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

  • New albums from Makaya McCraven, Maria Schneider offer a sense of place

    New albums from Makaya McCraven, Maria Schneider offer a sense of place

    Makaya McCraven, "In the Moment" (International Anthem) Home to a wealth of riches such as the Jazz Record Mart, the Green Mill and the ever-fertile Assn. for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Chicago's modern jazz scene continues to be one of the most vibrant in the country. Steeped in the...

  • Robert Glasper returns to his roots in new album 'Covered'

    Robert Glasper returns to his roots in new album 'Covered'

    When keyboardist Robert Glasper released the full-length debut from his project the Experiment in 2012, you could hear the jazz marketplace shifting. Freely drawing from hip-hop and R&B, "Black Radio" — along with its sequel "Black Radio 2" — brought Glasper out of jazz clubs and into the pop conversation,...

  • Playboy Jazz Festival keeps the party moving at the Bowl

    Playboy Jazz Festival keeps the party moving at the Bowl

    "We'd like to play a piece for Ornette Coleman," Jason Moran told the Playboy Jazz Festival crowd late Saturday afternoon. Moran was midway though a rambunctious set with his R&B-soaked tribute to Fats Waller, and the Hollywood Bowl crowd, perhaps a little distracted by the approaching dinner hour...

  • Playboy Jazz Festival still an L.A. star after 37 years

    Playboy Jazz Festival still an L.A. star after 37 years

    Even after 37 years, the Playboy Jazz Festival remains the biggest event of its kind for Southern California music fans. Now in its second year as a co-production with the L.A. Philharmonic (and Herb Hancock, its creative chair for jazz), the latest installment of the festival is among its strongest...

  • Stephen Colbert names 'Social Music' artist Jon Batiste bandleader

    Stephen Colbert names 'Social Music' artist Jon Batiste bandleader

    As the tears dry from David Letterman's recent final episode and its many tributes, anticipation is building for the debut of his "Late Show" replacement, Stephen Colbert. Thursday found the former "Colbert Report" host shaving his mariner-esque beard to commemorate his return to the spotlight,...

  • Underrated/Overrated

    UNDERRATED Steve Coogan in 'Happyish': Though stepping into a role intended for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, this underappreciated (on these shores, anyway) British actor owns and upgrades what's otherwise a too-familiar story of a dissatisfied upper-middle-class white dude squaring off against...

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