Back in high school it was always a “Sophie’s Choice” in the record store. There would be 4-5 albums I really wanted but I only had like $10 so I could only get two. That continued for another decade. Even when I worked at Vogue Records in Westwood while in graduate school, I couldn’t get free records.
When I got back from Paris in late 1976 and couldn’t find a teaching job (so much for an M.A. in Comparative Literature and two teaching credentials), I just started writing for various music periodicals. I dutifully sent my tear sheets out to record company promo men and publicists, and slowly but surely the LP’s started coming in. It’s a blessing and a curse: a blessing to get new releases sent to you; a curse when you have to move.
That being said, I want to present some new releases I’ve received recently, but this is just a drop in the bucket. I have two more new release shows ready to record, too. Anyway, here is the latest show.
We begin with French musician Raphael Imbert with a song dedicated to Martin Luther King, appropriately titled “MLK Blues”. We continue with some plaintive Malian blues from Rokia Traore. Her show a year or so ago at UCLA, when Toumani Diabate didn’t make it, was thrilling.
The Colombian-UK collective Sidestepper is next, back from a long hiatus, with a new CD on Real World records. After that it’s the LA-based Ethiopian groove band, Debo Band; every cut on the new album is just fantastic. It was hard to choose which cut to play.
We continue with a beautiful cut by a singer from Somaliland (not to be confused with Somalia) named Sahra Halgan. I am truly smitten by this beautiful music.
Two new CD’s from trumpet players are next. First, a Christian Scott record featuring Elena Pinderhughes, a wonderful flutist. Christian Scott’s strange-looking trumpet outdoes Wynton Marsalis’, for sure. Then Gabriel Mervine dishes up some straight-ahead jazz on his new album.
The final quartet of songs include a Beatles cover by classical guitarist Milos Karadaglic (let’s just call him Milos) featuring the great Gregory Porter on vocals. A Portuguese pop band led by Marta Ren follows, sounding more like a 60’s pop band than some Portuguese group. No wonder the album was produced by Sharon Jones’ people.
We wrap it up with two fine new jazz albums by Mike Moreno and Lew Tabackin. I love Tabackin’s playing on John Lewis’ great song “Afternoon in Paris”; and the trio context reminds me of Sonny Rollins’ great trio sides.
I hope you enjoy these eleven new releases. Let me know which songs you like the best. I’m always curious about that!
Rhythm Planet Playlist for 2/19/16
- Raphael Imbert & Co / “MLK Blues” featuring Anne Paceo / Music Is My Home: Act 1 (Bonus Track Version) / Jazz Village
- Rokia Traore / “Né So” / Né So / Nonesuch
- Sidestepper / “Fuego Que Te Llama” / Supernatural Love / Real World
- Debo Band / “Ele” / Ere Gobez / FPE Records
- Sahra Halgan Trio / “Anigoo An Diidayn”/ Faransiskiyo Somaliland / Buda Records
- Christian Scott / “Liberation over Gangsterism” / Stretch Music (Introducing Elena Pinderhughes) / Ropeadope
- Gabriel Mervine / “Somethin’ Cute” / People / Synergy Music
- Milos Karadaglic / “Let it Be” featuring Gregory Porter / Blackbird – The Beatles Album / Mercury Classics
- Marta Ren & The Groovelvets / “It’s Today” / Stop Look Listen / Record Kicks
- Mike Moreno / “The Hills Of Kykuit” / Lotus / World Culture Music
- Lew Tabackin Trio / “Afternoon in Paris” / Soundscapes / Lew Tabackin Trio