Cameron Graves, Planetary Prince Album Release, The Troubadour

March 16, 2017 The “world famous” Troubadour is not the first venue that comes to mind for boundary morphing contemporary piano driven ensemble jazz. But then, the L.A. based collective known as the West Coast Get Down, has yet to do anything by the books. It’s been a heady 2017 already for these dudes coming on the heels of bassist Miles Mosley’s headlining date at the El Rey in January, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr.’s album release party at the Teragram a few weekends back and saxophonist Kamasi Washington’s post-Epic musical and visual installation for the Whitney Biennial in NYC. Last week, it was pianist Cameron Graves turn to front this band of one/band of many, for the drop of his stellar CD, “Planetary Prince” on Mack Avenue Records (disclaimer, more astronomical adjectives could follow). Like Mosley before him, Graves got a well deserved shout out as one of 10 new artists you need to know this year by Rolling Stone, and for good reason IMHO. My ears have been pretty stuck on “Planetary Prince” the past few weeks. With eight tracks covering almost 80 minutes and the shortest clocking in at 7:28, there is an emotional arc to each built […]

Anders Osborne, The Troubadour

November 11, 2016 A bill of New Orleans’ Anders Osborne with Texas drenched songwriter James McMurtry at the Troubadour was just the salve for this soul after a tumultuous and historic week. Both delivered on a night of well spun tales and songwriting excellence armed with nothing more than a few guitars and a stirring songbook. When Osborne announced his second date at the Troubadour this year (he performed with his current band in late March), it came as a bonus to any Southland fan. Osborne has been prolific of late, releasing two records just this year (Flower Box and Spacedust & Ocean Views). And, yes, as a guitar jam junkie I missed the full monty of his plugged in band, but the depth of his quieter tunes shown brilliantly in this solo setting, as it has when I’ve happened upon acoustic Osborne with frequent mates John Fohl and Johnny Sansone at Liuzza’s By The Track, or Chickie Wah Wah in New Orleans, or sharing the stage with the Southern Soul Assembly of Luther Dickinson, Osborne, JJ Grey and Marc Broussard here in Los Angeles in 2014. Friday at the Troub, his vocals were as strong and clear and poignant […]