Today's Calendar features a long look at a rising young composer with an excellent musical pedigree. Joachim Cooder, the son of the L.A. blues-rock legend Ry Cooder, is making his debut as a bandleader with "Love On a Real Train," a collaborative project based around samples, programming and ambiance coming after years in which Cooder played drums for Mavis Staples, Dr. John and his father. Guest vocalists for the project include Cooder's wife Juliette Commagere, his brother-in-law Robert Francis, Petra Haden, Matt Costa and the avant-garde trumpeter Jon Hassell.
The album, streaming in its entirety here, is a turning point in his career. But he admits it comes with its own challenges -- like figuring out how to perform from it in the future. "I'd love to do one big L.A. show, but everyone has their own lives," he said. "I wish this were just as simple as a guy with a guitar. That'd be easy."
-- August Brown
Photo: Joachim Cooder at his home in Los Angeles on March 7. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times