Monthly Archives: October 2011

Katalyst Entertainment New Release
Dwight Trible

A spiritually resonant soul jazz gem from truly great vocalist Dwight Trible – whose handful of albums to his own name and his work with the Build An Ark collective and Life Force Trio have all been timeless, passionate and inventive – and this effort on the Katalyst label is as deep and rewarding as any of it! Cosmic reminds us of everything we loved about Dwight’s Living Water album a few years back, and this one may be even stronger. His yearning, soaring, soul shaking voice is stunning as always, and both the originals and the unique takes on the more spiritual material of legends such as Duke Ellington, Nina Simone and others is really great. He’s backed by stellar group of musicians that includes drummer Dexter Story, bassist Trevor Ware, percussionist Munyungo Jackson, John Beasley on piano and organ, George Harper on tenor sax and others. Includes “Speak To Us Of Love”, “I’ve Known Rivers”, Ellington’s “In The Beginning GOD”, “Love Is Forever”, “Little Afrika”, “Algeriangeles”, Simone’s “Hyku For Peace/Come Ye”, “It’s All About Love” and glorious, soul jazz take on the Five Stairsteps soul classic “Ooh Child”.

“Cosmic” is the long awaited recording by Dwight Trible, one of the most prolific vocalists of the time. This recording is the follow up to his critically acclaimed “Living Water” which made a big impression throughout the world. On Cosmic, Dwight brings an A-list cast of characters to bring forth his heartfelt expressions of love for human kind and for love itself. Musicians like Grammy nominee John Beasley and long time collaborator Munyungo Jackson help create the Cosmic landscape. Also noted are appearances by Kenneth Crouch, Trevor Ware, Dexter Story, George Harper, Kamau Daaood, Peter Jacobson, and Justo Almario. With a cast like this it is easy to imagine all of the musical territory covered in this recording.

Katalyst Entertainment website


The Echo presents
1154 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA, 90026  |  213.413.8200  

After three decades of world tours and ever-rotating band members, Japanese punk-pop legends Shonen Knife are still smiling and rocking out. With their gazillionth European tour completed in May and an upcoming Japan tour in July, the delightful trio is still hitting the stage with songs about Barbies, banana chips, socks and superheroes.

Cutesy? Not Shonen Knife. Cutesy doesn’t survive for 29 years and record 17 albums–not through the ebbs and flows of the rock music market and the advent of the Internet age, anyway. Cutesy doesn’t attract a fan like the late Seattle rocker Kurt Cobain, who invited the ladies to tour with Nirvana in the early 90′s. Nor does cutesy compel dozens of alternative rock bands like Sonic Youth and The Mr. T Experience to cover them in a tribute album, which happened in ’98.

So what it is about the trio that has captivated the world for so long, even though just one original bandmate, frontwoman Naoko Yamano, remains? Shonen Knife, formed by Yamono and her sister in Osaka in 1981, takes a boatload of musical inspiration from the Ramones (including straight up covers), using their simple chord progressions, surf-y innocence and unrelenting volume. But unlike The Ramones, Shonen Knife has had time to refine their musicianship over the years–which is evident when you compare their early, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants album Burning Farm to the crisp tunes in their album Free Time.

Shonen Knife also has a timeless, muted appeal, never purporting to live the decadent rock ‘n roll lifestyle that froze other bands in time. If they’ve made dough in the last few decades, you wouldn’t be able to tell by their no-frills live shows and videos as Yamano, now with drummer Emi Morimoto and bassist Ritsuko Taneda, merrily takes Shonen Knife into a fourth decade of whimsy, optimism and songs about food.

Spare rock songs that showcase the heart and enthusiasm of these ladies. They’ve inspired everyone in the industry and promise to keep bringing the noise for a long time to come.

Echo website

PHIL HAYES solo show
11301 Olympic Blvd. #124, Los Angeles, CA, 90064

Otto & Philip: awakening memoirs found. told as linoprints
hand-printed linoprints by Phil Hayes

curated by Kio Griffith

OTTO & PHIL is an autobiography of illustrated memoirs by Phil Hayes, an artist working in animation for 20 years for the Simpsons, King of the Hill, Good Family and currently art directing for the Fox show, Bob’s Burgers in Los Angeles. Each of the 15 linoprints are handprinted and will be available as editions for purchase.

“As far back as I can remember, it was only my dad and me. When I was three years old, he told me that my mother had left us to go to heaven. When I was sixteen he sat me down to tell me that he had abducted me from my mother. She was still alive. When he told me this story, our real story, it all seemed so unreal. It was as though this story had happened to somebody else.”

