L.A., Hear Richard Sears

Performing tonight, Dec. 11, 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., at The Blue Whale (Los Angeles), opening for Endangered Blood.

Richard SearsRick (self-released, 2010)

“Opening” isn’t quite the word for Sears’ band’s show tonight. Down in Los Angeles today/tonight, Sears, Endangered Blood, and a cast of dozens will be performing tonight, a benefit show for The Blue Whale, a venue that’s been good to the creative music scene.

Like the poster (at right) says, the festival starts at 12:30 p.m. and goes and goes and goes.

As mentioned earlier, pianist Richard Sears was the catalyst for this series of posts about some of the opening acts on Endangered Blood’s western tour. So, we’ve come kind of full circle, to tonight’s show and the album Rick.

It’s far from your typical jazz album; in fact, if anything, Rick bears resemblance to the work Jim Black has done with his band, Alas No Axis. Sears spends a lot of his time on organ or electric piano playing foil to Adam Ratner’s jangly, pounding guitar and Louis Cole’s drumming. Sax from Sam Gendel or Doug Mosher tops things off. It’s a fresh combination full of new energy.

Like Alas No Axis, the band on Rick hits a mix of jazz ideas and indie rock. It’s a lively combination on faster tracks like “Rick” and “Radio Flyer,” which kick off the album. Things slow down from there but get no less interesting. “Blue Whale, Blue Wail” is a soaring slow burn, and “11:11,” where acoustic piano actually shows up, is a quiet and thoughtful track bringing the album to a nice close.

It’s time for the big confession about Endangered Blood: I didn’t get to the show in Oakland last night, and I knew all along that I wouldn’t, due to a family commitment. I hope the turnout was great, and I wish I could jet down to L.A. for this Blue Whale festival, which sounds amazing. Hopefully, all this typing has done some good to help support the shows. And on a selfish note, I’ve learned a little about some artists new to me, such as Sears. That’s always an exciting journey.