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.

Overrated/Underrated: Roasting Bieber, Red Garland and more — There's a lot of pop culture to sort through week after week. Times staff writer Chris Barton offers his take on what's up and what's down in music, movies, television and just about anything else out there that is worth considering.

Chris Barton's best jazz albums of 2014 — At the end of a year seemingly marked by more tragedy and loss than usual, here are 10 jazz albums from 2014 to raise spirits. The Steve Lehman Octet, "Mise en Abîme" (Pi Recordings): Saxophonist Steve Lehman calls the sound explored here "spectral harmony," an ephemeral-sounding concept that involves overtones and microtones but better translates as an intricate and adventurous whole.

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.
More Articles →
Jan 29, 2015

I want my Black Sabbath members either onstage or in a desert bar fight. Kudos, Geezer Butler…

Jan 28, 2015

@davidegreenwald Unless those two bonuses are all that's on the second LP? I couldn't justify 2x the cost for just those tracks.

Jan 28, 2015

@davidegreenwald Yeah, me too (hazards of the front half being amazing). Saw the 'special edition' LP was stretched to a double

Jan 28, 2015

@davidegreenwald Yeah, the circumstances are rare, but grateful that option's there. Wonder if new S-K is better or worse with bonus tracks?

Jan 28, 2015

@davidegreenwald False. One of my favorites. Sometimes 53 minutes (and a double LP) is just right.

Learn how to connect with Chris on social media by joining Muck Rack Pro

Are You a Journalist?

Make a Portfolio

Create a free Muck Rack account to customize your profile and upload a portfolio of your best work.

Share This Profile