Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #100: Tracing Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments
514HOVgwgxL._AA160_

One day many years ago, Miles Davis visited Gil Evans’ basement flat in New York City, and Evans played him Joaquín Rodrigo’s iconic Concierto de Aranjuez. Miles was immediately smitten, and the two set themselves to collaborate on one of the most beloved works of all time, Sketches of Spain (1960). Miles later remarked that it was the most difficult session he’d ever done.
One of the pieces from the album, …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Read the full story »

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #100: Tracing Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments
514HOVgwgxL._AA160_

One day many years ago, Miles Davis visited Gil Evans’ basement flat in New York City, and Evans played him Joaquín Rodrigo’s iconic Concierto de Aranjuez. Miles was immediately smitten, and the two set themselves to collaborate on one of the most beloved works of all time, Sketches of Spain (1960). Miles later remarked that it was the most difficult session he’d ever done.
One of the pieces from the album, …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

The Musician’s Magical Touch

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Elvin Jones

I once interviewed Elvin Jones (b. 1927–2004), the legendary powerhouse drummer who fueled the great John Coltrane Quartet with his incredibly complex polyrhythms, on Morning Becomes Eclectic back in the mid-1980s. I often wondered how he pulled it altogether, but he did. Elvin was a massive guy with a fierce look, who went only by his first name: Elvin—it was all he needed. At the end of our interview, I tried …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: May You Never Be Forgotten

Posted March 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Sister Rosetta - Steamin' & Dreamin'

Sister Rosetta Tharpe making her grand entrance before performing “Didn’t It Rain” in Manchester, England, in 1964.
Spring is officially sprung, and my fellow journalist/music critic, Steve Hochman, reminded me that March 20 would have marked the centennial of the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe (b. 1915–1973). Born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas, her parents were cotton pickers by day. Her mother was a singer, mandolin player, and an evangelist preacher, who …

African, French, Jazz, Latin, Middle East, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #99: March Music Madness

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
51jfQvIWyEL._AA160_

I’ve got a big pile of new releases that have survived the—err, my curator’s cut. As the U.S. Marine recruitment slogan goes, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” In any case, I audition all of the CDs that are sent to me, except for the ones in genres that have nothing to do with Rhythm Planet (e.g. death metal, hard rock, teen angst, etc.) and …

Art, Literature & Film, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

How to Speak Hip

Posted March 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments
How to Speak Hip - cover

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Jazz Humor. A reader named Jim Hickson responded with a favorite CD of his, How to Speak Hip, by Del Close and John Brent. This cleverly done, tongue-in-cheek spoken word album was new to me, so thanks for the recommendation, Jim!
Originally released by Mercury Records back in 1959, it’s since been remastered into digital format by …

African, Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events »

“The Voice” of South African Freedom

Posted March 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela

This past weekend, a South African triple header graced the LA stage in a sold-out performance: trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Sotho singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela, and the all-male chorus, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Together, they’ve been on the road since last year, touring 20 Years of South African Freedom, which culminated in one final, spectacular celebration of ‘freedom, justice, and harmony’ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Each of the three are musical …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Show #98: Black is the Color: Unusual Song, Interesting History

Posted March 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Rhiannon Giddens

Singer Rhiannon Giddens, a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group specializing in old-timey music, just released her first solo album. On it is her amended cover of a well-known classic that goes way back in time, “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Giddens new version is uptempo, feel-good, and infectious. Her solo debut is auspicious; she is a fabulous singer with a …

Art, Literature & Film, Classical, Music History, Uncategorized »

Beethoven’s Pianos

Posted March 11, 2015 by | 6 Comments
Musikinstrumente: Graf-Flügel

Beethoven, though primarily thought of as a great composer, was also the greatest pianist of his age. Only Franz Liszt could approach Beethoven’s virtuosity, and that was decades after Beethoven’s death; Liszt also had the benefit of improved piano technology.
Beethoven was most passionate about his sonatas. He kept composing them, 32 in all, long after he stopped composing his more public works such as …

Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Revisiting: Cannonball Adderley’s Nippon Soul

Posted March 9, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Cannonball Adderley - Nippon Soul

I recently bought a good vinyl cleaner and have been enjoying pulling out vintage vinyl, cleaning when necessary, and spinning it on the turntable. I also recently upgraded my phono cartridge and am rediscovering a treasure trove of musical delights hidden in the grooves.
One of the LPs I pulled out is Nippon Soul: Cannonball Adderley, recorded live at Tokyo’s Sankei Hall in 1963. It …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Classical, Music History »

Jan Swafford’s Essential Beethoven Biography

Posted March 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Jan Swafford

“What Beethoven wanted from pianos, as he wanted from everything, was more: more robust build, more fullness of sound, a bigger range of volume, a wider range of notes. As soon as new notes were added to either end of the keyboard, he used them, making them necessary to anyone wanting to play his work. From early on, piano makers asked for Beethoven’s opinion, and they …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

BROUGHT TO YOU BY