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, 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, Jazz, Latin, New Releases »

Mario Adnet’s Gorgeous Brazilian Music

Posted August 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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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 …

Artist Spotlight, French, Music History, RIP »

Jacques Brel’s Haunting Song: “Les Marquises”

Posted August 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Last night, I dreamt about the title track from Jacques Brel’s final album called, “Les Marquises,” named for the Marquesas Islands, where he spent his final years away from France. He had purchased a ’62 sailboat and sailed to the islands from France. The journey took something like six months via the Panama Canal.
The Belgian singer-songwriter had been earlier diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his lung that …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Performances & Events »

Chappottin: Legendary Cuban Band Plays LA

Posted July 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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It’s an embarrassment of riches–of a good thing I mean!
Two weeks ago, the New York group Tipica Novel wove its Cuban charanga magic at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. The group is celebrating their 50th birthday this year. Now we have another legendary Cuban group who is also celebrating its 50th birthday, Conjunto Chappottin y Sus Estrellas coming to Skirball Cultural Center this Thursday on …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight »

The Song of the Bed

Posted July 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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As we kick off our week, there are those of us who wish we could stay in bed a little longer. I’ve actually been on a mission to buy a new bed of late. I’ve been researching beds and there are several interesting types to chose from: Japanese cotton-batting beds, tempurpedic with cooling pillow tops, and expensive European models like Hasten and Duxiana. Duxiana’s current …

African, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Performances & Events »

Moorish Grooves Come to LA

Posted July 22, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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It’s not every day, week, month or year that you get a concert of deep Mauritanian blues in Los Angeles. But that very thing happens Thursday at the Skirball Cultural Center at 8pm. For more details, click here. I remember another compelling Mauritanian singer, Dimi Mint Abba, was booked by the World Music Institute in New York City. That was around 20 years ago. …

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

Show #64: Remembering Charlie Haden (1937–2014)

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 6 Comments
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Charlie Haden died last Friday at the age of 77. He had contracted polio as a teenager in Springfield, Missouri, and the dreaded disease returned in 2011 like Faust from Hell.
Charlie was a great friend of KCRW. He probably visited both myself and Chris Douridas at least 30 times on Morning Becomes Eclectic. But he didn’t want us just to play his music; he …

Artist Spotlight, Music History »

Billie Holiday’s Saddest Song

Posted July 13, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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The other night I heard an instrumental version of “You’ve Changed”, which is unusual; you don’t hear very many versions of this most sad of songs, either vocal or instrumental. The most famous version is Billie Holiday‘s version from her swan song album, Lady in Satin.

She was dying in the hospital when that record was released in 1958. She has the sad distinction of …

Artist Spotlight »

Tharanga Goonetilleke: Sri Lankan Opera Star

Posted July 9, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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There aren’t many Sri Lankans who turn to Western classical music. One guy is named Dinuk Wijeratne, a pianist and Juilliard graduate who does amazing work on a visionary album with Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh called Complex Stories, Simple Sounds.
Another artist was well-known lyric soprano named Danielle de Niesse, whose parents came from Sri Lanka, rose to fame first in Australia, then in Los …

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