KCET's 'Live @ the Ford' brings the Angel City Jazz Festival home
Music fans who missed the Angel City Jazz Festival in October should set their DVRs for KCET at 9 p.m. Tuesday when the hour-long "Live @ the Ford" series presents a sampling of two fiery sets from this year's festival.
Given that the festival's lineup included six acts over nearly six hours, some editing is to be expected, and the program highlights two standouts in alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and Armenian-born pianist Tigran Hamasyan.
Mahanthappa's Samdhi ensemble delivered a fiery melding of electric jazz with South Indian sounds, and the 24-year-old Hamasyan's mind-bending fusion of jazz and Armenian folk music was such a buzzy high point for the evening it was tough not to think of the evening as a coming-out party. As if to underscore that point, the latter half of the broadcast is dedicated to Hamasyan's "Shogher Jan," a borderless musical journey that stretches over 20 minutes yet never loses a relentlessly inventive spirit with the help of an acrobatic backing band that includes Kneebody's Ben Wendel and Nate Wood.
Watch, below, a clip from the show featuring backstage interviews with festival producers Jeff Gauthier and Rocco Somazzi that serves as something of a statement of purpose for the Angel City Jazz Festival. It's not the same as seeing the show in person, but it's a definite early motivator for a New Year's resolution to catch the festival next time around.
"Live @ the Ford": The Angel City Jazz Festival -- "Global Jam." KCET, 9 p.m. Tuesday. Also 7 p.m. Saturday.
-- Chris Barton
Photo: Pianist Tigran Hamasyan, left, and vocalist Areni Agbabian onstage at October's Angel City Jazz Festival. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times