With only a few days left, the Kickstarter for the film The Gathering: Roots and Branches of Los Angeles Jazz is still well short of its goal.
That would be a tough blow for a group of musicians who’ve had their share of them. The liner notes of The Nimbus Collective’s Live in Lotusland CD say it well:
The social consequences of trying to play serious music in an area as shallow and fad-driven as Los Angeles and its environs were too much to deal with, and the band broke up after playing less than a dozen times.
Since discovering this project — which would fund post-production of a documentary film of a 2005 concert (more info here) — I’ve been sampling bits of the L.A. jazz scene. Not cheesy smooth jazz or Hollywood big-band stuff, mind you, but a soulful, post-post-bop style that had Horace Tapscott as a captain and John Carter and Bobby Bradford as champions.
It’s a lively corner of the jazz world that doesn’t deserve to be overlooked. Check out The Gathering’s Kickstarter page.
Here’s one of The Gathering’s more avant-garde tracks: “Agony in the Garden,” by Roberto Miranda. I’d also recommend the epic 26-minute version of “Desert Fairy Princess,” a Jesse Sharps composition with a catchy mellow-funk bassline.