Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Monday Night JAZZ JAM Session at Barbara Morrison's

The Monday Night JAZZ JAM Session at Barbara Morrison's 

Leimert Park 4305 DEGNAN # 101 LA CA 90008 [ Just East of Crenshaw ]  

 It's a quiet Monday night. I drive over to Leimert Park.
Barbara Morrisson has invited me  to her Jazz Packed 
Jam Session earlier this year and I have been meaning 
to stop by to see what's cookin'. Not sure what to expect.
Walking up into the courtyard, I smell fresh food: fish 
frying on the grill, spicy greens and sweet potatoes, for 
five dollars ? Oh yeah, only another five to get in, cool.

This place has a rich history and from what I can hear on 
the stage, a well guaranteed future. Ms. Morrison is one of 
the Jazz greats, she opened this spot as a non profit which 
provides a place for kids to learn music, up & comers to 
hone their craft and professionals to get out of the house 
and showcase, experiment or simply to woodshed a new 
number or two. For the citizens of Los Angeles, music lovers,
jazz curious or well versed, this is a gift. The gig starts at 
eight, I enter around 9pm and things are already rockin'.  

The MC is Jacques LeSeur, a guitarist with a mellow and 
straight ahead style, all around bon vivant and a very 
welcoming fellow to those on and off the stage. Your made 
to feel that this is your place: all colors, all styles seem to 
be represented. Young recent graduates, those still in their 
intermediate phase and professionals such as Scotty Barhart, 
who has just been appointed a leadership position with the 
great Count Basie Orchestra. I recently picked up an old LP 
on Vinyl with The Count and Sinatra throwing down, yeah.
Scotty busts out his trumpet and pierces the ceiling open.

There are a handful of drummers in the house and they share 
the stage accordingly: Curtis Perkins, Giovanni Nickens, Fritz 
Wise and young cat who had me reeling late into the evening, 
Mr. Brandon Bridges. Vocalists trying out new and standard 
tunes: Simply Charles threw down a lovely version of 'Christina'. 
Carla Barbarese with 'Everything must change' and a lady who 
went by the single name of Constance had a lovely, fun and 
mellow tone. When Bobby West stepped up to the piano, I 
knew I was in the presence of a master technician & musician.
Waterfall like orchestrations that soothed and scintillated. 
Pros like Mr West, who lives in Holland, will drop by to say 
hi to Barbara, stretch out a bit and jam with the L.A. crew.

So many people took the stage, It felt like a 3 AM jazz session 
in Greenwich Village. Forgive me if I missed your name, or 
spelled it wrong, I hadn't planned on working. But It's difficult 
not to share a well kept secret like this particular spot which 
deserves support and has everything to offer the residents of 
Los Angeles. The streets were so quiet, the parking was ample, 
the food and music were great, I can see no reason why this spot 
shouldn't be jumping with people, who frankly need to get out 
of the house and listen to some live music much more often 
than they do. It was a very inspiring evening of live jazz. 

I kept thinking about how music can be sacred, especially 
jazz, theres a high wire aspect in jamming with folks you may 
never have played with, even a standard tune becomes some 
thing different in situations such as these, it was a beautiful 
scene.  Affordable.  Entertaining.  Exciting even.  I'm down.

The bevy of players and vocalist' s include: Chuck Manning, 
Joyce Wilson, Daryl Moore, Brian McNeil, James Leary, Sabine 
Poitier, Dee Stone, Ann Mack as well as the Poet Barbara Lee.

Jacques is also supporting a fundraiser at Catalina's Bar & Grill 
on December 17th 2013 for a very well intentioned cause and 
has a Crenshaw-X-Mas Album that is currently available. Of 
course Barbara Morrison has albums available and can be heard 
on local Jazz Radio stations wherever you are reading this article 
from: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New York City or 
Europe where she has just returned from a recent tour. Look for 
a full Audio Interview with Ms. Morrison on the main site soon.

ALSO: Listen to The AUDIO Interview with MILES PERLICH on 
Our Main Magazine Site at: BUREAUofARTSandCULTURE.COM

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