Chris Barton on Muck Rack

Chris Barton Verified

Deputy Music Editor and Jazz Critic — LA Times

Pop music editor / Robespierre @latimes and @pophiss (Held over!) as well as a jazz critic, pop culture writer and ginger. This space left blank.

Grammys 2015: Bold tributes among jazz nominees — Grammy voters have long shown a soft spot for tribute albums, and this year the jazz category features some inspired twists on the form. Honoring an acclaimed folk-pop singer-songwriter, pianist Billy Childs' lovingly drawn "Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro" was nominated in the jazz vocal album category.

Jazz picks: Vijay Iyer, Brad Mehldau with the Bad Plus and more — Vijay Iyer: 'Music of Transformation' at UCLA One of the most inventive and exciting jazz pianists working today, 2013 MacArthur Grant winner Vijay Iyer continues to redraw the boundaries of jazz while incorporating influences that stretch from Billy Strayhorn to L.A. beat alchemist Flying Lotus.

Vince Guaraldi's 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' score is a gift — The greatest of all holiday specials, " A Charlie Brown Christmas ," is on ABC at 8 tonight [Thursday]. (It's also available to stream free via Hulu .) Last year, I wrote about its music, which is some of my favorite music of all time.

Jazz picks: Marc Ribot, Austin Peralta remembered and more — A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows this weekend. Marc Ribot @ Royce Hall A constantly exploring guitarist who has often been heard applying a flinty edge to recordings by Tom Waits, Marc Ribot paid tribute to giants of the jazz saxophone with this year's bracing trio recording, "Live at the Village Vanguard."

Jazz picks: Miguel Zenon, Pharoah Sanders and more — Ross Hammond and Jeff Parker at Battery Books Though guitarist Ross Hammond is based in Sacramento, he deserves honorary local status in his many collaborations with fixtures on the L.A. improvised music scene that include Vinnie Golia and Alex Cline.

Jazz picks: Monk Institute competition, Gilad Hekselman — A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows coming this weekend. Gilad Hekselmen Trio at the Blue Whale The Israel-born guitarist has established himself as a talent to watch in recent years, most recently with the lush and eclectic 2013 album "This Just In," which at times recalls the intricate sound of Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Review: Herbie Hancock memoir 'Possibilities' has scattered high notes — Herbie Hancock has had the kind of career that's unlikely to ever be duplicated. Appearing on landmark recordings with Miles Davis as well as his own band in the 1960s, Hancock memorably scaled to even greater fame while fusing jazz and funk with the Headhunters in the '70s and becoming the first crossover hip-hop artist in the early '80s with the Grammy-winning "Rockit."

Jazz picks: Dave Liebman, Stefon Harris and more this weekend — A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows in the days ahead. Dylan Ryan's Sand at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts One of the tougher ones to categorize, L.A.-by-way-of-Chicago drummer Dylan Ryan draws freely from elements of twisted metal, post-rock and free jazz for a trio called Sand.

Thelonious Monk Competition, gala returns to L.A. in November — The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz has unveiled that its annual gala and competition will be coming to Los Angeles this fall. A nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the message of jazz around the world, the institute's highest-profile effort is its annual competition, which in recent years has been held at its home base of Washington, D.C.

Thom Yorke's 'Tomorrow's Modern Boxes' holds few surprises — If you've been following the arc of Thom Yorke and Radiohead, it probably doesn't need to be said that his latest solo album isn't a back-to-basics affair. Put another way: No, Yorke still isn't interested in guitars. Vaguely hinted at by Yorke in a few cryptic tweets -- including one of a rotating white LP -- this eight-track album debuted Friday.
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Dec 17, 2014

@natalieweiner Interesting idea -- feel like this was Kendrick's move. Seems like it's been used before to show 'artistic' seriousness

Dec 16, 2014

RT @cfahooligan: @chrisbarton @mattdpearce I am a hard liberal and I hated The Newsroom. It was total bloviated garbage. But hey to each their own I guess.

Dec 16, 2014

And: "I normally ignore the "Underrated" "Overrated" column as one of those seemingly nonsensical offerings. However, I happened to..."

Dec 16, 2014

Also: 'It's a sad day when a fellow reporter down plays the importance and relevance of this worthy journalistic show'

Dec 16, 2014

RT @sbglax: Farewell to #TheNewsroom one of the best written shows in recent years.Clearly too cerebral for you @chrisbarton @latimes

Dec 16, 2014

FYI, People who sent me hate mail for overrating The Newsroom write exactly like they watch and love The Newsroom…

Dec 16, 2014

Is anyone genuinely excited and/or optimistic about a Beetlejuice sequel? Explain yourselves.…

Dec 15, 2014

In Overrated/Underrated, I pile on "The Newsroom,' but you should hear Tyshawn Sorey's 'Alloy' -- and more…

Dec 14, 2014

RT @LilEdit: in today's @latimes, @chrisbarton & I tipped boxes from Paramount, Wm Onyeabor, Joni Mitchell, Bill Evans, more…

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