The Jazzcat

Kamasi Washington and Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl!

by on Aug.27, 2017, under News

Talk about a sky rocket! Light the fuse and the sky is not even the limit. I can’t tell you how proud and honored we are to be a part of the jazz life that changed the world! When I say “we”, I’m talking about the entire city of Los Angeles and beyond. This is one of ours and an exemplary example of hard work, dedication and belief in the power of self. Music, the healer and the elixir that soothes our souls and Kamasi is at the forefront of the thing we call jazz.

Forever, when you hear the global masses mention the word jazz, a few names are brought up in conversations. These names are basically brought up to show the other people in the conversation that, “I’m hip, I’m cool or I know jazz too; sort of a basic platform to start a conversation about the music. And when mentioned, only the first names or one syllable nick names are used to emphasize the personal relationship that the individual has with the music. It takes a lifetime in the music before you can be relegated to worldwide, one name recognition. You know who I’m talkin’ about; “Miles”, “Trane”, “Lee”, “Freddie”, “Buhina” and now “KAMASI”.

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

 

For years Kamasi had been honing his sound and writing music that fits the sounds of his life long friends. Kamasi didn’t have to go looking for a band, they all grew up in the backyard, and together they encompass The Next Step! Tonight Kamasi is here with two drummers Tony Austin and Ronald Brunner, Dontae Winslow on Trumpet, Ryan Porter on Trombone and Ricky “Papa” Washington on soprano, Cameron Graves and Brandon Coleman on piano, Miles Mosley on bass, Patrice Quinn on vocals and DJ Battlecat on the wheels along with a full string section and nine piece choir, lead by the great composer and arranger Double Gee; Epic indeed! This is the biggest sound you are going to get here at the Bowl. Pure unadulterated POWER, plain and simple!

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

 

I know there is always lots of music in this town but tonight, this is the ticket! The World is the stage. Father Time and Mother Earth have been patiently waiting; clearing the pallet for this phenomenal sound. In 2015 they fired up the ship, squeezed onto the stage at the Regent Theater, launched the expedition around the world and made a perfect landing right here at the Bowl! Professor Boogie, Hot Sauce Brandon Coleman on the tune “Giant Feelings”. Strings and voice make the absolute sweetest sound, all based in love! Patrice reaches the heavens with her sultriness! Brother Brandon breaks out the vocoder and shortly followed by DJ Battlecat mixin’ James Brown in the mix. This is undoubtedly the best recipe to be fed by the music! “The Magnificent 7”, Kamasi is letting the fire loose on this one which features our man in arms Miles Mosley, Dontae Winslow, Bruner and Austin, all the torches and definite burners!

 
Kamasi premiered music from a 6 part suite from a video entitled, “Truth”, played live for the first time tonight. All in all power, truth, life long friendships, dedication to self and a sound embraced by the planet is not just his-story, it’s our story too!

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging


Herbie is up and it is so good to see the other brother from Mother Crenshaw, Terrace Martin as the newest member of the Herbie Hancock band! Like Miles, Herbie has a way of recognizing genius and making sure to acquire said assets for music dividends; a shrewd futures investor. My man Lionel Loueke, super exquisite and rare gem on guitar, along with James Genus and long time drummer and friend Vinnie Colaiuta start the set off with a never been heard original. Terrace is doing double duty on keyboards and alto, just a small sample of his many talents. Young in age yes, but Terrace has lived life and persists on keeping it all super real. With the music yes, but with life as well. It was only a few years ago that we were watching these cats grow up and carve out their sounds over in Leimert Park at Billy Higgins stage. Terrace know the fruits of what life can offer through the music but, he has not at all over looked the struggles and sacrifices that family and extended family have made in order for him to be the guy that he is. He continues to be an advocate for the kids, those without opportunities and a strong vocal point for community in a large, “give back” kind of way. Through the vail of Valerian armor, fame and fortune play second fiddle to truth, justice, creative sound and a golden heart!

In the studio as of late with Herbie, I’m sure it has been mutually beneficial; inspiration coming and flowing in all directions. The result is new music on the planet infused by the genius of young and old. Terrace will be producing Herbie’s next album; fresh ideas right from your neighborhood hero planting “Pollyseeds” throughout the world and growing new millennial conscious fruit that will feed the minds of tomorrow!

Herbie has always been fascinated with technology and Lionel, a wonder all to himself, comes with a once in a lifetime bag of remedies; nutrients for musical longings you didn’t even know you had until you heard the sound. Unique West African polyrhythmic approaches to 2050 revelations in sound and thought united with a global jazz consciousness brings about dynamic change.

One original sound with funky beats and grooves taking splashes of Hancock standards and blending personal mixes of everyone’s spirit. Quite a departure from four four and certainly a convergence of multi-genres at the crossroads of captivating music. “Actual Proof” originally done by Herbie’s, “Head Hunters” is getting lit up and twisted 2017 style! “Come Running to Me” has Herbie throwing down on the vocorder sparking new flavors inside old deliciousness.

Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging

Herbie Hancock has always been a seeker, a true musician and entertainer. An integral part of the original think tank of the music. Jazz music, unencumbered and relentless on getting sonic ideas expressed on paper, shared with a group of creative minds, recorded, then broadcast to the globe to hear the message. An emoting love and happiness in the sound, activism and struggle, and the beauty of personal and world travels continue to contribute to his mastery.

This is it! A crucial pinnacle moment in the music, not a torch passed on but, shared in this jazz life of music and inspiration. We are witnessing a shift in the paradigm, the music as our savior, our elixir against the evil orange foes that plague the minds of the not knowing. Beautiful conscious spirits and truth tellers are leaving this planet for peace in the heaven’s at an extremely rapid rate. I hope you have been listening and learning because now, as in always it’s us against them. Jazz offers love through music and folks like Herbie and now Kamasi as well as so many others are the power. Stand with the music, stand with the love. Let’s bring the world back to the loving and free consciousness of a pure, inquisitive, unfettered openness of a child. Come out and get your live dose and buy the recording for your refill.

LeRoy Downs


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