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Show #104: World of Music

Posted April 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments
artist-mamak-khadem

This week, I’ve got a trove of new releases of various styles. We start with Australian DJ/producer, Tim Sullivan, who goes by the moniker, This Soft Machine. His debut single, “On & On,” was first featured by fellow KCRW DJ, Mario Cotto, earlier this month and recalls former British rock band, The Kinks’s “You Really Got Me.” Then it’s Italian composer/pianist, Ludovico Einaudi, with his most adventurous album yet, the Taranta …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

April 24: Remembering the Armenian Genocide

Posted April 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments
CIMG0497

Last week, Pope Francis made international headlines when he publicly recognized April 24 as a day of remembrance of the Armenian genocide. Historically, the date marks the eve of these atrocities, beginning with the arrest and execution of several hundred intellectuals, professionals, civic and religious leaders, editors and other notables. The Ottoman Turks, in an effort to stave off the crumbling of their empire during The Great War, began …

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

Music as Time Capsules: Joe Cocker & Papa Yoro Diop

Posted April 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Joe Cocker Photo

Awhile back, I wrote on vinyl about LPs as time capsules. As an ardent collector of vinyl, I’ve regularly find all sorts of random paraphernalia inside: newspaper clippings, handwritten personal notes, mementos, etc. Once, I even found a $5.09 receipt that had somehow made its way over from Platterpus Records in Easthampton, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles.
Radio airchecks (demo tapes made of on air radio …

African, Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Rhythm Planet #103: New African Beats

Posted April 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BKO Quintet

This week, Rhythm Planet travels to Africa as we feature brand new releases from a broad mix of countries and their musical styles: Mali, Benin, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, and Mauritania.
We begin our musical adventure in Mali with the song, “Waati” from the fabulous roots band, Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, off their new album, Ba Power. The predecessor to the banjo, the ngoni is traditionally a four-stringed, lute-like instrument commonly played throughout West Africa. Kouyaté, who …

Artist Spotlight, French, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

“No, No, No”: Evolution of a Hit Song

Posted April 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Dawn Penn

Jamaican-born Dawn Penn’s 1994 reggae classic, “You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No),” is still a hip song being spun by DJs in clubs and on the radio. The Jamaican artist’s big hit was also the name of her debut album, No, No, No. But Penn (b. 1952 Kingston, Jamaica) is no newcomer. She was already well-known in Jamaica by the time mainstream audiences around the world heard …

Artist Spotlight, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #102: DJ Selecta Tom Spins Again!

Posted April 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Tom Schnabel

  
This week, it’s the second installment of my Rhythm Planet dance party. (Click here to stream the first one.) These are the type of tracks I’d play at a small club like Zanzibar or at a private event. I’m an old school ‘selecta’ or selector, rather than the type of beat-matching DJ that wheels around a big Traktor rig. Instead, I use an ancient M-Audio X-Session Pro …

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

Jobim Sinfónico: High Hopes, Huge Saudade

Posted April 8, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Cathedral of Brasília (exterior)

I’ve been listening to the Jobim Sinfónico (Symphonic Jobim) CD from 2002. It features a suite that Antônio Carlos Jobim (b. 1927–1994) and Vinícius de Moraes composed to celebrate the opening of Brazil’s new federal capital, titled, “Brasília: Sinfonia da Alvorada” (Dawn Symphony).
Brasília was situated in the interior region of this enormous country to fulfill an earlier covenant of the 1891 constitution, which stipulated that the federal capital was to be …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

A Billie Holiday Celebration

Posted April 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Billie Holiday

Tomorrow is the centennial of Billie Holiday. Her haunting, soulful sound was laden with personal stories of heartbreak and misfortune. A victim of circumstance from early on, she took to substance abuse as a means not only of coping but in defiance of social norms. She was surrounded by dope all her life as a jazz musician—it was part of the jazz underground scene. However, addiction was considered …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #100: Tracing Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 3 Comments
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One day many years ago, Miles Davis visited Gil Evans’ basement flat in New York City, and Evans played him Joaquín Rodrigo’s iconic Concierto de Aranjuez. Miles was immediately smitten, and the two set themselves to collaborate on one of the most beloved works of all time, Sketches of Spain (1960). Miles later remarked that it was the most difficult session he’d ever done.
One of the pieces from the album, …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

The Musician’s Magical Touch

Posted March 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Elvin Jones

I once interviewed Elvin Jones (b. 1927–2004), the legendary powerhouse drummer who fueled the great John Coltrane Quartet with his incredibly complex polyrhythms, on Morning Becomes Eclectic back in the mid-1980s. I often wondered how he pulled it altogether, but he did. Elvin was a massive guy with a fierce look, who went only by his first name: Elvin—it was all he needed. At the end of our interview, I tried …

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