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Night out


It was my good fortune to see copious amounts of loft jazz in New York in the 1970s.  If you had asked me, "Where's it going to be, what's it going to be like in thirty-seven years, man?" I couldn't have told you, but now that thirty-seven years have passed, I can say, "It is going to be like a new club in LA's Little Tokyo where they aren't afraid to go postdigital but aren't interested in treating improvisation like it belongs in a museum or at a university either."  We made it down to Blue Whale last night (no talking during sets strictly enforced by a credibly-sized enforcer) to see Simplexity, a group of honor-bound yet mirth-driven contemporary jazz and studio ringers who have taken their own inventiveness and added some scattered echoes to produce satisfying ambling sets of fully-absorbing pleasure.  (And those scattered echoes are vurrry scattered--I heard a little of the street-side of William Ørbit, right next to some of Miles' late water-color-like broodings synthesized, and the hard, hard bop snare-slamming wakeup-calls of Elvin Jones).  In ensemble they flesh out new music that sounds exactly like where you might end up in forty years after turning 19 at Studio Rivbea and wondering what life might be like two generations hence.  Top photo, bassist/cool-cat/backbone John von Seggern exchanges time with Steve TavagioneSample here if you like.  Bottom left: when you beach yourself after a set and an Amber Ale at Blue Whale, up on the third floor of Weller Court off of Onizuka, you walk out into a stunning framing of a building I can't seem to ever get away from, much as I try.  Bottom right: you can bet my crew, jealous of my trip to Tommy's after the Shepard Fairey thing a week ago, wanted me to make it up to them--and so we stumble on a rare Saturday night moment: Tommy's, midnight, no line.