Snarky Puppy | The Troubadour | 8/2/14 [PHOTOS]

Ever since Snarky Puppy beat my favorite neo-soul band of 2013, Hiatus Kaiyote for the Best R&B Performance Grammy this year, I had to look them up and figure out who they were.

I’ll admit … the first video clip  supporting their release of “Family Dinner- Volume 1”. It was Lalah Hathaway singing a song titled “Something” … and she harmonized with herself… let me say that again … SHE HARMONIZED WITH HERSELF!!!

That video was mind blowing, and I’ll have to admit the music, separate from the mind-blowing vocal gymnastics performed by Lalah, was pretty damn good.

Based out of New York, the band is led by Michael League, a Grammy Award-winning bassist. It’s players are part of collective that features nearly 40 musicians. They affectionately refer to themselves as “The Farm” and for this evening, they had 9 of them play at The Troubadour.

With the 10 players cramped on the stage, their music, which is a fusion of jazz, rock and funk, was loud and funky. I won’t lie, though … if you were hoping for some vocalists to jump onto the stage to join them for a song or two, you would have been disappointed. It was an all instrumental set with only the audience singing along with the chants on a song … the name of which totally escapes me, but you can see the video below.

I’m not one to complain though. When you have that many talented musicians on stage, it’s easy for me to get lost in some robust, Grammy Award winning music.

Terrace Martin | The Virgil | 1/22/14

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A tip for any avid concert goer living in Los Angeles: ALWAYS  find a concert or two to go to during Grammy Week. During the week immediately preceding the awards ceremony, amazing musical talent from all over the world flocks to Los Angeles to join in the celebration of music, whether to attend the ceremony as a nominee, to perform in the city of angels to showcase their own musical abilities for the throngs of A&R, talent agents, talent managers, critics and fans who happen to be in town to celebrate music with them or to just play gigs with their friends. Continue reading

Maceo Parker | The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue | September 21, 2013

Click here to check out the blog entries of the other acts I was able to catch (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc) at The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue.

 

Lee Fields at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Lee Fields at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]

If you’re a fan of soul or funk music, you’ve probably heard Maceo Parker play … even if you don’t have any of his solo albums.  After all, his sax play is also over James Brown most famous recordings. “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”, “I Got You (I Feel Good”), “Sex Machine”, “Cold Sweat” … yup … that saxophone solo? That sound that’s a building block of funk music? That’s Maceo. That’s his sound.

What’s that you say? You’re not a James Brown fan? What about Parliament-Funkadelic, Keith Richards, Red Hot Chili Peppers, De La Soul, Prince, Deee-Lite or Living Colour? Well, he’s played on their records too. Point? The man is an integral part of music history. Perhaps, one of the most prolific sidemen in the history of music. But let’s not get it twisted. His solo albums are pretty damn good too. I was excited to have the opportunity to watch this saxophone legend play up close at the Beach Ball Festival. I was ready to get funky and to shake my groove thing.

Maceo and his band brought their musicality and funk to the stage. Maceo not only played like the legend he is known to be, but he also brought a level of showmanship that could only come with years of seasoning. His set seemed to cover the entire the breadth of his career (as a solo artist and sideman), touching on a few James Brown classics and even incorporating a tribute to one his greatest influences, Ray Charles, during which Maceo donned a pair of sunglasses. He gave time to each of his players to allow them to shine on their instruments, proving that each was capable of holding their own, but at the end of the day, as the sun set into the Pacific, it was Maceo who shined the most.

Lee Fields at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Lee Fields performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker and his band performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker and his band performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
Maceo Parker performing at The Beach Ball Festival 9/21/13 [ig: @methodman13]
 

Click here to check out the blog entries of the other acts I was able to catch (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc) at The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue.