Django Night - June 15 in Los Angeles

CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
edited June 2006 in North America Posts: 271
If you're on the East Coast in June, you better be heading up to Massachusetts for the Django in June shows. Lollo, Andreas, Wrebel, Kliphuis, plus you get to hang out with Michael and Jack...what more could you want? Huh? You want more info? Okay, try looking here:

But if you're in Los Angeles and can't afford the plane ticket, I'd like to invite you to a show I'm organizing. It's Django Night at Mr. T's Bowl, and it's happening on Thursday, June 15. It's a free show filled with many acts you won't see at a Djangofest. That's not a dig on Djangofest; they totally rule. We're just taking a slightly different approach, having Django enthusiasts who play in many different styles pay tribute to their hero.

Here's some info on the line-up:

Jeremy Drake & Nels Cline: Guitarist Jeremy Drake has received acclaim for his performances with groups like Team Up, Bedouin Hornbook, and Mount Washington, as well as for line/space/line, the improvised music concert series he co-organized. Guitarist Nels Cline is well-known to folks in both the jazz and rock scenes for his solo work and for his work with groups like the Geraldine Fibbers and Wilco.

Joe Baiza: Best known as the co-founder and guitarist of jazz/punk heroes Saccharine Trust, he’s also the driving force behind the Mecolodiacs and Universal Congress Of. For Django Night, Mr. Baiza will team up with drummer Brian Christopherson (Saccharine Trust, Guns Books and Tools) and bassist Anthony Shadduck (Universal Congress Of, The Eye Bright Buglers).

Killsonic: Purveyors of “East L.A. avant garde.” Killsonic mix bebop chops, punk energy, and avant composition into something indefinable that’s uniquely Angeleno.

Tango Nuevo: A quartet of alto sax, accordion, classical guitar, and double bass. They’re equally at home with chamber jazz, old guard tango, and Astor Piazzolla’s modernist compositions.

****: Mr. **** is a devotee of the Django school of guitar playing, with an interest in both the earliest Hot Club recordings and the later, bop-influenced compositions.

Jessica Fichot: The evening’s official representative for the chanson tradition, in which Django was often employed as an accompanist to Parisian singers. Ms. Fichot learned her trade at Berklee School of Music and in Paris, where she lived for several years.

Frankie & Paloma: A guitar/violin duo that will undoubtedly shine a light on Django’s collaborations with violinist Stephane Grappelli.

Cat Hair Ensemble: (This one is my band.) Club-footed waltzes, nervous tangos, and gallow's swing. Old World dance tunes for New World losers.

Music starts at 8:30 p.m. This show is free. Mr. T's Bowl is located at 5621 1/2 N. Figueroa in Highland Park (90042, for you MapQuest types), between Ave. 56 and Ave. 57. Club entrance and free parking in rear. 21 and over.

If you want more info, feel free to send me a PM.


  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752
    That sounds like a total blast-you should send it on the road!
  • ViejoVatoViejoVato New
    Posts: 80
    Man ... Cuiman ... you look to have put together a strong front line there ...
    It's only an 8 or 9 hour drive from where we live, but I already have other vacation plans ...
    Drat !!!!

    congratulations on your show and good luck ...

    Miller & debs
    "I don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way"
    my granny 'Meme' Foster circa 1998 at age 102
    Django Jerry Jam - home grown GJ & Dead Ahead pickin'
  • Posts: 49
    Will there be Djamming? Obligatory t-shirts?? :)
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 271
    Tonight is Django Night at Mr. T's Bowl! It's an evening of music written and inspired by Django Reinhardt and played by some of L.A.'s most creative musicians. Dig it:

    Thursday, June 15
    Mr. T's Bowl
    5621 1/2 N. Figueroa
    (between Ave. 56 & Ave. 57)
    Highland Park, CA 90042
    8:30 pm

    performances by

    Frankie Palmer & Paloma Udovic
    Erich Von Kneip
    Cat Hair Ensemble
    Jessica Fichot
    The Killsonic Navy's land-based offshoot, The Hot Club of City Terrace
    Tango Nuevo
    Jeremy Drake & Nels Cline

    This show is free, though we will certainly accept tips for the bands.

    Please note: Joe Baiza has taken ill and will not be able to make tonight's show. In his stead will be Mr. Erich Von Kneip ( We'd like to wish Joe a speedy recovery and offer our thanks to Erich for filling in at the last minute.

    We won't have djamming or T-shirts, unfortunately. If all goes well tonight, I'll think about doing this again next year and figure out a way to involve the crowd a bit more. And sell some shirts. :)

    See you there!
  • nwilkinsnwilkins New
    Posts: 431
    you know I would be there if I could Rod :)
  • CuimeanCuimean Los AngelesProdigy
    Posts: 271
    Here's a long-winded post-mortem on last night's show:

    - - - - - - -

    Django Night was last night, and I'd say it was a success. Hooray! The place was packed, everyone played on time, the musicians were all incredibly cool, and the music was sublime.

    Guitarist Frankie Palmer, violinist Paloma Udovic and their guitarist friend (I didn't catch his name...Craig, I think) opened the evening with "Limehouse Blues." I was at the bar when they started, and one of the old regulars, who was well into his cups, perked up and started singing along. That was my first hint that it was going to be a fun evening. They then played "Dinah" and another tune that may have been an original or an old country blues number. Overall, their sound reminded me a bit of the Farr Bros. jazz played by people versed in jazz and country music.

