Then you should check out Greg Bendian and his latest musical project. Greg is one of my favorite drummers, and although I have not heard this band, I'm a big fan of his work with the Mahavishnu Project, a momentous undertaking of grand proportions. A band that covers albums of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, which is somewhat akin to covering Zappa albums. I know some of you might turn your nose at a "cover band", but trust me on this, I was too young to catch the Mahavishnu Orchestra when they were around and burning, but the friend I attended a Mahavishnu Project show with some years ago saw the Mahavishnu Orchestra TWICE, once with drummer Billy Cobham and then with Narada Michael Walden. I do have the albums, as well as the CD's, and my friend says it was pretty darn close, fwiw.
In any event, a portion of my regular readers who email every now and then do live in L.A., and as some readers know I visit there on a regular basis, usually several times a year. Many of the folks who visit here are pier fishermen, and they have a forum of their own as well as a group of folks who regularly go pier and surf fishing in the L.A. area, and there are TONS of places to fish in L.A. and it's surrounds. So maybe take a night off from the Santa Monica Pier and head into town to see Bendian, fellows.
I can't talk about L.A. without mentioning one of the great guitarists you can catch there in a small club. The Monday night gig to catch in L.A. is the jam at the Baked Potato in Studio City hosted by, amongst others, former Houstonian and guitar whizkid John Zeigler. You might remember JZ from Houston's THE SLASHERS and PIT BULL in the late 80's and early 90's, back when he was teaching guitar at Houston's Rockin' Robin Vintage Guitar Store. All kinds of famous musician folks that you've heard of or maybe even have in your record collection are likely to show at this Monday night extravaganza and throw down a couple of songs. Plus, if you like baked potatos with stuff baked in them, then this is the place for you!
But I digress. Bendian's band will be playing tomorrow night and here's the blurb from Kio Griffith's Angel City Arts email blast:
Angel City Arts presents
WEDNESDAY APRIL 27 2011 @ 8PM
GREGG BENDIAN'S TRIO PIANISSIMO
GREGG BENDIAN drums / percussion
DAVE WITHAM piano
JOEL HAMILTON bass
8910 WASHINGTON BLVD. CULVER CITY, CA 90232
Students: $5 (available at the door)
Gregg Bendian Trio Pianissimo will present an evening of progressive jazz music.
Composer/percussionist Gregg Bendian is well-known for his genre bending work with his band Interzone, and artists such as The Mahavishnu Project, The Musical Box, Ornette Coleman, Pat Metheny, Cecil Taylor, Jan Hammer, Todd Rundgren, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Zoot Horn Rollo, Nels Cline and many more.
Gregg Bendian's music might best be described as "chamber jazz". A fascinating blend of progressive rock, swinging melodic jazz, complex contemporary counterpoint and spontaneous improvisation, Bendian's music is full of rapidly developing twists and turns, and delightfully uplifting harmonies.
A classically trained composer and percussionist, Bendian's music reflects an innate interest in melding together diverse stylistic elements to create a unique and personal musical world. He is joined by piano virtuoso David Witham, well-known for his work with George Benson and Jeff Gauthier, and bassist extraordinaire Joel Hamilton who has performed with Phil Woods and Mothers of Invention founder Don Preston.
In this rare Los Angeles appearance, Gregg Bendian's Trio Pianissimo will perform music from their two critically acclaimed Aggregate Music releases, "Change" and "Balance", as well as some seldom heard songs by the great Thelonious Monk. Look forward to an evening of highly-charged, cutting edge jazz!