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by Stacey Kumagai
Friday, Nov. 12, 2004 at 6:52 PM
"I know of very few nearby worlds we can all go to, so it might be wise to take care of the one we have. Fossil fuels have no place in our future," states Jon Hartmann.
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IN MEMORY OF LOS ANGELES’ PACIFIC ELECTRIC RAILWAY: JAZZ SONGWRITER-MUSICIAN
JON HARTMANN’S NEW CD ADDRESSES HIS ENVIRONMENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS
LOS ANGELES, CA --- When you think of Los Angelenos, environmental consciousness is not what comes to mind. But for one pro-active Los Angeles resident, environmental activist and jazz musician, Jon Hartmann - his message is in his music as his third self-produced album, Pacific Electric pays tribute to Los Angeles’ long-lost Pacific Electric Railway.
The question arises, "what right does the musician have to lambaste the innocent listener with radical environmental warnings? The answer is that it is a responsibility, not a right. The songs on my albums have no lyrics, but I hope that the titles, along with the relative quirkiness and complexity of the tunes will hint to the listener about the politics of the composer,” explains Hartmann
Available via Internet on CDBaby.com, the
all-original composition Pacific Electric CD is described as ‘modern jazz, with strong roots in old school funk, a deep admiration of Aaron Copeland and Afro-Cuban grooves.’ But the instrumental vibe reflects passion and emotes the feelings of its’ writer/producer/musician, Hartmann.
“ My interest in the Pacific Electric Railway began in 1967, when I was given a tour of the remains of the Subway Terminal Building under downtown Los Angeles. I am concerned about the environment, and part of the solution to healthy air is to expand rail service between and inside cities. I was recently elected Chair of the Transportation Committee of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council.
I’ve always been a little torn between music and politics. My music mirrors some of my ideals and values. Even though there are no lyrics on these songs, I hope one can easily tell that a pragmatic optimist wrote them. The Pacific Electric Railway was removed under questionable circumstances, and a large measure of American history remains untold and off-limits. On more than one occasion, I would
be sitting down attempting to mix something, and thoughts of energy policy, or streetcars and ad campaigns would creep into the room. One must stay focused,” explains Hartmann.
Pacific Electric features Hartmann’s multi-hyphenate title of Writer, Producer, Record label executive as well as keyboards and percussion. The album also features Sid Jacobs on guitar (first North American jazz guitarist invited to perform in Argentina's "Guitars of the World" festival), Dave Price on saxophone, Larry Williams on trumpet, Lynn Woolever on bass, Jack Lees on drums and percussion and other guitar contributions from Tony Pretzello and Ron Hershewe. Each of the individual songs on the album reflect Hartmann’s impressions of the rhythm of the rails, solid grooves of each track take you on a funk/be-bop sound voyage.
Hartmann’s last two albums, “3 if By Air” and “The 10th House” both featured CD cover graphics which reflect Hartmann’s passionate visual statement about the fragile nature of the orb we populate. He feels fossil fuels have no place in our future. “If we
continue to burn them at the current rate, two things will happen as sure as night follows day.....our economy will be disrupted beyond repair, and our planet, likewise, may be damaged sufficiently to induce global catastrophe,” states Hartmann.
Hartmann is a songwriter, musician, producer, music publisher and record label executive whose career has encompassed touring the world. From his first overseas gig in Southeast Asia to entertain soldiers for the USO, to performing with Ike & Tina Turner in Germany with the Rolling Stones as audience spectators to co-writing with Jimmy Whitney, King of Pop, Michael Jackson’s 1975 hit "Goodness
Knows." He’s currently producing his own works and others elaborating on his environmental beliefs as an activist and musical artist on his own independent label, Jon Hartmann Records.
For interviews, review copies and additional information, call Publicist, Stacey Kumagai at 818/506-8675 or email
To order Jon Hartmann’s CDs, go to www.jonhartmannmusic.com
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by Stacey Kumagai
Friday, Nov. 12, 2004 at 6:52 PM
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