The Jazzcat

Kim Richmond / Clay Jenkins Ensemble at LACMA

by on Sep.04, 2004, under News


Additional Photos

Once again, no where to sit in the perfectly cool afternoon

here at the LA County Museum of Art but, that does not matter. Just to be in

the company of those who love jazz music is comfort enough, not to mention the

outstanding performance of the Kim Richmond / Clay Jenkins Ensemble.

I appreciate today’s performance especially because I

expected to hear these cats play it straight but, I was pleasantly pleased to

hear all of that creative sound right out of the fifties. No emulation, but their

own sound that takes you back to the small, smoky clubs where this music was

born. LACMA turned into a place where feet were tappin’ and everyone was all up

in the music!

I have heard Clay before so from him, I knew I would hear

great things. I had not heard the others in the front line before but, each

held their own and brought the music up to another level. Kim Richmond is a

composer and arranger who writes music for orchestras so you can imagine what

he can do with a smaller ensemble. Tonight he played his alto although; his

talents cover the whole spectrum of the wind instruments. Impressive solos from

the entire front line with some beautiful harmonies played in the mix. Joey

Sellers played fantastic on trombone. Each player distinguished their own sound

while still supporting and creating nice textures and layers. At times blending

their tones together and sounding like a solo instrument.

Chris Simon, on bass, kept the lower register sounding

superb next to the stellar Joe Labarbara on Drums. Joe is of course known for

being a solid building block of many of Los

Angeles’s finer jazz ensembles.Together, these two cats along with Rick Eames on Piano, provided

a rhythmic foundation steeped in the roots of traditional straight ahead jazz. 

The 2nd set broke out in Blue Note Fashion with

dynamic signature and killer harmonics. Their sound seems to be an atypical mix

West Coast and East Coast styles. The embellishments are not incarcerated by a

strict formula but, are free to explore a universe of notes. Most often

choosing those that intrigue as appose to just merely satisfying the pallet. All

in all, it was an outstanding performance by the Kim Richmond and Clay Jenkins


LeRoy Downs



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