Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, New Releases, world music »

The Musical Elixir of Singer and Oud Diviner Dhafer Youssef

Posted November 28, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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I first heard Tunisian singer and oud virtuoso Dhafer Youssef’s music on his 2010 release, Abu Nawas Rhapsody. It spurred me to buy an earlier record, Divine Shadows (2006), on which he works with a string quartet. Youssef’s vocal training is evident on both albums—his impressive voice has religious power, similar to that of great gospel singers, Pakistani sufi singers (think qawwali singer Nusrat …

African, Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, Featured, Headline, Holiday, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #186: In the Thanksgiving Spirit — Music from Hawai’i and Cape Verde

Posted November 25, 2016 by | 2 Comments
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I just returned from an idyllic vacation in Hawai’i—down on the Gold Coast of Oahu near Diamond Head—and felt the spirit of aloha in my heart and soul. Aloha means many wonderful things, all of them good:  kindness, compassion, affection, farewell, greetings, grace, hello and goodbye. No wonder that in surveys of happiness, Hawaiians often say they’re the “most contented with …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Classical, Featured, French, New Releases »

Artists You Should Know: Zsofia Boros

Posted November 23, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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I have been completely smitten by the young guitarist Zsófia Boros. On the Hungarian guitarist’s 2013 ECM album, En Otra Parte (Elsewhere), she celebrates the music of Cuban, Brazilian, and Argentine composers. Her subtle touch on the acoustic guitar seduces the listener. The guitar, already a very personal instrument, never sounded so intimate or beautiful. She plays with a quiet passion and clearly loves the music she chooses. …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Featured, Headline, Jazz, Latin, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #185: Remembering Mose Allison and Claus Ogerman

Posted November 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Two musical giants have passed: Mose Allison and Claus Ogerman. Actually, Ogerman shuffled off this mortal coil eight months ago, but nobody knew it because the family kept it a secret. Old Man Mose died on Monday, November 15, 2016, at the age of 89.
Mose Allison (1927-2016)
Mose Allison was one-of-a-kind, to put it mildly. Growing up in the backwoods town of Tippo, Mississippi, he would …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, Music History »

Paul Desmond: That Dry Martini Sound

Posted November 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Paul Desmond, an alto saxophonist, once said he tried to sound like a dry martini. He succeeded in that. Many people know jazz pianist Dave Brubeck‘s work, especially the famous 1959 Columbia session, Time Out. Fewer know that the most famous song on that million-selling album, “Take Five,” was written by Desmond. Desmond balanced the heavy-handed chords of Brubeck with a light, airy sound that was …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Music History, New Releases »

Tchaikovsky’s Powerful Sixth Symphony Gets Great New Reading

Posted November 9, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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I’ve been listening to a new recording of Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, the Sixth–named the Pathétique–paired with the romantic masterpiece Romeo & Juliet. It is a wonderful recording, with Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov leading the Czech Philharmonic on the Decca Classics label, which is famous for the quality of their recorded sound. This is the first volume of “The Tchaikovsky Project” recording cycle that will eventually cover all of the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Latin, New Releases, Performances & Events, world music »

Diego El Cigala’s Hot New Release: Flamenco Meets Fania

Posted November 7, 2016 by | 1 Comment
Image courtesy elcigala.com

Flamenco singer Diego El Cigala‘s career exploded when he recorded Lagrimas Negras with legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés in 2003. By “legendary” I mean patriarch of the Valdés piano clan (with Chucho and Chuchito) as well as his regular employ as music director and pianist of the swank, pre-Castro Havana nightclub, The Tropicana. Never has a duet album travelled so far so fast. El Cigala …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, New Releases »

Voces8 / Winter: Fresh New Choral Album

Posted November 2, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Rich Capparela hosts the weekday afternoon drive-time shift on KUSC, L.A.’s classical music station. He calls the selections “anti-road rage.” That would definitely apply to the beautiful, lilting music on Winter, a new album from Decca by the British vocal ensemble Voces8. It would also be wonderful music for meditating, yoga, or lying on your back on the rug on Sunday morning. It’s an album that you can …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #182: A Fun Hour with Jazz Guitar Wizard Wolfgang Schalk

Posted October 28, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Jazz guitarist Wolfgang Schalk is a Viennese transplant and one of L.A.’s hidden treasures. I immediately liked his new album From Here to There, from the first track to the last, and find him to be a fresh new musical voice. I invited Schalk in to showcase the new CD, plus to throw some “blindfold test” music at him. It didn’t surprise me that we shared …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Performances & Events, world music »

A Beautiful Evening with Flamenco Legend Tomatito

Posted October 26, 2016 by | 1 Comment
Photo by Sari Makki Phillips

Flamenco guitarist Tomatito and his group performed for the first time in Los Angeles last Friday night at the Wilshire Ebell Theater as part of the LA Flamenco Festival. I was thrilled to have been there to enjoy this passionate, intense, and beautiful concert.
Tomatito has the singular distinction of being the late singer Camarón de la Isla‘s guitarist. He took over Camarón’s guitarist mantle after Paco de Lucia …

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