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Matthew Duersten

Passing Through Again

(Click to enlarge) Released the same year as Charles Burnett's recently revived Killer of Sheep (1977), Larry Clark's Passing Through is another rarely seen but potent underground L.A. neorealist treatise that plumbs similar themes of the exploitation and degradation of black culture and posits jazz music as a revolutionary call......

Carlos Niño

Out of all the musical gifts in Carlos Niño’s Echo Park recording studio, including some choice wind chimes and a battered old harmonium given to him by poet Kamau Daaood, the one he seems to prize most is a bit of street wisdom handed down by the late Leimert Park......
(Photo by Kevin Scanlon)

Putter Smith

{mosimage} Putter Smith found out about the sinister overarching effects of Hollywood just after his film debut in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. “I was floating in this little rubber raft just 50 yards off of Huntington Beach, and this little kid who looks to be about......

Leimert Park: The Story of a Village in South-Central

“The three things I love to do most in the world is sit on my ass, drink coffee and listen to jazz,” says the late Richard Fulton in Jeannette Lindsay’s celebratory documentary about the titular South (Central) L.A. neighborhood. Fulton, a Vietnam vet who spent six years living downtown on......

Screwball Diva

Chances are if you know Darcey Leonard from her day job at Silver Lake Shoes, you wouldn’t recognize her alter ego “Miss Darcey” — the diminutive dark faerie who is the booker, co-organizer and “extreme hostess” of Club Screwball, a loose weekly affiliation of urbane freakery that first debuted at......
Photo by Kevin Scanlon

Sitting Bull

WHEN LITTLE FEAT’S LOWELL GEORGE wrote his classic road song “Willin’?” (“I’ve driven ev’ry kinda rig that’s ever been made”), he could have been writing about Dennis Justice, a 59-year-old professional bus driver who can measure his life in real miles. “Both of my sons are in the bus business,”......
Photo by Adam Beinash

The Arkivists

Those who knew and loved Horace Elva Tapscott, the late jazz bandleader, composer and social activist from Leimert Park, invariably refer to him as “the phantom” or “the ghost.” Even when he was forthcoming, his timing was mysterious. “After he had his seizure, I remember him sitting in his room......

The Shooting Party

The gunslinger known as Petey requests a halt in filming so he can mosey over behind a gleaming white SUV and take a dump by its rear right wheel. While he does this, the crew scratch their necks and sip their coffee or look around at the scrub brush that......