Best of 2000: Best Friend Of San Diego Jazz

    Chuck Perrin
    (858) 270-7467

    In a town that's not famous for supporting jazz, Chuck Perrin has given local jazz players and their fans a boost. Since forming his Webster's Last Word label in 1965, Perrin has released 16 CDs by San Diego players. On April 17, Perrin opened Dizzy's, an all-ages jazz club and performance space in the Walter Keller Building downtown. In this homey space, with its soaring beamed ceiling, brick walls, and picture window on the sidewalk, San Diego's homegrown talent has a place to call home. The label and the club primarily benefit musicians, not Perrin, a '60s idealist who first ran a coffeehouse and recorded local musicians during his undergrad years at Notre Dame, in South Bend, Indiana. "One of my big pitches is to get local entertainers to take control of their own thing." With the club and the label up and running, Perrin is ramping up the action. So far this year, Webster's has released solid CDs by trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos; saxmen Steve Feierabend, Gary Scott, and Gary LeFebvre; and pianist Joe Garrison. Next up is a second spoken-word album by Perrin himself. His last effort, Beat.itude, sounded more New Age than Beat, but this time out Perrin has enlisted crack guitarist Larry Mitchell (Tracy Chapman, Billy Squier). Out of the Cool will include Perrin's versions of a Bukowski short story, as well as a piece by San Francisco street poet Bob Kaufman, who has been called "the Rimbaud of American poetry."

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