When you speak of “The Avenue” and the words “Jazz Music” are in the sentence, those of us from Los Angeles know and remember one place, “Central Avenue.” The best in jazz music was played on that street from some of our very own; Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon, Harold Land, Teddy Edwards. People came from all over to experience the sound, even the Duke!
Tonight at the brand new Disney Complex, we got another chance to experience those days. The show started out with poetry by Wanda Coleman. Born and raised in South Central she remembers her father, his love for the music, and those early days as a child on Central Avenue. Ivy Anderson’s Chicken Shack, The Elks Lodge and the Dunbar Hotel, it was the Sunset Blvd of yesterday.
Ernie Andrews the coolest of cool was on hand. He and Phil Wright together played and sang the stories of “Old Man Jazz.” Ernie is one of Los Angeles’s greatest treasures and he sings and tells the stories of back in the day so vividly, that you can see the room transform to clubs of the day on Central Ave right before your eyes. “Lucky So and So,” “Jump for Joy,” and the comic “Love Me” were just of few of the tunes Ernie belted out for us. He says that there are plenty more tunes and recordings locked in the vaults of Capital records. A virtual gold mine just waiting for issue and re-issue. Well, Ernie is our goldmine and we are certainly proud of that. He always leaves me with a big smile on my face!
The music in Los Angeles moved up the street and around the corner from Central Ave to the streets of Lemeirt Park. A place where legends have played. Billy Higgins, Horace Tapscott and many others have inspired so many. One of those being the supreme of love, spirituality, goodness and the sound that represents the love in jazz music, Mr. Dwight Trible!
DAMN! Thou hath been hailed the “Kick-ass Holyman” by critics. For those of you who have experienced the waves of sound and love, you understand. Dwight, fantastic as usual sang. It just feels like the heavens open up and the music pours in. We don’t drown but instead, we are uplifted as we float on the power of the spirit of the music. Harold Land Jr. on piano, Trevor Ware on Bass and Daniel Bejarano on Drums. Talk about the sound of Trane! This band goes to the source, puts its hand on the pulse and delivers the ultimate in (close your eyes and become one with the music) experience.
The evening ends as it began, with poetry accompanied by the guitar sound of Tommy Tedesco. A brilliant ending to a wonderful night!