A couple months ago I took my boyfriend on a date to see Hiatus Kaiyote, and then on another date to see BADBADNOTGOOD. Two of the best shows I’ve seen in the past couple of years. A few weeks ago, Josh told me to save September 28th in my calendar because he bought us tickets to a show. When I asked him what kind of show, he just said it was going to be “funky”. So I went with no expectations because I trust in his taste in music and I can never deny a night where funk is involved. Both of us really had no idea it was going to be so much more – basically a compilation of our last two concert dates on steroids.
Gilles Peterson is known for discovering and being a platform for emerging talent. He supports the artists he finds and helps them get discovered. Together with WeTransfer, he put on a sold-out show in Los Angeles at The Theater at Ace Hotel featuring many of the artists that he has supported and believed in.
The night opened up with BADBADNOTGOOD, who themselves are headline material. Featuring Chester Hansen on bass guitar, Alexander Sowinski on drums, Matthew A. Tavares on keys, and the newest member, Leland Whitty on saxophone. What’s so cool about these guys is that they look so absolutely normal. There’s nothing fabulous about them, as in they don’t feel they have to make a statement at all via their clothes and/or hairstyles as most musicians strive to. They put all their energy into their music, and on stage it comes out quite effortlessly. They’re basically the reason why new generations are going to fall in love with jazz again, and know that it’s okay to reinvent music.
BadBadNotGood at The Theater at Ace Hotel.
Moments before the show started, I heard whispers of special guests being added to the bill. In addition to BBNG, artists such as Gaslamp Killer, Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote, Bilal + The Sa-Ra Creative Partners, and Kamasi Washington graced the stage. But the big brain behind most of the compositions of the night was Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, who led the show with his violin and the 11-piece orchestra.
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and the 11-piece orchestra.
The night was filled with cacophonous goodness. Unforgettable xylophone solos, delicious tenor sax riffs, and percussion heaven… I can go on about what went RIGHT about this show. Bilal’s sweet falsetto put us all at ease. Nai Palm came out and melted our ear drums in the best way possible with her smooth yet powerful voice. Kamasi Washington came out with his saxophone to show his home city what music should sound like. And the crowd went absolutely nuts when the famous George Clinton came out on stage. All while the Miguel and the orchestra kept time and flowed through the night.
Kamasi Washington with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and the 11-piece orchestra.
What was so great about the night in general was the crowd that it attracted. There were real music lovers there. Not the snobby kind, but the kind of music appreciators who take in consideration all genres, all styles, and all people while putting together playlists. The people who care about what went into the music and not just the end product. So in a sense, this was a show put on by a curator (and a file exchanging service), for curators.