Black history month in Los Angeles is going to happen a little differently this year. Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge worked with us to choose some of their favorite soul jazz masters to create a special month of programming to celebrate Black History Month.
Brian Jackson is an American keyboardist, flautist, singer, composer, and producer known for his collaborations with Gil Scott-Heron in the 1970s. The sound of Jackson’s Rhodes electric piano and flute accompaniments featured prominently in many of their compositions, most notably on “The Bottle” and “Your Daddy Loves You” from their first official collaboration Winter in America. TICKETS HERE.
In the early 1960s, Gary Bartz performed with Eric Dolphy and McCoy Tyner in Charles Mingus’s Jazz Workshop. He worked as a sideman with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln before joining Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. In 1968 he was a member of McCoy Tyner’s band Expansions. In mid-1970 he joined Miles Davis’s band, performing live at the Isle Of Wight festival in August, and at a series of December dates at The Cellar Door club in Washington, D.C. Portions of these shows were initially released on the 1971 Live-Evil album, with the entire six performance/four night run eventually released in full on the 2005 Cellar Door Sessions box set. He later formed the band Ntu Troop, which combined jazz, funk, and soul. Bartz was awarded the BNY Mellon Jazz 2015 Living Legacy Award, presented at a special ceremony at The Kennedy Center. In the liner notes to the album The Red and Orange Poems, jazz critic Stanley Crouch called Bartz “one of the very best who has ever picked up the instrument”. TICKETS HERE.
American funk, soul, and jazz composer, vibraphone player, and music producer, Roy Ayers began his career as a post-bop jazz artist, releasing several albums with Atlantic Records, before his tenure at Polydor Records beginning in the 1970s, during which he helped pioneer jazz-funk. He is a key figure in the acid jazz movement, which is a mixture of jazz into hip-hop and funk, and has been dubbed by many as “The Godfather of Neo Soul”. He is most well known for his signature compositions “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” and “Searchin”, but his biggest hit in the States, U.K. & Europe was “Running Away”—an absolute sublime, killer slice of hard Jazz Funk and is also famous for having more sampled hits by rappers than any other artist. TICKETS HERE.