Featured, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Dick Dale’s Surf Anthem Is Remake Of Traditional Greek Song

Posted August 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments
dick-dale-misirlou

The surf’s up in California (thanks to Hurricane Marie from Mexico) as 15-foot waves have been pounding beaches from Mexico to Malibu. I just heard Dick Dale‘s most famous surf song, “Misirlou” and was reminded that its roots lie far away from our local beaches.
This legendary tune originated as a traditional Mediterranean song from 1920s Greece. The title “Misirlou” translates to mean “Muslim Egyptian Woman”. …

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

Show #69: Featured Artists—Mélanie De Biasio & Hollie Cook

Posted August 29, 2014 by | 1 Comment
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 …

Featured, Headline, Jazz, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #68: Al Pryor of Mack Avenue Records

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I met Al Pryor back in the late 1970s when I was getting started: he was working at the time with Tim Owen and Michael Cuscuna on the NPR show Jazz Alive, which we then broadcasted. He went from there to working at a classical station, then a long stint at WBGO in Newark, a popular tri-state NPR station devoted to jazz.
Now he’s the …

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 …

African, Art, Literature & Film, Featured, Latin, Music History »

Cubans Trace Musical Roots Back to Africa…Once Again

Posted August 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments
cuba

Cuban music is a combination of Spanish décima poetry and African music and rhythms, but we know that the driving forces in Cuban music are the African polyrhythms, not the poetry. Some might say that about rock and roll, too.
Ned Sublette in his authoritative study, Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, traces back to the secret societies formed by Cuban …

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

Show #67: Noteworthy New Releases

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Great new releases have been piling up on my desk, so now it’s time to share them.
We begin with Jimmy Cobb, the drummer on Miles Davis’ famous 1959 album, Kind of Blue, playing a cool version of the classic song “Old Devil Moon.” We follow with two fine guitarists: Brazilian Chico Pinheiro and LA-based Anthony Wilson, who usually tours with Diana Krall. Next, Mia Doi Todd does …

Classical, Featured, Latin, Music History »

The Triangle: Easy to Play or Muito Complicado?

Posted August 13, 2014 by | 3 Comments
triangle musician

Eric Hopkins, percussionist for the Utah Symphony, was featured in a recent NPR story about playing the triangle in a classical orchestra. Here are some of his Triangle 101 tips on how to play the triangle when performing Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.
Your To-Do List…

Decide what beaters to use. Stainless steel or the more malleable brass? Heavy or light, and to what degree?
Decide where on the …

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 …

Featured, Headline, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #66: MOLAA Celebrates Palladium, Mecca of Mambo

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments
The_Palladium_Ballroom

Photos of the Palladium: Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Mario Bauza, Machito, and classic mambo dancers on the Palladium Ballroom dance floor.
Guido Herrera-Yance is one of the best tropical latin deejays in LA, and we who love salsa and all the other forms of tropical music are fortunate to have him on the air.
But deejaying is not all he does: he’s organized a popular Summer …

Art, Literature & Film, Featured »

Walter Benjamin: Why Is Art Worth More Than Music?

Posted August 6, 2014 by | 10 Comments
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Walter Benjamin was a German philosopher (1892-1940) whose most famous work from 1936 was called The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. You can read here. In his famous work, he discusses originality, authenticity, and mass production of art. He writes about the “aura” that original works of art possess and the loss of that “aura” in works that have been reproduced. …

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