Los Angeles Times

Chris Barton

Writer

Chris Barton is the Los Angeles Times’ deputy pop music editor, jazz critic and pop cultural snark peddler in the weekly column, Overrated/Underrated. In addition to writing for The Times for more than 10 years, his words have appeared in the Seattle Weekly, Magnet magazine and a host of extinct dotcoms. He was born in Boston, studied in the Bay Area and his fate was probably decided somewhere between first hearing John Coltrane’s “Equinox” and Charlie Hunter’s “Natty Dread.” 

Recent Articles

  • B.B. King: Five tracks to hear beyond 'The Thrill Is Gone'

    B.B. King: Five tracks to hear beyond 'The Thrill Is Gone'

    With one of the biggest voices in blues and blues guitar, B.B. King's discography stretches back almost 60 years. And just about any music listener can call to mind his signature track "The Thrill Is Gone" by memory along with "When Love Comes to Town," his '80s pairing with U2. Below, some other...

  • Jazz Bakery awarded NEA grant to support upcoming concerts, workshops

    Jazz Bakery awarded NEA grant to support upcoming concerts, workshops

    Though still awaiting a planned new home in Culver City, the Jazz Bakery remains a visible force for jazz through its Moveable Feast concert series. That effort has gained further support with the news that the organization was awarded an NEA Art Works grant of $30,000 to support a series of what's...

  • Kamasi Washington expands jazz's boundaries on new album 'The Epic'

    Kamasi Washington expands jazz's boundaries on new album 'The Epic'

    When jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington was contributing string arrangements to rapper Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," few could have predicted that both L.A. artists would end up dominating the conversation about hip-hop and jazz in 2015. But Lamar's album, released this spring, has earned...

  • Charles Lloyd finds riveting sonic textures in 'Wild Man Dance'

    Charles Lloyd finds riveting sonic textures in 'Wild Man Dance'

    When fans are considering the most treasured voices in jazz, Charles Lloyd's name should quickly come to mind. An expressive saxophonist who was honored as a 2015 NEA Jazz Master on Monday, Lloyd burst onto the national scene in 1966 with the million-selling live album "Forest Flower" and eventually...

  • Grateful Dead announce two more 'Fare Thee Well' shows in California

    Grateful Dead announce two more 'Fare Thee Well' shows in California

    West Coast Grateful Dead fans, your miracle ticket may well be on its way. Faced with overwhelming demand for what's been billed as the last run of shows together for surviving Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir at Chicago's Soldier Field, the band has announced...

  • 'Blurred Lines' verdict: In jazz, the vibe is everything

    'Blurred Lines' verdict: In jazz, the vibe is everything

    Jazz may be miles away from pop in terms of financial power -- its intake roughly amounts to the change Pharrell Williams leaves behind in the couch cushions -- but its Twitter community reacted to this week's "Blurred Lines" verdict, in which a jury compelled Williams and Robin Thicke to pay $7.4...

  • Grammys 2015: Jazz sticks to the familiar as Chick Corea wins two

    Grammys 2015: Jazz sticks to the familiar as Chick Corea wins two

    Awards speeches are ideal forums for jokes, even during the Grammys' Internet-only pre-show broadcast. But there was a kernel of truth to what was said from the stage as Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band accepted honors in the big band category for the album "Life in the Bubble": "Once again we want...

  • Chris Barton's best jazz albums of 2014

    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...

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