It’s a little embarrassing to say but The Lounge Lizards was the group that introduced me to jazz. I’d love to lie and say it was Monk, Miles, or Haden. But it was these guys with their spiky hair and skinny ties that first got me interested. Before the film career, before Fishing With John and before the antics of Marvin Pontiac (listen to one song by Marvin Pontiac below) John Lurie was the leader of this band of downtown jazz provocateurs.
John Lurie was the leader of this NYC based band. They mixed world music, rock and funk with their free jazz to create one of the most popular groups to come out of NYC in the 80′s. The band was solid with contributors from the jazz scene and the avant rock crowd in Curtis Fowkles on Trombone, Arto Lindsay on guitar and Roy Nathanson on Saxophone (both Nathanson and Fowlkes went on to form The Jazz Passengers), John’s brother Evan played piano. Calvin Weston played drums and then went on to perform solo and in the 90′s with Vernon Reid. The band didn’t create a ton of video’s but the ones they did showcase both the killer horn section and the fact that the band could both swing or play noise in equal measure.
“Dutch Schultz” Live In Berlin
“Big Heart” (Directed by John Lurie)
“Snakes Can’t Sleep (The Hanging)”
Fishing with Jazz episode with Tom Waits
Down By Law with John Lurie, Tom Waits
Bonus track from John Lurie’s one-off side project Marvin Pontiac – “Small Car”
Bonus track from Roy Nathanson (w/Anthony Coleman)
Bonus track from Calvin Weston