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

  • Joe Sample dies at 75; influential jazz-funk pianist

    Joe Sample dies at 75; influential jazz-funk pianist

    Influential keyboardist Joe Sample, who helped push the boundaries of jazz and funk as a member of the Jazz Crusaders, died Friday in Houston. He was 75. Sample's career with the Jazz Crusaders began as a hard bop group in Texas in the late '50s before the group migrated to the West Coast, releasing...

  • Fall arts preview 2014: Pop music and jazz listings

    Fall arts preview 2014: Pop music and jazz listings

    A look at notable concerts and albums in pop and jazz. Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, AFI Sept. 15 Three bands from the upper tiers of today's hard rock team up for a big triple bill. Linkin Park has a new album, "The Hunting Party," that strips off their electronics for a punk sound that owes...

  • Jazz picks: Tom Harrell, World Stage tribute to Billy Higgins and more

    Jazz picks: Tom Harrell, World Stage tribute to Billy Higgins and more

     A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows happening in the days ahead Tom Harrell @ The Jazz Bakery's Moveable Feast A richly melodic trumpeter who has performed with a roster of jazz royalty since the '70s that includes Horace Silver, Lee Konitz and Bill Evans, Tom Harrell performs from his...

  • Listen: Exclusive album stream of Tuatara's 'Underworld'

    Listen: Exclusive album stream of Tuatara's 'Underworld'

    As far as indie rock supergroups go, the loosely defined instrumental band Tuatara may be considered one of the more unexpected ones. The brainchild of former Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin -- who can also be heard on sessions with R.E.M., Queens of the Stone Age and Greg Dulli's Twilight...

  • Jazz picks: Ambrose Akinmusire with Ben Wendel and more

    Jazz picks: Ambrose Akinmusire with Ben Wendel and more

    A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows this weekend. Ambrose Akinmusire, Ben Wendel, Jeff Ballard at the Blue Whale You’d be hard pressed to find a more adventurous jazz trio on Saturday night. Hot off the heels of his latest album, the lushly ambitious “The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to...

  • West Coast drummer Scott Amendola attempts to 'Fade to Orange'

    West Coast drummer Scott Amendola attempts to 'Fade to Orange'

    With the record industry more fractured and risk-averse than ever, crowd-funding websites remain an often viable option for jazz and jazz-adjacent artists. Recordings by Roswell Rudd, Dave King and Darcy James Argue's Grammy-nominated "Brooklyn Babylon" are just a few recent endeavours that came...

  • Jazz picks: Central Avenue Jazz fest, Ron Carter and more

    Jazz picks: Central Avenue Jazz fest, Ron Carter and more

     A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows coming up this week. Ron Carter Trio at Catalina With the recent loss of Charlie Haden, Carter may be the most storied bass player working today with stints backing practically a phone book of jazz legends in Sam Rivers, Andrew Hill, Eric Dolphy and,...

  • Appreciation: Jazz musician Charlie Haden spoke for beauty

    Appreciation: Jazz musician Charlie Haden spoke for beauty

    I’d probably only been covering jazz for the Los Angeles Times for a year or so when the phone rang at my desk and on the other end was Charlie Haden. For a half-second, I was terrified. Was this how I was going to find out that the tiny voice in my head, the one that plagues so many writers, was...

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