Unless you’ve somehow escaped the Christmas tunes piping ceaselessly from store speakers, you already know that the holiday shopping season is in full swing. To help you with your shopping list, here are a few gift ideas from all of us here at Rhythm Planet.
The Jazz Covers book from Taschen is now available in a new one-volume, attractively-priced version ($19.99). This hard cover book includes illustrations of many jazz album covers from European versions that I’d never seen before. Lots of terrific cover art in over 600 pages. A great gift for lovers of jazz or graphic design.
The Original Hugh Tracey Kalimba: Tuned in G and beautifully hand-made in South Africa, this little thumb piano has 15 tines/notes. It sounds great by itself but also goes with just about any other instrument. No experience required to make soothing and melodic music emit from this little box. Unlike cheaper models, the Hugh Tracey kalimbas are properly tuned, made from quality wood, and have an internal microphone. The piano comes with lots of information. Available from Sam Ash Percussion store in Hollywood and from Amazon for about $125.
Beethoven: Symphonies 1-9 by Haitink/London Symphony Orchestra: This complete set of Beethoven’s rousing symphonies is not a new release, but a recent rediscovery. It’s one of the best performances and best recorded sets I have heard of the Beethoven symphonies. It’s recorded in SACD, and as I wrote recently, it’s a must for any Beethoven fan, even if he or she has other recordings of the nine symphonies. About $58 from Amazon.
Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites: A Cookbook: If you’ve followed the peripatetic celebrity chef on his TV series Parts Unknown, you know that he not only features the food of his often exotic destinations, but also celebrates the people and culture (including music) of the places he visits. For the foodie and fan of world cultures, this latest book includes some of the greatest hits recipes culled from Bourdain’s travels around the world as well as the chef’s own favorites. $22.50 on Amazon.
Rio: Samba is a 3-CD set recently issued by Le Chant du Monde, a French label specializing in world music. It’s a steal at $8.99, and this is as complete an introduction as you’ll ever need to Brazil’s national musical treasure. For those who prefer bossa nova, Rio: Bossa is a companion 3-CD set with all the great stars of the legendary Brazilian music genre. Like the samba box set, it’s attractively priced (just $12.29 on Amazon) and comprehensive.