Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Thwarted Interview with Stan Getz

Posted September 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I still remember the night of April 24, 1980, when I drove to Howard Rumsey’s popular Redondo Beach jazz spot, Concerts by the Sea, because it was the same date as the failed attempt to rescue the Iranian hostages. I was on my way to interview Stan Getz.
I had my questions prepped and my portable cassette recorder ready to go. My first question was whether he had …

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

Show #125: Musical Ambrosia, Part 1

Posted September 18, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Ambrosia is the nectar of the gods in Greek mythology. For me it’s a little more mundane: a fruit salad with mandarin oranges, pineapple, grapes, pecans, cherries, with a dash of whipped cream. I have added a splash of Cointreau to this beautiful mélange.
I heard the word in a different and incongruous way the other day, when I read an article in the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Jazz, RIP »

My Week Chez Francis Paudras

Posted September 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Francis Paudras

Most people have never heard of Francis Paudras (1935–1997). I, however, will never forget him and the days we spent together in Antigny, a small village in Western France in the waning days of summer, 1981. A classic Frenchman in so many ways, he was just as well-versed in old world culture as he was in the American new: Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy were on …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, RIP »

RIP: Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard (1928–2015)

Posted September 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard

Two luminaries were recently lost: Oliver Sacks and Wes Craven, for whom many tributes poured out. But in the smaller print, hidden in the back pages, I discovered the passing of another person from whom I had learned so much. Her name was Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard.
Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard (b. 1928–2015) taught Armenian and culture for decades at USC and was choir conductor of the Armenian Evangelical Church, bestowing …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, MBE Archive »

Jazz Pianist Bud Powell & His Guardian Angel

Posted September 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BN Bud Powell Recordings (1949–1958)

I am just now reading Oliver Sacks’ recent memoir, On the Move. In one chapter he recalls his older brother’s descent into schizophrenia and its effect upon their parents, who were both doctors like him.
Michael Sacks was prescribed Largactil, a powerful tranquilizer also known as Thorazine in America. This was around the same time that a young Francis Paudras (b. 1935–1997) both housed,  championed, chaperoned, and otherwise took care …

Artist Spotlight, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

What I Learned From Oliver Sacks (1933–2015)

Posted September 2, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Oliver Sacks - Headphones

I was deeply saddened to learn that Oliver Sacks (b. 1933–2015) had succumbed to the cancer that he announced this past February. He was 82-years young.
The sheer number of obituaries penned over the past few days remembering this gifted author and neurologist for his immense contribution to the field made me recall how differently I learned to understand the situations of people suffering with neurological …

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

Izzy Sanabria: Latin Music’s Renaissance Man

Posted August 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Izzy Sanabria - headshot

I recently dropped some dough on a vintage mono LP (used) by the Alegre All-Stars called Way Out (Vol. 4). They spawned the immortal mambo DNA of groups like Tico All-Stars, Cesta All-Stars, and the final incarnation, the Fania All-Stars. The band changed its name every time the core group recorded for new labels (i.e. Tico, Alegre, Cesta, Fania). The LP I just bought was released …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Amália Rodrigues’ Fado Classic, “Barco Negro”

Posted August 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Last year, en route to Cape Verde, I flew to Zurich on Swiss Air, then transferred to a TAP plane (Portugal’s national airline). I was about to board the plane when I was stopped at the gate and told that I would have to check my bag. I didn’t want to; I had another connection to make in Lisbon to get to Praia, Cape …

Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

Saturday, Aug 22: Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali & DJ Neil Sparkes at Grand Performances

Posted August 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I used to tell my listeners that Qawwali music was not music made by cute little furry Australian arboreal creatures, but rather, sufi gospel music from Pakistan.
A few weeks ago I wrote about my discovery and experience with the late Qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. When Nusrat passed away in 1997,  he left a musical vacuum, which his then-teenage nephews committed themselves to filling. …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Latin, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Buena Vista Social Club’s Ibrahim Ferrer & the Havana Sugar Kings

Posted August 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BVSC - Ibrahim Ferrer

I first heard about the Buena Vista Social Club back in the mid-1990s, probably through Ry Cooder. The minute the album went on sale at Rhino Records in Westwood, I bought my import copy for $27.00 and fell in love with them from the very first notes. I was the first to air them on the radio.
Five years later in 2000, I was lucky to be …

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