African, Classical, Featured, Headline, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #181: New and Noteworthy Releases

Posted October 21, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week we feature ten new records that caught my ear. Let’s check them out, starting with a bolero from Cuban-born, Toronto-based pianist Roberto Fonseca, with the beautiful voice of Dayme Arocena. Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon then covers Ariel Ramirez’ beautiful song “Alphonsina y El Mar,” made famous by the late Mercedes Sosa.
We follow with a posthumous release by …

Featured, Music History »

Crumhorns, Sackbuts and…Oliphants?

Posted October 19, 2016 by | 0 Comments

As a lover of early (pre-renaissance) music, I’ve heard my share of medieval instruments like the vielle, rebec, sackbut and crumhorn. Add to that list the oliphant, which I learned about more recently. It is not to be confused with the modern-day large pachyderm (though the name is an ancient variant of elephant) nor the lumbering creature from the Lord of the Rings. And it …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, French, Middle East, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Artists You Should Know: Thierry “Titi” Robin

Posted October 17, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Thierry “Titi” Robin is a French musician and composer. Mostly, however, he is an intrepid musical traveler. He plays guitar, Arabic oud, Turkish buzuq and other instruments of both European and Moorish origin. He has collaborated with Rajasthani gypsy, Indian, flamenco, and Pakistani musicians. He is a musical polymath equally at home in a variety of musical environments and cultures.
I discovered his work years ago on …

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

Show #180: John Beasley’s “Monk’estra” Celebrates Thelonious Monk Classics

Posted October 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week, I had pleasure of welcoming John Beasley to KCRW’s studios to talk about his cool new project, Monk’estra Vol. 1, which celebrates the music of Thelonious Sphere Monk. Monk, like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, was a proto-beatnik. As house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem beginning in 1942, he helped launch the bebop revolution in modern jazz. Their take on music inspired beat poets like Jack …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz »

Artists You Should Know: Erroll Garner (and His Song “Misty”)

Posted October 12, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I heard the jazz standard “Misty” on FIP radio the other day, and it made me think about the song’s composer, American pianist Erroll Garner (1921-1977). Garner conceived of “Misty” — his most famous song — while on a DC-3 lumbering over Chicago in 1954. The clouds were beautiful and misty on that flight, and a classic was born.
I say “conceived” because Garner played by ear …

Classical, Featured, French, Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events »

France/Russia/Colombia/Cuba/New York: A Musical World Tour in DTLA

Posted October 10, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Photo by Guido Herrera-Yance

While many L.A. residents probably headed to Oldchella this past weekend to see the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Neil Young, I trekked downtown and enjoyed two very different concerts.
The L.A. Philharmonic presented a French-Russian program at Disney Hall on Friday night. On the bill was Maurice Ravel‘s gorgeous Piano Concerto in G, followed by Igor Stravinsky‘s rousing Firebird. Ravel only wrote two piano …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, MBE Archive, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #179: Michel Petrucciani: Amazing Virtuosity Despite All Odds

Posted October 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments

In the summer of 1981, I went to Paris on vacation. I squeezed in a few visits to record labels as part of my job as KCRW’s Music Director. The station was known in Paris and other French cities because we always sent various record companies our playlists, and I frequently sent my interviews to Jazz Magazine and other music publications there.
One of the labels I …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Music History, music phenomena, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

The Modern and Edgy Music of Bartok and Hindemith

Posted October 5, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Just as Dave Brubeck or Chet Baker are considered “gateway” (aka accessible) artists for an introduction to jazz, so are Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy for classical newbies who are searching for something other than Bach or Mozart. But if you’re ready to move beyond classical music’s greatest hits, I recommend exploring the music of Béla Bartók and Paul Hindemith. I find their music modern and edgy.
I was introduced …

Audiophiles, Classical, Featured »

London Symphony Orchestra Beethoven Box: Great Performances, Wonderful Sound

Posted October 3, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I don’t often recommend classical releases, but I wanted to sing the praises of a superlative set I recently listened to again at home. Even among the countless recordings of Beethoven’s big nine cycle, this one stands out.
Opinions abound about Beethoven’s symphonies and their interpretations by orchestras around the world. He wrote really fast tempos (tempi?), which made them a challenge to conduct and …

African, brazilian music, Cape Verde, Featured, French, Headline, Jazz, Middle East, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #178: Eclectic New Release Mix (+2 classics).

Posted September 30, 2016 by | 0 Comments

For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been playing my personal selection of timeless classics. It’s time to check out some new jams. We begin with a nice track from the ARC label, featuring a number of great Brazilian musicians accompanying a West African traditional 21 string harp-lute, the kora, played here by Ravi (aka J.P. Freeman). The CD, The Afro-Brazilian Project, features top-flight Brazilian musicians like …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...