African, Artist Spotlight, French, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #96: Dance to the World Beat of DJ ‘Selecta’ Tom Schnabel

Posted February 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ghanaian Dance

I would never claim to be a beat-matcher with a big Traktor controller rig. Rather, I’m an old school selector, deeply ensconced in old school vinyl, rare CDs, and classic 12″ sides. But I am also always on the lookout for new stuff, and that includes dance sides.
So what is a selector or, colloquially, a ‘selecta’? It’s a reggae dancehall term referring to the person who selects the …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

How Jazz Trumpeter Clark Terry Kept On

Posted February 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Clark Terry

My first introduction to the musical genius of Clark Terry happened back in 1964 during a surfing trip to Oahu. I was 16 at the time. I had purchased the Oscar Peterson Trio + One LP at a record shop in the Ala Moana shopping center. The album featured jazz trumpeter Clark Terry doing a funny song called, “Mumbles,” which sounded exactly like the title implies: Terry mumbling—rather, scat singing …

African, Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #95: The LA Cumbia Festival Comes to Town

Posted February 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Betto Arcos 2

The vibrant, ubiquitous sound of cumbia is one that we Angelenos should all be familiar with. Born in the barrios of Colombia in the 1950s, the origins of cumbia can be traced back even further to the 17th century colonial slave trade from West Africa. The word cumbé in Guinean refers to a specific rhythm and/or a communal, ritual courtship dance. This hybrid style of music and dance is a …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Music History, RIP »

Aldo Ciccolini and Erik Satie

Posted February 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Back in the 1960s, composer Erik Satie’s limpid, odd, but wonderful solo piano music became known largely through the recordings of the late Aldo Ciccolini, who very recently passed away at the age of 89 in France, where he had lived for years.
Born in Naples in 1925, Ciccolini exhibited a natural gift for piano early on and was admitted to conservatory as a young boy. After …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Rubén Blades’ “El Padre Antonio y Su Monaguillo Andrés”

Posted February 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ruben Blades Archbishop Romero

Grammy Award-winning Rubén Blades is a wonderfully gifted Panamanian poet and songwriter whose works often take on a political tinge. Raised in a progressive family, his grand-uncle was a revolutionary during the Cuban War of Independence against Spain. His mother was an actress, his father a musician, and the girls in his family attended college. Ruben himself studied international law at Harvard on a full scholarship.
I knew Rubén back when he lived in …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

RIP: Zane Musa (1979–2015)

Posted February 9, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Zane Musa in Recording

 
One of the most talented saxophonists to emerge on the LA jazz scene in the past twenty years has left us. Zane Musa passed away tragically last week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had just returned from performing with Arturo Sandoval’s band on a Caribbean jazz cruise. His family, friends, musicians, and fans alike are shocked and mourning his untimely death.
“Zane Musa [was] an incredible virtuoso of the …

African, Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Asia, Cape Verde, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #93: Tom’s Personal Grammy Picks for 2015

Posted February 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Grammys 2015

I have been involved with the Grammys for 25 years now. As a short-lived executive at A&M Records from 1990–91, I sat on the committee that created the first Grammy Awards category for World Music (thanks to the late Bill Traut for shepherding this through). For this week’s Rhythm Planet show, I thought we’d have some fun and highlight several favorites among this year’s nominees for the 57th Annual Grammy …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases »

John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean Makes Musical Tidal Waves

Posted February 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Composer John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean has been nominated for three Grammys.
The other day, I finally got my copy of Become Ocean by composer John Luther Adams. I’d been trying to get it for weeks now, in fact, ever since I first heard it on the radio and it blew me away. The label, Cantaloupe Records, had had it out of stock for some time.
Now I know the work of John Adams pretty well but was …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz »

Melissa Aldana Comes to LA’s Blue Whale—Feb6

Posted February 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Melissa Aldana

This Friday, February 6, LA’s premier Downtown LA jazz club, blue whale, serves up yet another delectable jazz treat. Born in Santiago, Chile, tenor saxophone virtuoso Melissa Aldana established herself as a heavyweight when she won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
A third generation saxophonist, Melissa first picked up the instrument at the age of six, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Enrique ‘Kiko’ Aldana, a …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Classical, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Sundance Report: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Nina Simone - Thumbnail

“But what happened, Miss Simone? Specifically, what happened to your big eyes that quickly veil to hide the loneliness? To your voice that has so little tenderness, yet flows with your commitment to the battle of Life? What happened to you?” —Maya Angelou
So wrote the erudite Maya Angelou, following a 1970 Redbook interview she did with the mercurial ‘High Priestess of Soul’ herself, Nina Simone (b. 1933–2003). Echoing …

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