    **** played next. He and Jim, his rhythm guitarist, opened with "Swing Gitan" and had the audience eating out of their hands from the get go. Jim's rhythm was rock solid and Tommy's solos were sharp and extremely tasty. They also played "Django's Waltz," an Angelo Debarre tune (something based on some Slavic folk tunes...I can't remember the name), a waltz by Wasso Grunholz, and "Minor Blues." They got a few folks up and dancing, and I'm pretty sure the crowd liked 'em, because I heard a healthy buzzing around the room when they finished.

    Joe Baiza was scheduled to play next but had to cancel due to a sinus infection. Erich Von Kneip was generous enough to fill in at the last minute, and he was amazing. He took out a cool old Epiphone archtop, plugged right into the PA, and started playing and singing. I saw many a toe tapping during his set. My recollection is starting to get a bit fuzzy, but if I remember correctly, he started with "Sweet Georgia Brown," moved on to "After You've Gone," "Chinatown, My Chinatown," and ended with "Dinah." I dug both his singing and his guitar playing; the former was smoky and full of fun old-school jazzy phrasing, and the latter was punchy and playful. I can't wait to play with him again.

    Cat Hair played after Mr. Von Kneip. We opened with "Swing 48," moved on to "Diminushing," and then played my arrangement of "Tears." I was really proud of the way the guys played, especially on "Tears." It was a pretty dense arrangement I did, with our drummer, Chris Kidd, playing clarinet and our guitarist, Clint Heidorn, playing a long, written-out single-note line that went along with the trumpet and clarinet in a kind of faux-"Mood Indigo" kinda way. Joe Tepperman played the melody on the bass trombone and rocked the house. I played drums. Yay. I was so jazzed after "Tears" that I called for another tune, forgetting that we hadn't rehearsed anything other than the three Django tunes for the last month. We played "Staggerology" and I stunk up the room with a terrible solo. Oh, well. That's how things go sometimes. I shoulda quit while we were ahead.

    Jessica Fichot played after us. Cat Hair bassist Mike Ibarra played bass, Chris Kidd sat in on drums, and I played guitar. We did one of Jessica's great tunes, a peppy gypsy jazz/chanson number called "Le Grenier." Jessica sang in French and played accordion. We moved on to "Embrasse-les tous," a great George Brassens tune. I was kind of aprehensive about the opening lick, which I had been mercilessly screwing up in practice, but I nailed it. We ended with a Mexican Christmas song called "Las Pesces." Jessica learned it from a Lhasa de Sela record but had her own cool, swinging arrangement that involved upping the tempo with each verse. We were all going ape shit by the end of the tune. It was fun.

    Mike Ibarra stayed onstage for his third set of the evening, this time with his the mighty Killsonic. Their spiritual leader/moral compass, reedman Brian Walsh, was in Taiwan, so the remaining members played as the Hot Club of City Terrace. They opened with a really nice version of "Swing Gitan," then moved on to a Hot Club-style take on a Bobby Bradford tune. (Mr. Bradford is a local musician and educator who played with Ornette Coleman, among many others.) Killsonic are really, really good at hitting an audience with super-tight post-bop jazz, breaking it down into shards of noise, and re-assembling it. This was in full effect for their version of "Daphne," with which they closed their set. The melody was stated by trombone and melodica, ripped to shreds by the guitars and the trumpet as Mike and Frank, the drummer, kept a steady pulse, and then brought back from the dead, much to the delight of the audience.

    Tango Nuevo followed Killsonic. They're a quartet made up of alto sax, upright bass, accordion, and nylon-string guitar. They're also incredible musicians and composers. They started with "La Foule," a tune popular with musette accordionists. It's actually a Peruvian waltz. They were in fine form from the beginning, with Noah, the bassist, doing some awesome slapping that really puncuated the 6/8 rhythm. I believe their second tune was an original. It was incredibly dense, full of dark accordion chords and unexpected rhythmic stabs. The next tune took me by surprise. I had heard from Sam, the sax player, that they would likely do an arrangement of "Nuages" similar to the one played by the Tango Kings. But instead, they rocked "Panique," one of Baro Ferret's avant-garde musette tunes. They had a really cool arrangement, and they totally nailed it. I was shouting like a moron when they finished. Tango Nuevo ended with a lovely Astor Piazzolla tune.

    The evening ended with a duet set by guitarists Jeremy Drake and Nels Cline. They started with the intro to Django's "Autumn Reverie" and quickly enveloped the room in sound. Jeremy and Nels both used a wide array of effects pedals to create a swirling cyclone of notes and noise. It was awesome. Then, out of the whirlwind, they played "Fleche d'or," one of Django's last compositions. They then moved into another late Django tune, "Impromptu." I thought their radical take on these tunes was a fitting homage to Django's adventurous spirit. It had melody, dissonnance, and atmosphere, and it was the perfect capper to a really fun evening.

    Big thanks to all of the musicans who played, all of the people who came out, anyone who dropped cash into the tip jars (even the person who gave us a quarter), the folks who helped get the word out, and the staff at Mr. T's Bowl.
  • Posts: 49
    Did anyone do any (cough cough) recording? :oops:
  • B25GibB25Gib Bremerton WA✭✭✭✭ Holo Busato, Dell'Arte Hommage, Gitane D-500, Eastman AR805
    Posts: 184
    .....Wow, sounds like a great evening. Congrats on the work you did bringing this together. I'm sure it will be even better next year! So good to read a critique written by a musician who describes the arrangements and the instruments doing the Heads and melody lines and not just a non-musician fan writing a column. Keep up the good work!
    .....Jam on, Rocky
  • AndoAndo South Bend, INModerator Gallato RS-39 Modèle Noir
    Posts: 277
    Nice work, Rod! Wish I could've been there. Now you have some material, perhaps, to send to Marc Ribot -- with an invite to play at next year's show? It sounds like his kind of environment. Very cool. Way to keep things fresh!

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