-026

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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar, 7/16/12

The night after seeing Mikan’s show, I went to the Soda Bar to see a totally different kind of keyboard leader.

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-001

I saw Kevin Martin a few years ago when he was part of Get Back Loretta, and at both shows I was struck by how Beatles-esque the sound was. Kevin’s new album is very appropriately named.

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-011

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-009

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-010

Lauren Scheff’s bass work is perfect for this style. He’s got chops and and the good sense to know when not to use them. There’s lots of tasty little ideas in his lines, even when playing with bloody knuckles.

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-006

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-002

His production on the CD is really good too. Bass players know how to put the person at the front of the stage in the best light.

Kevin Martin at Soda Bar 71612 © Michael Klayman-013

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles, 7/15/12


Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-001

Mikan Zlatovich brought some fusion tunes to 98 Bottles last week. This was my first time seeing him as a leader.

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-002

No sheet music, he’s memorized all this complex stuff.

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-010

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-004

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-009

San Diego has such lovely ladies of jazz.

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-012

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-019

Jamie Shadowlight plays barefoot.

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-018

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-007

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-020

Mikan Zlatkovich at 98 Bottles 71512 © Michael Klayman-021

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

El Camino Jazz Jam, 7/11/12

Every once in a while I
like to torture myself by trying to shoot a show in the dark El Camino
lounge. I left the Soda Bar after Down Big’s set to catch the second
half of this weekly jazz jam. It was an extra special night, as it was Rob Thorsen’s 49th birthday.

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-001

It’s an amazing thing that we have a place where every week, young players and political luminaries can join together on the bandstand with the best players in town.

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-003

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-002

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-005

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-008

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-012

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-013

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-015

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-016

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-019

Happy birthday, Rob.

El Camino 71112 © Michael Klayman-021

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Down Big at Soda Bar, 7/11/12

Down Big at Soda Bar 71112 © Michael Klayman-001

Sean’s got a new band called Down Big.

Down Big at Soda Bar 71112 © Michael Klayman-010

No bass player, though. Shame on you Sean, this is exactly the sort of thing we’ve been complaining about to each other for years. Every time we were at a show that had a bass-less band, we’d roll our eyes and marvel at how another band thought it was a good idea to get rid of the glue that holds the music together. You have become everything we always hated.

Down Big at Soda Bar 71112 © Michael Klayman-008

I hope these photos only score you dates with ugly girls.

Down Big at Soda Bar 71112 © Michael Klayman-005

Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.

Sleep Lady at Casbah, 7/1/12

Sleep Lady at Casbah 70112 © Michael Klayman-011

A color saturated Sleep Lady played at the Casbah. We did a group shoot a few day afterwards that came out better than I could have hoped, and I’ll be debuting photos from it along with their new album coming up soon.

Sleep Lady at Casbah 70112 © Michael Klayman-003

Sleep Lady at Casbah 70112 © Michael Klayman-006

Sleep Lady at Casbah 70112 © Michael Klayman-012

And nobody better dare forget about Anthony Dixon on drums!

Sleep Lady at Casbah 70112 © Michael Klayman-004

More faces can be found in the full gallery. Shooting primes while my zoom is in the shop is giving me a chance to rediscover some of the fun things about shooting prime lenses. Like making a particular crop work. Shooting close up with my 50mm meant detail shots, which I don’t do enough of. OK, one more face.

Sleep Lady at Casbah 70112 © Michael Klayman-002 
Click on a photo to go to the full gallery.
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All Images Copyright © Michael Klayman 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Please ask for permission before downloading or linking to them.