“When I’m carving these images out of linoleum, it is as though I’m looking back at my childhood through the pages of a childrens’ picture book. ” (excerpts from “Otto & Philip”)

Balconi Coffee Company website

West Los Angeles College Fine Arts Gallery presents
9000 Overland Ave. Culver City, CA, 90230


with artwork by
Don Suggs, Jeffrey Vallance, Kio Griffith, Michael Arata, Doug HArvey, Steve Hurd, Kenneth Ober, Mark Dutcher, Scott Davis, Kristi Lippire, Jimmy Chertkow, Ernie Ramirez, Josh Miller, WLAC Printmaking Class, Marnie Weber, Laurie Steelink, Matt Wardell, Denise Davis, Suzanne Adelman, Jennifer Gradecki, Justin Cole, Dani Tull, Derek Curry, Keith Walsh, Tony Beringhele, Bill Farroux, Victoria Reynolds, Marcel Avevedo, Anna Sequeiros, and more!

Live music from
East of Lincoln
featuring jazz recording artist Diane Hubka

Prizes for best costume and most monstrous attitude.
Bring delicious seasonal treats to share.

Monsters of Art Facebook Event page

Angel City Arts presents
SUNDAY OCTOBER 30, 2011 7:30PM
8910 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA, 90232  |  310.559.6300  

JEFF GAUTHIER violin, effects
JOHN FUMO  trumpet, effects
DAVID WITHAM  piano, keyboard, effects
ALEX CLINE  drums, percussion

General Admission: $10  |  Students: $5  (available at the door)

Read the New York Times review of Open Source HERE!

Jeff Gauthier brings his “Goatette” into Royal T for a special album release and kickoff event for his 2 weeks curating The Stone in New York. Gauthier’s new release “Open Source” is his sixth CD as a leader. His ensemble of almost 20 years,The Jeff Gauthier Goatette features Alex Cline on drums and percussion, David Witham on piano and keyboards, and Scott Walton on bass. Trumpet player John Fumo the newest member of the ensemble and brings his distinctive sound to Gauthier’s new compositions.

Jeff Gauthier website

Royal/T website

Mark Moore Gallery presents
[OCTOBER 29-DECEMBER 17, 2011]
5790 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA, 90232  |  310.453.3031  

Mark Moore Gallery presents Rise of the Underground, a two-person exhibition featuring new works by Jeremy Fish (CA) and Kenichi Yokono (Japan). Each adopting the age-old craft of woodcutting through a distinctive contemporary technique, Fish and Yokono employ bold and enchanting cartoon-like narratives to illustrate quotidian and pop cultural excerpts. Unmistakably handmade and remarkably intriguing, Yokono’s woodblocks explore the “horrors of everyday life,” while Fish’s paintings and cut-outs reveal untapped histories often swept under the rug. Seemingly innocuous at first observation, each work is intricately laced with undercurrents of the sinister and the foreboding, saturated with cultural reflection, psychoanalysis, and social commentary in a fusion of high and low aesthetics.

Drawing from a background of graphic design, screen-printing, and skateboard culture, San Francisco-based Jeremy Fish celebrates and revives the ancient tradition of storytelling. Enlisting his whimsical band of stylized – yet sentimental – creatures to transmit his anecdotes, Fish embodies the “New Folk” methodology born of the Bay area’s “Mission School” artists, such as Barry McGee, Margaret Kilgallen, and Damon Soule. He astutely communicates Orwellian-influenced tales of lore, and grapples with complex human relationships to industry and labor. Somewhat biographical in origin, Fish’s storylines simultaneously rekindle folklorist oral tradition and respond to mass culture in a nostalgic visual language, enveloping viewers in its fantastical, mythical environment.

Sourcing prevalent facets of modern Japanese culture like anime, Manga, and yokai horror films, Kenichi Yokono’s meticulous carvings contrast rampant notions of globalization and consumerism with the overwhelming “cuteness” (or kawaii) found in his country’s commercial vernacular. Phantasmagorical and raw in nature, Yokono’s work is rife with disturbingly ominous overtones and explicit imagery, steeped in both ukiyo-e painting traditions – à la Hokusai – and enticing American skate culture. Referencing possibilities of sex, death, and the paranormal, his practice confronts the complex relationship between token and progressive Japanese culture through a similarly dualized color palette.

A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Jeremy Fish (born 1974, Albany, NY) received his BFA in 1998, and has had solo exhibitions in Mexico City, San Francisco, New York, Laguna Beach and Los Angeles. He has shown in collectives and group shows throughout the world, including Switzerland, Japan, Germany and most recently, Brazil, and has developed a number of international “Mobile Art Tours.” His work is featured in the permanent collection of the Laguna Art Museum (CA), as well as numerous private collections of note.

Born in 1972 (Kanazawa, Japan), Yokono was trained at the Kanazawa College of Art (Japan). He has had solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Vienna and Amsterdam, among numerous international group shows, and has been offered residencies at the McColl Center for Visual Art (NC) and the International Studio and Curatorial Program (NY). He was the recipient of the 2005 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship award, and the Tom Eccles Prize (NY), and was included in the 2011 VOCA Show (Tokyo). The artist lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.

