THE LA PLAYERS are a great collective of some of the finest musicians in the world. As a Poet and jazz singer I have been blessed to share the stage with so many fine tuned masters of the genre. I know, it sounds lofty and grand, especially if you’ve worked the “sessions” and jazz club circuit the actual jazz gigs in LA are very few.
When I book a show, the musicians I hire are THE LA PLAYERS. Most of the LA PLAYERS are also a headliner in their own trio or quartet, big band, etc. It all depends on the gig. They have all had their own records, gigs and have all played in the band as a band member backing each other up. That’s the way the genre is. Very respectful and tight.
I’ve sang with, gigged with, sat in at, and spent Christmas with some very fine and talented people.
Whenever I’ve had a gig, I call on saxophone player Zane Musa, and if he’s available, and the pay is not insulting, we’ll see who else Zane would like to play with. He’s a trusty bandleader, the musicians love and respect him, and he’s got a great ear. He is seriously one of the finest voices on the saxophone. He also doubles on the piano and he knows all my keys.
Zane Musa has a jam session Sunday nights, Downtown at Dinner House M (1263 West Temple 90026)
Herb Alpert and I did the Jump Street single together but didn’t do any live gigs, but he’s a Honorary LA PLAYER. He keeps the players working as well, with his jazz club up Beverly Glen.
Scott Mayo and Boney James have graced my recorded music. Ryan Cross, Lorca Hart, Ryan Feves, Fren Askin, have been LA PLAYERS. Tony Austin.
I’ve sat in with Joe Firstman many times of the Carson Daly Show.
He’s a real sweetheart, always making an effort to keep the jazz players working.
Ray Manzarek of the DOORS has been an LA PLAYER and even played Ghengis Cohen with me on Fairfax. That was pretty fun gig. As most of you know, Ray produced me for Warner Jazz.
Karl Vincent, Louis Taylor, are LA PLAYERS and were on those special recordings.
When you’re a jazz player in Los Angeles, you go from gig to gig, venue to venue and some may be lucky to book a residency, and luckier if the venue survives on the jazz for more than a year.
The LA PLAYERS
There’s the Jazz Bakery, Catalina’s, and she actually relocated from her original spot on Cahuenga, and there are some hit and miss venues that the players will rotate thru. Downtown LA at the Biltmore. Ryan Cross, the bass virtuoso is there every Saturday.
Some people don’t know the history of jazz in Los Angeles. A lot of artists that have studied music, readying themselves for the move to The Big Apple setting their sights on what they believe is the only outlet for real jazz, leave Los Angeles to acredit another city with their special skills.
It’s true there isn’t much when it comes to the real jazz venue out here, but the skill are a-plenty and we actually have a great history of the genre here in Los Angeles.
to be continued…