Austin Peralta's Last Performance at the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo 11/20/12

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The above picture with the red window frame is from a radio concert I produced with Ausin in 2008….in the KCRW studios.

I just got a nicely-filmed video of Austin Peralta’s last performance at the Blue Whale November 20, 2012.  It’s Charlie Mingus’ tribute to Lester Young, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, named after the tenor saxophonist’s penchant for wearing pork pie hats (Lester also played his tenor sideways, something Charlie Haden once told me came from practicing in bed).   The brilliant lyrics were penned by Joni Mitchell, from her Mingus album.  I like the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo because people come to listen, not to talk.  And the club books many interesting bands, often great local talent  that would be overlooked by the bigger, more commercial clubs.

The coroner’s office listed the cause of death Peralta’s cause of death as viral pneumonia, exacerbated by alcohol and sleeping medication, citing the death as accidental, not a suicide.

In this swan song performance we have Natasha Agrama on vocals, Dan Lutz, bass, Nick Mancini on vibes, and Louis Cole playing drums.  It is a beautiful rendition, powerful yet dreamy.

In just a few hours after this moving performance, Austin was dead.  He had just turned 22.