Artist Spotlight, Jazz »

The Village Vanguard: 3 Great Live Sets

Posted October 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Village Vanguard

The Village Vanguard in New York City’s Greenwich Village is probably the most famous jazz club in the world. It is a mecca for jazz fans who visit New York City from all over the world. Many iconic albums have been recorded there over the years since it was first opened in 1935 by Max and Lorraine Gordon.
Today, I thought I’d focus on three albums in …

Jazz, Music History »

The Story of “Twisted,” a Jazz Bebop Vocal Classic

Posted October 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Wardell Gray was 28 when he wrote “Twisted,” and the bebop classic is still hip after all these years. He graduated from Cass Tech in Detroit which, like DuSable High in Chicago, was an incubator of young jazz talent. Arriving here during the late 1940s, he was one of the cool young hepcats in Los Angeles, gigging on Central Avenue with the likes of Dexter Gordon, …

Asia, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #126: What I’m Listening To

Posted October 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week on Rhythm Planet, we’ll survey ten new releases that I am currently enjoying.
We begin with a Brazilian singer from São Paulo whose debut album is gorgeous. Catina DeLuna’s rendering of Lenine and Egberto Gismonti’s original song, “Lavadeira do Rio and Maracatu” is just sublime.
Our second song features French jazz pianist Baptiste Trotignon and the multi-talented polymath, Melody Gardot, as vocalist, singing in flawless French. (I cheated a bit …

African, Jazz, Music History »

Manu Dibango Chez Moi, 1995

Posted September 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Manu Dibango - Soul Makossa

The popular Cameroonian-born saxophonist, Manu Dibango, has always been a personal favorite. Traveling as a young man from his home town of Douala, Cameroon, to Paris, he discovered American jazz and fell in love.
His 1972 hit song, “Soul Makossa,” was discovered by DJ David Mancuso as a French import at a West Indian record store in Brooklyn and became a favorite at his loft parties. Soon, the song received enough air …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Thwarted Interview with Stan Getz

Posted September 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I still remember the night of April 24, 1980, when I drove to Howard Rumsey’s popular Redondo Beach jazz spot, Concerts by the Sea, because it was the same date as the failed attempt to rescue the Iranian hostages. I was on my way to interview Stan Getz.
I had my questions prepped and my portable cassette recorder ready to go. My first question was whether he had …

African, Jazz, Latin »

Show #126 – Naming Names: African, Latin & Brazilian Stars Celebrate Their Muses

Posted September 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Africando - Trovador

This week’s Rhythm Planet show is all about heroes. Some of these artists are musical giants you’ll recognize: Miriam Makeba, Mahalia Jackson, Tito Puente, and Stevie Wonder; others you might not know: Wanda Sá, Cariocas Farney Club. There are also mentions of beloved political icons of post-Colonial Africa: Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm X, Che Guevara.
Tropical music, the genre that comprises Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Colombian music, is especially …

Latin »

The Real Girl from Ipanema

Posted September 23, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 23.27.58

“The Girl from Ipanema” is the most popular Brazilian song in the world. When it was released in 1963, it turned the world onto bossa nova (new beat) and swept past The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand, selling over two million copies. Aside from being a great song, part of the reason it succeeded is because a young Astrud Gilberto was in …

Audiophiles, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

New Vinyl Sales are Up, Up and Away…!

Posted September 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I am a vinyl junkie and have written about my habit before:
Also some seriously bad LP cover art…
I perked up when I saw this in the New York Times (there is a video after the ad, too).
Rusty old pressing plants are being bought up, refurbished after years of non-use and neglect, and still can’t keep up with demand for new vinyl pressings. Many independent labels …

Artist Spotlight, French, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #125: Musical Ambrosia, Part 1

Posted September 18, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Ambrosia is the nectar of the gods in Greek mythology. For me it’s a little more mundane: a fruit salad with mandarin oranges, pineapple, grapes, pecans, cherries, with a dash of whipped cream. I have added a splash of Cointreau to this beautiful mélange.
I heard the word in a different and incongruous way the other day, when I read an article in the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Jazz, RIP »

My Week Chez Francis Paudras

Posted September 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Francis Paudras

Most people have never heard of Francis Paudras (1935–1997). I, however, will never forget him and the days we spent together in Antigny, a small village in Western France in the waning days of summer, 1981. A classic Frenchman in so many ways, he was just as well-versed in old world culture as he was in the American new: Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy were on …

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