"LA was wonderful during the riots. I got a lot of stereo equipment, a new wardrobe and some pampers," Joey Altruda snickers. However, the reality of LA is a lot of kids still frying on E, techno and rock still playing the same old song and the cops are still Nazis.

The city hasn't exactly had a reputation for live jazz, let alone multi-racial cocktails with Latin, dubwise, R&B, ska, funk, reggae, Afro-Cuban and swinging be-bop mixers. However, stand-up bass player and guitarist 'Tupelo' Joe Altruda and compadre, percussionist and drummer, Willy 'Wooly' McNeil who have kept LA joints jumping for the best part of a decade playing just that.

The dude duo joined forces in 1982 in the raucous psychobilly outfit Tupelo Sex Chain which released four albums and thrashed around the US and Canada, gradually taking on jazz and ska tinges. Today their respective bands Jump With Joey (JWJ) and Solsonics are resident Wednesday and Sunday respectively at LA's legendary live, rootsy club KING KING on Sixth and La Brea.

In July this year Joey and Willy were in London putting the finishing touches to the first non-live JWJ recordings for their fourthcoming album 'Generations United.' Rico Rodriquez, Clappers Priest and the DBC (Dread Broadcasting Posse), Jennie Bellestar and violinist Johnny T were all checking in for the sessions. In the US War's Lonnie Jordan contributed Hammond B3 organ while ska legend Roland Alphonso also played on one track arranged by Studio One supreme Coxsone and mixed by Phillip Robinson in New York.

JWJ is a self-styled jump-swing-ska outfit - "Luis Jordan meets 'The Skatalites". It was formed over two years ago as a house band for KING KING where Joey was helping book acts. The name came from an album cover of Fifties Calypsonian band leader Joey Lewis.

Almost a year later JWJ's Willy founded Solosonics and their funky, Seventies jazz brew can be heard on their debut single, 'Montuno Funk', on Brass Records. Occasionally known as SONO-LUX, Solsonics do jazz standards like 'So What' and 'Caravan' plus Horace Silver's Sophistocated Hippy' and Freddie Hubbard's 'Red Clay'.

In the last few year KING KING has evolved into a drop-in centre/collective for the players of Latin jazz, Afro Cuban, R&B, ska, funk, rare groove and roots scenes. Tuesday's Afro-Cuban KING KING All Stars sessions featured players from the bands of Ray Barretto, Machito and Poncho Sanchez.

Signed to the Japanese Parco Quattro label (alongside LJK, Prince Buster, and Vinyl Solution) JWJ's first album 'Ska-Ba' was only released in Japan. It resulted in a tour there last year alongside Fishbone. The new album 'Generations United' is due out mid-November.

For Joey, 'jazz' is a four letter, kiss of death, word. "You may as well pack up your horn and go home. No one is going to go see you play in a club if they think you play 'jazz', that word alone scares people away."

But Joey and Willy found the recently acquired "acid" prefix alleviated that situation somewhat. With renewed interest, Angelinos too are now venturing out to check this NOT- jazz thing. "And I just think it's nice to have that word acid in there," Joey adds.

Now, with the success of the Brand New Heavies and newcomer Delicious Vinyl subsidiary label Brass, and their club of the same name, things seem to be hotting up West-Stateside. They've come a long way since their lead singer in Tupelo Chain Sex puked up on stage.