LAJC Last Saturdays May 30th @ Curve Line Space: JoE-LeSs shOe, Richard Sears Group featuring Steve Cotter

posted by Gary Fukushima

It’s been nearly a month since our first show, which launched our concert series at Curve Line Space in Eagle Rock.  We had such a tremendous turnout, thanks to our incredible performers that evening, the duo of Larry Koonse and Darek Oles, and Walter Smith III and his trio.  We hope to keep the momentum going with two more outstanding groups:



Matt Otto, Jason Harnell, Jamie Rosenn, a.k.a. JoE-LeSs shOe

These three friends have been a part of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective from the beginning when our organization was created back in 2008.  It started as a simple cooperative partnership between like-minded jazz musicians, and saxophonist Matt Otto, drummer Jason Harnell and guitarist Jamie Rosenn have a tremendous simpatico musically, although they are all quite different personally (aside from being white guys who play jazz).  These three were part of what was the early stages of the rebirth of a modern jazz movement in LA, mirroring what was happening in New York from the early 1990’s onward, at a time when it was really difficult to see or hear much innovation coming out of the few jazz clubs in Los Angeles.  Their band, JoE-LeSs shOe, is of course a play on the infamous baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson, and is also a reference and a tribute to their good friend Joe Bagg, a pianist/organist who does not play in this group.  Their instrumentation is the same as the legendary trio of Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano/Paul Motian, and they certainly capture the sound and spirit of the veteran jazz icons, at the same time adding another layer of bombast and sonic irreverence.  Matt Otto is the visionary who initiated the discussions that ultimately led to the creating of the LAJC, and even though he moved away from LA several years ago, he is still an integral part of everything we stand for and hope to accomplish.

Richard Sears

Pianist Richard Sears has been a promising young musician in Los Angeles for years, and his stock has risen dramatically as of late, with performances with New York stalwarts like Ben Street, Billy Hart and  Mark Turner, and engagements with LA-based musicians such as Roy McCurdy, Steve Cotter and Putter Smith.  He was on the main stage at the 2013 Angel City Jazz Festival, when he put together a musical tribute to Albert “Tootie” Heath, featuring the legendary jazz artist himself on the drums.  Sears’ improvisatory ideas unfurl from his imagination in a fluid, unhurried manner, tempered by exquisite pianistic control.  Richard has played a big part in bringing high quality music to Curve Line Space, and we are excited to have him appear on our series.  His quartet features Sam Gendel on saxophone, bassist Garret Lang and drummer Christian Euman, whom we just heard last month in Walter Smith’s trio.  UPDATE: Richard will also have special guest guitaristSteve Cotter with him for several tunes.  Richard recently collaborated with Steve on a brand new recording project under Steve’s name.

Here’s to another great evening of music at the hippest art gallery in the hippest part of Los Angeles.


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