PURPLE GUMS is a brass ensemble (tenor sax, cornet and tuba) whose role is to carry on the tradition of making music in the moment. Charts don't exist. Rehearsals have never occurred. Ideas are generated and developed on the bandstand. Music making for this group is a high risk venture. The music created from the pooled experience of the band's members is a tasty gumbo of jazz, free improv, ragtime and classical. This leads to flights of whimsy and excursions into the unexpected. What you see is not always what you get. While you may think for a moment that you are listening to a traditional New Orleans brass band, what you are caressed with may be something all together different - as in the band's name and the title of their first CD, PURPLE GUMS.

To practically everyone, purple gums are a sure sign of gingivitis - gum disease. As the improvised words to the same titled tune implies, you might want to reconsider striking up a romantic conversation with someone so afflicted - stay away from mad dogs and women with purple gums. But in the parlance of the African American community, to say someone has purple gums is to identify them as being extremely dark skinned. So the tune changes, from a humorous meditation of how a woman's poor dental hygiene habits are going to slow our protagonist's romantic advances, to an examination of the degree to which he is ruled by color politics within his own community.

PURPLE GUMS views music as narrative. A tune starts, by the time it ends, territory has been crossed, a story has been told. Most of the time the band lays down a backdrop for the audience to spin out their own creations within their heads. But on occasion, any one of the band's members will step to the mike and spin a yarn for you. Like the music, these stories are created extemporaneously - knowing the carnival ride you've stepped onto doesn't guarantee that you'll recognize the ride you step off of.


Mr Musichead Gallery
7420 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Event Details

Doors open at 6:30p.
Music starts at 7:30p.
VIP Reserved guests receive guaranteed seating and two free drinks.
Limited seating.