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Remembering Ronald Shannon Jackson

Posted March 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Jazz drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson passed away in October of 2013. He was a powerful drummer in a band that broke down a lot of barriers and blended many genres of music: The Decoding Society. The Decoding Society was more edgy, funky, driving. Looking in my KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic archives and there is my aircheck of an interview I did with him on September …

Artist Spotlight, Featured »

The Rare Beauty Of Susanne Abbuehl

Posted March 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Susanne Abbuehl is a Swiss born jazz singer who happened to live in Los Angeles for awhile in her earlier years studying music. After discovering the wondrous beauty of Abbuehl’s recent ECM album The Gift, I looked at this 2006 album, Compass.
Compass is a fascinating album taking you on a cerebral voyage. It draws on material perhaps even more eclectic than the Bronte / Dickinson / Teasdale poetry featured …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

Hampton Hawes: Jazz Great Pardoned by JFK

Posted March 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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 A few months ago, I read with interest a New York Times article a story about how a jazz pianist and a great American president’s lives coincided in a small bit of history. The article was called, The President of the Cool.
Hampton Hawes (1928-1977) was one of the great jazz pianists; fiercely independent, he learned everything, improvisation, technique, harmony, theory, music history, on his …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music Phenomena »

Arabic Twist On The Theme From Shaft

Posted March 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments
malik adouane

Years ago on PRI’s The World’s end-of-program feature called Global Hit, Marco Werman featured a tantalizing version of the Isaac Hayes classic, complete with the wah-wah pedal and drum riff that opens the song. This version was by an French artist of both Algerian and Celtic parentage named Malik Adouane. The version of the song I got was on an collection called Beur-FM, a …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, RIP »

RIP: Flamenco Giant Paco de Lucia

Posted February 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Paco de Lucia, a giant of flamenco, has died of a sudden heart attack. He passed away yesterday while on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico with his children. He had several homes, both in Spain, Mexico, and other places.  He was 66.
“Paco lived as he wished and died playing with his children beside the sea,” a statement offered by the de Lucia family …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

How Baden Powell Got His Name

Posted February 17, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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Baden Powell (1937-2000) was an amazing and very influential guitar player from Brazil. I have featured his music on my shows for many years, and enjoyed it long before that, beginning with an MPS LP Apaixonado from Germany in the 1960s. I even have a picture of him on my wall, a more formal portrait where his hands and fingers look like something out of …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History »

The Hip Lyrics of Tom Jobim

Posted February 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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It’s been said  poetry is that which is lost in translation. Not so with the songs of Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim. Aside from such wonderful wordplay on The Girl from Ipanema as “But each day when she walks to the sea, she looks straight ahead – not at he…” Then there’s Jobim’s song “Desafinado (“Off Key”), written in response to those who claimed Brazilian singers …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music Phenomena, Performances & Events »

The Female Voice Of Lebanon: Fairouz

Posted February 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I’ve known about Fairouz (born 1935) for 30 years. It started when a lovely man named Samir Hachem–who passed away years ago–brought in a bunch of her albums and guest-hosted an hour of Morning Becomes Eclectic with me. He was a reporter for the Hollywood Reporter at the time, mostly writing on film but also a fan of Arabic music. We did other shows …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Recollections, RIP »

RIP: Wadi El-Safi, The Great Voice of Lebanon

Posted February 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments
wadih el-safi

Lebanese vocalist Wadi El-Safi (also spelled Wadih Al-Safi) passed away in Beirut this past October, 2013. He was 91. Just as Fairouz remains the female voice of Lebanon, El-Safi was the most famous singer of his generation in Lebanon and widely admired throughout the Arab world. His powerful, passionate voice recalls that of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and other legendary singers whose music transcended …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, RIP »

RIP: Pete Seeger, The Power of Song

Posted January 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Pete Seeger (1919-2014) was a one-of-a-kind American musician who celebrated American roots music all his long life. He died Monday, January 27th, in his log cabin home in upstate New York. He was a ripe 94 years old. His long musical career started in the 1940s on radio broadcasts. As a member of the folk group The Weavers, he enjoyed a number of hit …

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