The L.A. 6 is a talented jazz sextet that includes saxophonist Tom Peterson, trombonist Ira Nepus, trumpeter Kye Palmer, pianist Rich Eames, bassist Jeff D’Angelo, and drummer Dick Weller. Their recent recording, “Frame of Mind”, showcases their tremendous talent as soloists, and tight ensemble. Deeply rooted in traditional jazz, The L.A. 6 blends cool west coast jazz with modern hard-bop jazz in a modern, contemporary style. All 6 musicians are L.A. based, and full time performers, composers, and educators, who together for nearly 15 years, continue to play with an evolving and unique sound.
The L.A. 6 exemplifies the current state of west coast jazz by retaining a rich, small ensemble arranging style, developed in the 1950’s by Shorty Rogers and his Giants, Gerry Mulligan, the Lighthouse All-Stars and its’ relaxed feeling, combined with the hard bop sound played by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Wayne Shorter and many others. The L.A. 6 plays a modern, interesting mix of jazz standards and originals in an extraordinary manner as a cohesive ensemble, with flawless execution, paying attention to dynamics, well honed material, and arrangements that have been battle tested for a long period of time.
The L.A. 6 plays feel good music, like their west coast predecessors, Gerald Wilson and the Jazz Crusaders, keeping the flame of west coast jazz alive in a compelling fashion. Here are the L.A. 6. Saxophonist Tom Peterson, from Minnesota, played in Doc Severinsen’s famous Tonight Show Band for 18 years, and plays in John Beasley’s Monkestra Big Band. Tom has worked in T.V., radio, and film music, and has performed with Elton John, Leon Russell, B.B. King, Kenny Loggins, Blood, Sweat, and Tears,
The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Band, Ed Shaughnessy, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney/Wings, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie,The Glenn Miller Band, Linda Ronstadt, Lyle Lovett, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, and many musical greats. Tom is a composer, orchestrator, and enjoys reading biographies of great historical figures. Trombonist Ira Nepus, grew up in the jazz heritage of his father, one of the founders of The Hot Club in France in the late 1930’s. Ira first performed at the age of 15, currently leads his own quintet, and is an original member of The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for 26 years. Ira is an educator, and in high demand as a session and recording artist.
Ira has performed/recorded with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Leon Russell, Elvis Costello, B.B.King, Gregg Allman, Ray Charles,
Peggy Lee, Diana Krall, Aretha Franklin, The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Band, Benny Carter, Woody Herman, Johnny Mandel, Quincy Jones, Gerald Wilson, Nelson Riddle, Lionel Hampton, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, and others. Ira has 3 recordings as a leader, and developed a Softune mute used by brass players all over the world. Ira enjoys surfing, skiing, and fishing.
Pianist Rich Eames, from Iowa, is a major force on the L.A. music scene. Rich has worked with The Bill Holman Big Band, and the bands of Joe LaBarbera, Bill Watrous, Ed Shaughnessy, and Rick Braun. Rich has played in T.V. and Film music, and has written for many T.V. specials, network series, feature films, documentaries, and live theatre. Rich worked as a co-composer for 11 years on the T.V. hit series “Saved By The Bell”. Rich has 2 recordings as a leader performed by Clay Jenkins, Dick Weller, Bob Sheppard, and others. Rich has performed with Patti Austin, The Pointers Sisters, Jack Jones, Lou Rawls, Doc Severinsen, Cheryl Bentine, Willie and Lobo, Angela Bofill Alphonso Johnson, and The Jazz Tap Ensembles. Rich enjoys foreign languages and history.
Bassist Jeff D’Angelo, from Ohio, is self taught, and plays everything from country rock to jazz. Jeff has composed music for T.V. and Radio, played with Doc Severinsen for 13 years, played and wrote for Doc’s Fusion Band, “Xebron”, and appeared
with Doc in nearly every Pops Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. Active in the L.A,. jazz scene, Jeff has worked with Tom Scott,
Roger Kellaway, Billy Childs, Bob Sheppard, Bill Cunliffe, and Larry Willis all over North America, Europe, and Japan.
Jeff is an avid ocean swimmer, competing in open water races like the “Sharkfest”, across the San Francisco Bay, from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf. Drummer Dick Weller, from New York, is an electrifying musician, and one of the top jazz players in the U.S., who plays with versatility, a hard driving style, and in a solid groove. Dick has toured internationally with The Billy Vaughn and Percy Faith Orchestras, has one recording as a leader, and has recorded with the notable bands of Ladd McIntosh, Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, John Beasley, Alphonso Johnson, Jeff Beal, Bob Florence, Phil Norman, with Judy Niemack, Fred Hersch, Scott Colley, and on The Jazz Network with The Weller Brothers. Dick has taught jazz composition at State University of N.Y., and at Cal State University Northridge.
Trumpeter Kye Palmer is a Southern California native who played in The Tonight Show Band for 4 years with Jay Leno at NBC, replacing Lee Thornburg on Kevin Eubank’s Band. For this performance, Kye Palmer replaces Clay Jenkins. Key has recorded on several Grammy award nominated or winning projects over the last 20 years. Kye began the trumpet at the age of 7, studied with the Stan Kenton Band clinics at Redlands University, at Cal State University Long Beach, Fullerton College, Cal Poly Pomona, with trumpet great, Bobby Shew, and vibe master, Charlie Shoemake, who says Kye is one of 15 or 20 of his 1500+ students who understands the music. Kye credits trumpet greats, Clifford Brown and Freddie Hubbard as his principle influences. Kye has worked/recorded with Woody Herman, Chris Walden, Bill Cunliffe, LeAnn Rimes, Hank-Richards Jazz Orchestra, Bob Dylan, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Diane Schuur, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, Brian Seltzer, Michael Buble, AJI’s “The Clifford Brown Project”, Kurt Elling, Eddie Palmieri, Donald Harrison, Joey DeFrancesco, Seth McFarlane, Switchfoot, Ray LaMontagne, Los Lonely Boys, Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, Diana Krall,Michael Bolton, Tom Jones, Seal, Stanley Clarke, Helen Reddy, DMQ, Edmund Velasco, Gordon Goodwin, Arturo Sandoval, Johnny Mandel, Emil Richards and others. Kye has worked on 6 T.V. Shows, and 14 Movie Soundtracks(20 Projects), has taught at U.S.C., University of North Florida, University of Memphis, Mt. San Antonio College, Riverside Community College, and currently at Cal State University Long beach. Kye has authored several articles on jazz improvisation for the International Trumpet Guild.