Billy Childs at Jazz Bakery – Jim stumbles into a treat at the Jazz Bakery

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I was working on a picture over at Sony tonight and we finished early. So I decided to drop in at the Jazz Bakery and see who was playing. Well it was Billy Childs, a string quartet and a great group of players. WOW it was one of the most incredible evenings I have ever had. It was new and fresh and beautiful stuff.  And I just stumbled into it.

It was all Billy Childs’ music and was interesting harmonically. And the rhythmic fluidity of the group was very intense—listening and creative. I come away feeling like I heard a new level of music a real synthesis of jazz, rock, R and B, and especially classical. I have watched this talented man Billy Childs since he was a student at USC. He has developed into one of the leading innovators in all of music   an amazing life altering artist. He is scary good. A couple of summers ago the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra accompanied Diane Reeves with Billy Childs small band and his charts. It was an amazing evening of clever and refreshing stuff.  It’s like listening to a new 21st Century Mozart—and he has his “sh*t together—boy does he ever.  Around him I feel like I am in the presence of one of the really important musicians of our time.

Now the great joy of having Larry Koonse in the band tonight was just another lucky break for me. Jeez is he a marvelous musician. What he did on my recent CD “The Odd Couple” was so amazing.  He is the most musical guitarist in the world—and so into the music!

Bob Shepard was playing flute and soprano sax. He too is one of the most creative giants I know. The Ying String Quartet (a family group) was also featured as were harp, bass and drums and Billy on piano, of course.

The thing that is so evident in this is the sense of a new art form. Putting all this stuff together in a form that can turn on an audience and still be highly creative—WOW!

Jazz Chamber Music at it’s best—yo Billy!

Jim Self
5/23/09

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