African, Artist Spotlight »

Senegalese Thione Seck is in Trouble

Posted July 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Thione Seck

I am a big fan of Thione Seck, a Senegalese singer who has been famous in Africa and Europe for more than 20 years. He is less well-known than other Senegalese superstars like Youssou N’Dour and Baaba Maal, probably because he doesn’t often travel outside of Senegal. Like his more famous compatriot, Seck has that amazing, big griot voice and a number of wonderful albums, though …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz, MBE Archive, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #113: Branford Marsalis Quartet’s Tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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If I had to name a few of the greatest instrumental jazz records of all time, several artists would come to mind: Louis Armstrong, Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis would be at the top of my list.
John Coltrane and his album, A Love Supreme, was music of an even higher order. It distinguishes itself from the rest by being not only …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History, RIP »

RIP: Fernando Brant, Lyricist for Milton Nascimento

Posted June 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Música Popular Brasileira or MPB, a popular song form that followed bossa nova in the 1960s, often paired singers with poets and lyricists. Vinicius de Moraes penned lyrics for Antônio Carlos Jobim and Baden Powell. Vítor Martins for Ivan Lins. Aldir Blanc for João Bosco and others. We’ve seen similar musical partnerships here in the U.S. between George and Ira Gershwin, Kurt Weill and Ira …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Netflix Releases “What Happened, Miss Simone” Documentary

Posted June 22, 2015 by | 2 Comments
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Back during the Sundance Film Festival, there was a big buzz about filmmaker Liz Garbus’s new documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone, which screens this Thursday, June 25, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), followed by a Q&A. If you can’t make it, it will also be released on Netflix this Friday, June 26. I guested on Morning Becomes Eclectic afterwards to talk about this exceptional artist and her legacy.
I …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Show #112 – Directly From My Heart: Billy Vera on Little Richard

Posted June 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Billy Vera is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter who has written hits for top stars like Dolly Parton and Bonnie Raitt. It’s always a special treat for us when Billy comes by the station because he was the host of his own KCRW show for six years when he’d play classic rhythm and blues, gospel, and early rock and roll. Billy is the authority on this …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Music History, RIP »

The Zydeco Legend of Amédé Ardoin

Posted June 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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The great musicologist Alan Lomax weighs in on Amédé Ardoin’s music and tragic death.
I recently read an article in the New York Times by Campbell Robertson about a New Orleans musician lost in time. His name was Amédé Ardoin (b. 1898–1942). With his virtuosic talent as an accordionist, he woud cross white Cajun and black Creole lines at a time when it was otherwise unthinkable. Ardoin is credited …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, RIP »

RIP: Ornette Coleman, Jazz Visionary (1930–2015)

Posted June 11, 2015 by | 1 Comment
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Cézanne. Picasso. Stravinsky. Schoenberg. Pollock. Derrida. Ornette Coleman. They all rewrote the books.
Ornette Coleman (b.1930–2015) died this morning of cardiac arrest in Manhattan at the age of 85. He burst upon the jazz scene in 1958, not in New York but here in Los Angeles when he recorded his first album, Something Else!!!, for Lester Koenig’s great Contemporary Records label. Coleman had come to Los …

Artist Spotlight, French, Jazz, Music History »

Miles Davis & Juliette Greco: Romance Ruined by Racism

Posted June 10, 2015 by | 1 Comment
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A young Miles Davis went to Paris in 1949 with the Tadd Dameron group and fell in love with two women: La Belle France and Juliette Greco. Miles came from a solid, well-to-do family, attended The Juilliard School, and was a hip, sophisticated jazz musician. Paris intellectuals were hugely fond of the new post-war bebop style and treated jazz musicians with the utmost respect and admiration.
Juliette …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, RIP »

L.A.’s Latin Dance Community Loses Ron Arciaga & Johnny Polanco

Posted June 3, 2015 by | 4 Comments

When you’re young like I once was and reading Camus, Hemingway, Plath, Ibsen and others, you ponder death and think you understand it. You don’t. It’s when we get older and bear witness to our friends and family shuffle off this mortal coil, that we actually understand that death can come, as the Bible says, “like a thief in the night.” The silver lining is that …

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

Show #109: June New Music Mix

Posted May 29, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Gillian Margot

This week on Rhythm Planet, I have a bunch of new releases that I’ve been wanting to share with you guys, as my ever-expanding stack of CDs in my To Play bin just seems to keep growing on me (in both senses of the term), so let’s get started!
We begin our show with a collective of musicians from Spain, Japan, Russia, Italy and the U.S.—all currently …

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