Music Picks: Lloyd Price, Leni Stern, Amon Tobin and The Residents 

Thursday, Feb 21 2013

fri 2/22

Kurt Rosenwinkel


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Kurt Rosenwinkel's playing is richly complex and challenging, and while he is smarter than most of us, smart people also feel. Thus, to label this guitarist as "intellectual" or "cerebral" does him a disservice. He is more poet than scientist, more Lennon than Hawking. His music, rife with the innovations that have inspired a generation of jazz musicians, is defined by lyrical beauty and emotive soul. It is this union of head and heart that elevates Rosenwinkel to a place among the hallowed. The band tonight is the same as on his recent album, Star of Jupiter, with Eric Revis and Justin Faulkner on bass and drums and the superb Aaron Parks on keyboards. —Gary Fukushima

Victor Wooten


Béla Fleck & the Flecktones bassist Victor Wooten is thought of by many as one of, and in many cases the, finest electric bassist in the world, having now picked up five Grammy Awards. Wooten likes to take on unusual musical projects, and this stop at El Rey showcases his latest, as he plays in support of album releases Words and Tones and Sword and Stone. The seven-person band features four bassists, two drummers (including longtime Wooten bandmate Derico Watson) and a vocalist, Krystal Peterson. All the musicians play multiple instruments, including Peterson. —Tom Meek

Moris Tepper


Maybe you remember Moris Tepper from Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, gnawing at his guitar on "Hot Head" and "Ashtray Heart." Maybe you remember when he popped up at the Echo with PJ Harvey as his bassist. Maybe you never had a clue this guy existed until the two sentences just before this one, and you're frothing at the mouth with pain and regret because you've yet to hear a note by this true and righteous animal man. Don't worry — we can fix you. Tepper's new album, A Singer Named Shotgun Throat, is traditional and original all at once, familiar at first listen but revealing something subtle and unexpected and sad and beautiful and real every time. Maybe that's why Beefheart liked him; maybe that's why PJ liked him. I don't know, but I do know that's why I like him. —Chris Ziegler

sat 2/23

Lloyd Price


When 19-year-old Lloyd Price cut his 1952 masterpiece, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," the kid likely had no idea just how far the track would take him. An epochal blast of grinding, funkenized New Orleans rock & roll it was, mightily enhanced by the all-star, Dave Bartholomew–led band that backed him. It was the teenager's loose, luminous, declarative pipes, though, that elevated the song to a celestial level. A slew of choice chart-toppers followed, and Price swiftly ascended to R&B royal. He went MIA for a spell starting in the 1970s, when he spent time in Africa, tending to diamond mines and co-producing, with Don King, the soul-funk music festival held in conjunction with the 1974 Ali-Frazier "Rumble in the Jungle." This appearance, his first L.A. date in decades, is a must. Price, apart from our own Big Jay McNeely, is one of the last surviving stars from R&B's golden age. This opportunity must not be squandered. —Jonny Whiteside

Robert Randolph, Slide Brothers


The sacred-steel style is one of American music's unique forms. Created by black members of Southern Pentecostal churches in the '30s, it combines fervent gospel vocalizing with wild steel-guitar playing, the guitar replacing the traditional organ. The son of a deacon and a minister, Robert Randolph grew up unaware of most secular rock music; it was only after he was championed by jazzman John Medeski and the North Mississippi Allstars in 2001 that he realized the deep connection between sacred steel and bluesy classic rock. Since then, he's been widely recognized as one of the world's most dazzling guitarists, jamming with the likes of Buddy Guy and Santana. He returns the favor by presenting the Slide Brothers, sacred-steel whizzes who tear through Elmore James and George Harrison classics on their debut album. —Falling James

sun 2/24

Leni Stern


So much great music continues to come out of Mali, even as Islamic rebels attempt to take over the northern part of the country and impose Sharia law, which, among other things, discourages such unbridled and creative music making. Vieux Farka Touré, Amadou & Mariam, Tinariwen and Khaira Arby are among Malian performers who've toured here recently, and Ballaké Sissoko is due to appear next month at the Skirball Center. Now, even Western musicians like German jazz guitarist Leni Stern are being influenced by this distinctively hypnotic style. On her new album, Smoke, No Fire, Stern twists her fluid guitar runs with strains of the banjo-like instrument n'goni to weave a gently intoxicating spell as she sings haunting lamentations in several languages. For this show, she's joined by Senegalese bassist Mamadou Ba and percussionist Alioune Faye. —Falling James

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