Outside of his recent output as a singer-songwriter, LA-native Levon Henry has worked for many years as a saxophonist and clarinetist with the likes of Meshell Ndegeocello, Jason Moran, T-Bone Burnett, Allen Toussaint, Blake Mills, and Little Jimmy Scott (among others). His January 4th show at the Blue Whale in Downtown Los Angeles marks not only a return to his hometown, but also a re-exploration of his instrumental music, which he has rarely approached as a bandleader or composer since releasing the cinematic Music for Trains in 2013. Joining Levon on the 4th will be: Tom Csatari on electric and acoustic guitars, Evan Vidar and Julian Cubillos on various keyboards and guitars, David Piltch on upright bass, and Jay Bellerose on drums, as well as guest appearances by Greg Leisz and Joe Henry. Set times are 9:00pm and 10:30pm with a $10 cover charge at the door.
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St #301
Los Angeles, CA 90012
ABOUT LEVON HENRY
Although a trained jazz musician (having moved to New York six years ago to study at the New School), Levon Henry grew up in the Los Angeles singer-songwriter community, taking an interest in the early country-blues and american folk music he experienced in these circles. His combined influences result in an experimental American roots music: weaving themes and simple song structures among shifting landscapes, with ambient chords that float and shimmer against a propulsive rhythmic back bone — his woodwinds dart back and forth from textural, to melodic, and at times even frenetic. Combined, the music is reminiscent of Sandy Bull’s trance-like duo work with Billy Higgins; John Fahey’s earthy constructions; Ornette Coleman’s folkloric summoning; Ry Cooder’s cinematic worlds; and Sonny Rollins' lilting melodic sense. In Henry’s compositions, equal reverence is given to both song structure and open forms, the improvisations never serving an end to themselves, but rather (in the words of Townes Van Zandt) “for the sake of the song”, and for the spirit of it too.