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Greg Burk

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Bon Voyage?

Photo by Laurie StalterYOU HAD TO FIGURE THAT MATTHEW SHIPP EITHER got cancer or got born again. Otherwise, respected 38-year-old musicians don't go around dropping proclamations like "I have completed my opus" and announcing they're not gonna make any more records. But no, the pianist was just whirling his cape......
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I'm 48

Photo by Elliot HolcekerALICE COOPER The Life and Crimes of Alice Cooper (Warner Archives/Rhino) When "I'm Eighteen" hit the airwaves at the end of 1970, I was 19, but I could relate. Like the song said, I didn't know what I wanted, except maybe to drive well-adjusted humans from my......
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Helter Swelter

Art by Paul Lee GOD IS A BULLET | By BOSTON TERAN | Alfred A. Knopf | 306 pages | $24 hardcover The scenario that developed around the publication of Boston Teran’s God Is a Bullet a month ago rings like some kind of kinky hoax. But it’s not. I......
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The Roaring Hush

Photo by Debra DiPaoloALEX CLINE FLICKS A FUZZY MALLET AGAINST A GONG the size of a tractor tire, and dense waves surge through his West L.A. rehearsal room. Vision blurs. Sinuses open. A nearby mutt woofs its head off. "When you tap a big gong and stand right in front......
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Dirt and Sky

Michael Ochs ArchivesHorace Tapscott has kicked ass more times than any other musician I've ever seen. New Yorkers get to talk about the Monk-Coltrane quartet's stand at the Five Spot, and about the Velvet Underground at Max's, but you know, I don't feel that underprivileged. Because here in L.A., I've......
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The Beatin' Path

Photo by Debra DiPaolo"In Africa, there's a high level of understanding of the magic of sound. Sound is vibration, and all of creation is vibration, and we're all atoms vibrating at various rates, though we have the illusion of solidity. Many African traditions have learned to combine the overtones, the......
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Hymn & Her

Before Joshua cued his ram’s-horn section to tumble the walls of Jericho, music and divine mission had already been jammin’ together for millennia, and the tradition has suffered no breakdown. Our own century has seen thousands of musicians drumming up the troops for the religion of their choice. Muslim jazz......
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Freeway Jazz

Photo by Debra DiPaoloFor enterprise. For companionship. For protection against predators. Musicians with common viewpoints form subtribes, and L.A. contains its share. A significant one in this time of jazz transition includes pianist James Carney, members of the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet, and younger artists such as bassist Todd Sickafoose......
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Birth of the Cruel

photo by Francis WolfA dozen or so jazz-label heads dropped by my place a few months ago for Monday Night Football. Over a couple of cases of Lucky Lager, they bragged on their upcoming releases. "Sounds rad," I said, "but don't put 'em out in the fall, they'll get buried......
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Dance Kontrol

Fascism was made for dancing. The goose step — perfect. Popular dance has always tugged between bacchanalia and drill, it seems. Crazy-legs Isadora Duncan died in 1927, and by 1933 Hitler had been voted chancellor. Coincidence? Dance-studio magnate Arthur Murray, whose parents hailed from the Führer’s own Austria, enslaved the......
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