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Show #144: Tasty New Releases

Posted February 5, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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This week we sample some tracks from ten tasty new releases.
We begin with a fabulous 2-cd set of music by Gershwin and Mancini. The Steve Richman Harmonie Ensemble dishes up some witty and beautifully produced music of these two great composers. The Gershwin/Grofe is totally fun to hear, and the Mancini disc is absolutely wonderful.
Lou Tavano is a stylish, Paris-based singer I …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Hey Jazz Fans: 3 Upcoming Shows Not to Miss

Posted February 3, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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I want to recommend a few upcoming shows.
The first is an exceptional quartet called P.O.E.M. (Pasqua, Oles, Erskine. Mintzer), four incredible artists who share musical telepathy and deep understanding of whatever they play. They have a new album out called Standards 2: Movie Music. The cuts include their beautiful versions of classics like “Tara’s Theme” from Gone with the Wind, “Somewhere” from Westside …

Artist Spotlight, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #143: Devotional Songs from India and Pakistan

Posted January 29, 2016 by | 4 Comments
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Today’s show is a little different: it simply features three devotional songs from India and Pakistan.
The first is a raga by Ravi Shankar for his beloved music guru, Baba Allaudin Khan. The relationship between guru and devotee in India is like few others. For Ravi it meant stopping the gypsy life of a little dandy and move to a cement hut, practicing 8-10 hours …

Artist Spotlight, film, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Jaco Pastorius: Great Musician, Sad End

Posted January 27, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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“My name is Jaco Pastorius and I’m the greatest bass player in the world.” This was the way Jaco introduced himself to Joe Zawinul, Weather Report founder and übermensch.  Zawinul was abrupt and dismissive: “f#*k off” was his reply. Then Pastorius played a solo fretless bass version of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee.” Just as abruptly, Zawinul changed his opinion, and soon Pastorius was a …

African, Artist Spotlight, Interviews, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #142: Dexter Story’s Wondem: A Musical Love Letter to East Africa

Posted January 22, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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I’ve known Dexter Story for a long time. He booked some great acts into the Temple Bar back in the day before it closed. I didn’t know about his artistic side, however, until I heard him playing drums with Todd Simon’s band Ethio-Cali at Grand Performances at California Plaza (great night), then conducting the band at the Wattstax show, also at Grand Performances. Both …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #141: Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes 1978-1981

Posted January 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Peter Erskine is one of the best drummers on the planet. Just ask any drummer. He is a powerhouse drummer who can power a big band (that’s where he started his career) or be a subtle poet in a trio or quartet. His ECM albums are exemplary; so is his work with pianist Alan Pasqua. He is indeed a drummer’s drummer. One of my …

Artist Spotlight, film, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History »

The Amazing Nina Simone: Great Film Doc from Jeff L. Lieberman

Posted January 13, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Nina Simone’s music has been part of my life for a long time, and I’m sure her other fans share this love with me. Her many albums show many different sides of her multifaceted talent and personality: her reluctance to entering the pop-jazz world; her limited vocal range counterpointed with her perfect pitch and ability to deliver emotion; her amazing piano playing and love …

Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #139: New and Noteworthy Releases to Begin 2016

Posted January 1, 2016 by | 2 Comments
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Happy New Year from Rhythm Planet! We start the new year with a few more wonderful recent releases.
First we have a terrific new recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations with French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. There have been many recordings of this iconic work, originally penned by J.S. Bach as a soporific for a nobleman. Glenn Gould recorded the most popular version, first in 1955 as …

Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Adele’s Hit Song Hello: Original and Swahili Version

Posted December 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Lionel Richie wrote a song called “Hello” in 1983, a year after leaving the Commodores.  The theme of sadness is similar to the new song by Adele, written by her and Greg Kurstin, who we know from the group The Bird and the Bee.  The lyrics of the two songs, however, are different. There is another less-known version, in Swahili no less.  It is …

African, Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #138: New and Noteworthy Releases to End 2015

Posted December 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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This Christmas Day I’m on the air doing Christmas Becomes Eclectic once again, something that’s become a holiday tradition at KCRW.
We’ll start this Christmas Day’s Rhythm Planet with a great new CD by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – wowing the crowd in Havana, Cuba. I love the playing of Dan Nimmer, the pianist. He plays with precision and intensity, and great …

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