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

Lady Gaga: Jazz Singer?

Posted November 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Cheek to Cheek

Pop diva, Lady Gaga, and the great Tony Bennett have been making headlines together touring their recent collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek. Who would have thought that the woman in the meat dress with the flashy, stage shows was a closet jazz vocalist…?
The pair made their first debut together singing “Lady is a Tramp” on Tony’s Duets II album, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop …

Artist Spotlight, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #82: Artists You Should Know, Jessica Fichot

Posted November 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Jessica Fichot has a new album, an EP of 7 songs called Dear Shanghai, that celebrates her Chinese parentage and background. Her past 2 albums, Le Chemin (The Path) and Le Secret (The Secret), demonstrate her talent at French chanson-style and writing, complete with bal musette (think French cafe à la Robert Doisneau) accordion, gypsy swing, folk, pop, and other French popular styles. The new album, Dear Shanghai, brings …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Interviews, Performances & Events »

Audiophile Alert: Me & Henry Rollins

Posted November 19, 2014 by | 3 Comments
Henry - Outside

Awhile back, Henry Rollins wrote a feature for Stereophile, a monthly rag for hi-fi enthusiasts and nerds. Henry is hardly a nerd, to wit this statement, he wrote in his article entitled “I Am an Audiophile”:
“People can hurl any epithet they want about the snobbishness they think audiophiles retain. Let them drink their wine from boxes. The sound of my Bob Ludwig-mastered pressing of Led Zeppelin’s Houses …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Performances & Events »

Don’t Miss: Ana Moura—This Friday, November 14

Posted November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Ana Moura

I am a huge fan of fado, and I am particularly fond of Ana Moura. Fado, like the blues, jazz, and tango, originated in the lower rungs of Portuguese society, in Lisbon’s working class areas like the Mouraria, Alfama, and Bairro Alto port areas in the 1820s. With boats docking in at these ports from all over the world, early fado took its influences from both Arabic modes …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

My Late Friend, Joe Zawinul

Posted November 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Joe Zawinul

Joe Zawinul first became known when he replaced Victor Feldman as pianist of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, a fantastic band with music director Charles Lloyd on sax and flute. David Axelrod was the svengali who produced those timeless Cannonball Adderly sessions from 1964–75.
I remember buying Joe’s new Zawinul LP in 1971 and going over to a friend’s who had a good stereo system, and lying on the floor enjoying …

African, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Music History, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Tinariwen, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer

Posted November 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Tinariwen - Joshua Tree 2

Tinariwen, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer sounds like a gruesome scene from the Kel Tamashek uprising of 1963 in northern Mali that saw the death of messianic Tinarwen frontman Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s parents when he was a small boy. But in fact, it’s actually the group’s playbill for the North America tour for their latest album, Emmaar.
When The Harpoonist (Shawn Hall) and the …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Performances & Events »

Flamenco Superstar El Cigala Debuts at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Posted October 28, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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First there was Camarón de la Isla (“Shrimp of the Island”), named because he was skinny and taunted for his complexion being as white as the albino “ghost shrimp” found in the mud volcanoes along the Gulf of Cádiz. He didn’t live long, dying of cancer in 1992 at the age of 42, but was already hailed then as the greatest cantaor (singer) of all …

Artist Spotlight, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #78: Remembering Tim Hauser Through the Songs He Loved

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I was both surprised and saddened by the recent passing of Tim Hauser just a week ago. He was not only the guy who founded the famous vocal group The Manhattan Transfer; he was a friend and did a weekly vocal music show on KCRW back when I was Music Director. His show was called Sunday Sings Jazz on Sundays and was on from noon till 2 PM. …

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

Brian Eno on Dick & DeeDee’s 1961 classic, “The Mountain’s High”

Posted October 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Dick & Dee Dee - The Mountain's High

Dick & DeeDee perform “The Mountain’s High” on American Bandstand.
A few weeks ago, I visited my brother in Templeton, California, where he owns a beautiful house and a vineyard. Before I left, he handed me a bag of his old 7-inch, 45 rpm’s. Inside were some original Capitol Records singles by The Beatles, a few old R&B hits, and late ’50s and early ’60s b-sides …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

RIP: Nati Cano of Mariachi Los Camperos

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Natividad “Nati” Cano, the violinist-leader of the legendary, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, has passed on October 3rd. He was 81.
Although I’m not a huge fan of mariachi music, the first time I heard Mariachi Los Camperos perform, I remember being struck by the beauty of Nati’s sound. His was full and sweet, the equivalent of a Mexican Jascha Heifetz. I was also knocked …

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