Artist Spotlight, Blues, Featured, New Releases »

Robert Plant’s New Album: Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar

Posted September 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
lullaby

I once asked Malian bluesman Ali Farka Toure if he was influenced by the great John Lee Hooker. He gave me a sharp look and said it was the other way around. And he was right. The blues came to America from slaves from the Sahel, the part of Africa between the Sahara and Forest Africa (principally Mali, Senegal, Niger, Mauretania, and Gambia).
Robert Plant‘s …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz »

Shirley Horn’s Lyrics for “Come Back To Me”

Posted September 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Shirley_Horn

Shirley Horn has long been a favorite jazz singer and pianist of mine. I’m not alone: Miles Davis was a big fan as well. That’s probably why he made a cameo appearance on her 1989 Verve album You Won’t Forget Me. He plays on the title track. Shirley puts lots of space into her chords and piano runs, also lots of pauses and space in …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Latin, Performances & Events »

The Boy from Ipanema: Caetano Veloso

Posted September 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Brazilian superstar Caetano Veloso was actually born in the small Bahian town of Santo Amaro da Purificaçao. His mother died there a few years back at the age of 105. Hopefully Caetano and his kid sister Maria Bethânia will inherit her genes for longevity.
I reviewed his autobiography Verdade Tropical (Tropical Truth) for the LA Times Book Review when the English version came out in 2002 (click …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Latin »

Timbalero Against All Odds: José Papo de Leon

Posted September 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments
el tuco

I’ve written about pianists who transcended physical disabilities and you can read about here. I want to add to this with a musician who plays the timbales: José Papo de Leon. His nickname is “El Tuco” which translates to “the maimed one”. I saw him play timbales with the great New York charanga outfit Tipica Novel at the Museum of Latin American Art this Summer and he …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz »

Honoring Jazz Giant Gerald Wilson: Happy 96th!

Posted September 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Gerald Wilson is one of my musical heroes. I loved all his Pacific Jazz albums from the 1960s, and songs like “Patterns” and “Lighthouse Blues”. Gerald was everything: born in Mississippi in 1918, moving to New York City at a young age to play lead trumpet and arrange for the legendary Jimmy Lunceford Orchestra, where he, just out of his teens, replaced veteran Sy …

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

Show #70: Featured Artists—Mélanie De Biasio & Hollie Cook

Posted August 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Hollie Cook - Twice

I want to feature two new albums that showcase two young artists who couldn’t be more different: Mélanie De Biasio and Hollie Cook. Both of them are so outstanding, however, that their excellence binds them together. These two singers have fantastic, new albums out that I highly recommend.
Hollie Cook is a young British singer. The daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, her mother Jeni was …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, New Releases »

Mandolin Player: Hamilton de Holanda

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the mandolin. However, there’s a player out there who is about to change my mind–Hamilton de Holanda.
The mandolin has a higher-pitched, kind of thinner sound than say the rich tones of a guitar or an oud. It is a descendant of the lute and its history reaches back to be one of the earliest instruments.
Brazilian mandolin player Hamilton …

African, Artist Spotlight, New Releases »

The “Wired for Sound – Mozambique” Project

Posted August 25, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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There’s an intriguing new album out via an organization called Wired for Sound, put together by Simon Attwell, founding member of the South African supergroup Freshlyground. The organization is known by its acronym OSISA (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa). They have put together a modern roaming field-recording studio, taken it into remote regions of Southern Africa, in this case Mozambique. The mobile studio …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, RIP »

RIP: Jazz Trumpet Great, Joe Wilder

Posted August 20, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Joe Wilder

Joe Wilder was one of the best trumpet players that people have never heard of. Playing mostly in pit bands for musicals and TV shows like Dick Cavett’s, he wasn’t well-known. Wilder was so busy working with other bands that he rarely recorded anything as a leader.
I got turned onto him by the late jazz wizard, Will Thornbury, who did music shows for KCRW from …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Jazz, Latin, New Releases »

Mario Adnet’s Gorgeous Brazilian Music

Posted August 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
mario adate

I’ve known the name Mario Adnet for awhile. He’s a Brazilian guitarist and arranger. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he also studied in the U.S. and Austria, and is mostly known for his compositions and arrangements for other artists on their albums.
Mario’s label, Adventure Music, recently issued two beautiful albums that I can’t stop listening to. One is titled, Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos (A Look …

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