Mark Moore Gallery website

Kenichi Yokono website 

Jeremy Fish website

Blue Whale presents
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, Los Angeles, CA 90012  |  213.620.0908

Vocalist-composer-bandleader Sara Serpa is “the magical voice” according to pianist Ran Blake, who knows a thing or two about singers. Her unadorned, vibratoless delivery has been described as “smooth as glass” and her ability to sing complex vocalese lines on an equal footing with instrumentalists marks her as one of the most innovative singers of recent years. Praised by All About Jazz as “the freshest vocalist on the scene at the moment,” the 31-year-old Serpa has risen from the Hot Clube Jazz of her native Lisbon to New York’s Village Vanguard in a surprisingly short time.

Serpa first studied classical singing and piano in her teens at the Conservatory of Music in Lisbon. “It enriched my musical vocabulary and my attitude towards life,” she says. “I had to learn great discipline and deep focus.” In Portugal, however, her only option to study music in college was to continue with classical music, “but at some point I felt I didn’t fit in that world,” she says. In college, she earned a degree in social work, although she maintained a strong interest in music outside of classes.

She was mostly attracted to the vibrant jazz scene at Lisbon’s Hot Clube Jazz, the country’s first and most famous jazz venue, and its affiliated school. “When I went there, I was feeling a bit discouraged with my musical experiences—I didn’t know exactly what my role in music was,” she says. “I started going to sessions at the club every week. It definitely changed my life and I discovered a new way to approach music.”

With a renewed focus on jazz and improvised music, she decided to come to the United States to study at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and later at the nearby New England Conservatory, where she received her Master’s in jazz performance in 2008. Among her teachers in Boston were pianists Danilo Perez and Ran Blake, vocalists Dominique Eade and Theo Bleckmann, trombonist Hal Crook, and saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi.

After graduating from NEC, Serpa moved to New York City, where her unique style quickly brought her to the attention of many of the city’s best musicians. Among them were saxophonist Greg Osby, who first heard her via streaming audio on a chance visit to her MySpace page. Based on what he heard, he invited her to join his band. “Greg supported my vision and working with him created so many opportunities and incredible musical experiences,” Serpa says. “It was amazing to sing at the Village Vanguard in my first year in New York; I will never forget that.” Her contributions to Osby’s 2008 recording, 9 Levels (Inner Circle Music) were widely hailed. “Serpa is especially impressive,” observed Peter Margasak in the Chicago Reader, “her wordless vocals locked to Osby’s sax lines in perfect tune.”

2008 also saw the release of her debut American album, Praia (Inner Circle Music), which features compositions from her time in Boston and her Boston band—pianist Vardan Ovsepian, guitarist Andre Matos, bassist John Lockwood, and drummer Nick Falk. Once more, critics praised her innovative approach to jazz singing. “She sings as an instrumentalist,” said Philip DiPietro in All About Jazz, “as a member of an ensemble with a bold conception, moving seamlessly as would a saxophonist from melodist to soloist, or from a front line horn to an ensemble voice—not the star of some show.”

In 2010, Serpa again mined her Boston experiences for Camera Obscura, a duet album with her formerNEC teacher, pianist Ran Blake. Writing of the album in Lucid Culture, Alan Young said, “She approaches these songs with a devastating clarity and vulnerability. … Together these two have raised the bar for jazz singing – and accompaniment – to an absurdly high level.” Tackling standards in Blake’s company taught Serpa that “it’s all about the melody,” she says. “I have to know the melody really well and be strong when I am singing it.”

Serpa’s rapid advance to the forefront of new jazz singers has also included an appearance on her NEC professor Danilo Perez’s 2010 Grammy nominated Providencia (Mack Avenue Records). Both Blake and Perez “have really shaped my vision as a musician and are a constant source of inspiration and friendship,” she says. She now also fronts her own New York quintet with guitarist Matos, pianist Kris Davis, bassist Ben Street, and drummer Ted Poor. Their debut recording is due out in 2011.

Since moving to the United States, Serpa has performed with Danilo Perez, Ran Blake, Greg Osby, Ben Street, Thomas Morgan, Esperanza Spalding, , Tyshawn Sorey, Kris Davis, Adam Cruz, John Hébert, Matt Brewer, Tommy Crane, Ted Poor, Noah Preminger, Joe Martin, André Matos, Vardan Ovsepian, among many others, and has toured in the US, Europe and Australia.

“Serpa may well establish herself in the top tiers of singers in the next few years,” says Bill Shoemaker in Point of Departure. With so many accomplishments in such a short time, she seems well on her way to fulfilling that prediction.

Sara Serpa website

BlueWhale website