brazilian music, Jazz, music phenomena »

11 Great Improvised Jazz Solos

Posted February 10, 2016 by | 0 Comments


There is a new category for the 58th annual Grammy awards, #31:  Best improvised jazz solo.  Nominees include the boy wunderkind  Joey Alexander on “Giant Steps”, “Cherokee” from bassist Christian McBride, and other solos from Donny McCaslin, Joshua Redman, guitarist John Scofield et al.
I want to proffer my own set of picks from days gone …

brazilian music, Holiday, music phenomena, Performances & Events, Uncategorized »

Carnaval in Brazil 2016: Partying in Spite of it All

Posted February 8, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I usually write a carnival feature this time of year, when all the festivities are happening.  Tonight being Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, is the grand finale.
Carnival/Carnevale/Carnaval is currently in full swing in Italy, Trinidad, New Orleans, and other countries (it was cancelled after the first day in Haiti). Then there is Brazil. Brazil holds the biggest carnival of them all, which figures because Brazil is …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #144: Tasty New Releases

Posted February 5, 2016 by | 1 Comment

This week we sample some tracks from ten tasty new releases.
We begin with a fabulous 2-cd set of music by Gershwin and Mancini. The Steve Richman Harmonie Ensemble dishes up some witty and beautifully produced music of these two great composers. The Gershwin/Grofe is totally fun to hear, and the Mancini disc is absolutely wonderful.
Lou Tavano is a stylish, Paris-based singer I …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Hey Jazz Fans: 3 Upcoming Shows Not to Miss

Posted February 3, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I want to recommend a few upcoming shows.
The first is an exceptional quartet called P.O.E.M. (Pasqua, Oles, Erskine. Mintzer), four incredible artists who share musical telepathy and deep understanding of whatever they play. They have a new album out called Standards 2: Movie Music. The cuts include their beautiful versions of classics like “Tara’s Theme” from Gone with the Wind, “Somewhere” from Westside …

French, New Releases »

French TGV Trains Celebrated by Michael Boumendil & David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)

Posted February 1, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Note: Check out the music but be sure to experience the TGV as it reaches top speed of 357 mph. It’s the last video below…and it’s breathtaking!
I recently came back from a vacation in France. Taking the SNCF (Sociéte Nationale des Chemins de Fer / National Society of French Railroads), as the trains were originally called, I rode the TGV (Train de Grand …

Artist Spotlight, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #143: Devotional Songs from India and Pakistan

Posted January 29, 2016 by | 4 Comments

Today’s show is a little different: it simply features three devotional songs from India and Pakistan.
The first is a raga by Ravi Shankar for his beloved music guru, Baba Allaudin Khan. The relationship between guru and devotee in India is like few others. For Ravi it meant stopping the gypsy life of a little dandy and move to a cement hut, practicing 8-10 hours …

Artist Spotlight, film, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Jaco Pastorius: Great Musician, Sad End

Posted January 27, 2016 by | 3 Comments

“My name is Jaco Pastorius and I’m the greatest bass player in the world.” This was the way Jaco introduced himself to Joe Zawinul, Weather Report founder and übermensch.  Zawinul was abrupt and dismissive: “f#*k off” was his reply. Then Pastorius played a solo fretless bass version of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee.” Just as abruptly, Zawinul changed his opinion, and soon Pastorius was a …

Music History, music phenomena »

Musical DNA Goes Everywhere Today

Posted January 25, 2016 by | 0 Comments

James Brown’s 1968 hit “Say it Out Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” not only became a #1 R&B hit, the anthem for the Black Power movement, but also inspired new pride among countless Africans in newly-independent nations that had just become free of colonial power.  Hits like this were heard via the Voice of America radio, which broadcast from Gibraltar throughout Africa with …

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

Show #142: Dexter Story’s Wondem: A Musical Love Letter to East Africa

Posted January 22, 2016 by | 1 Comment

I’ve known Dexter Story for a long time. He booked some great acts into the Temple Bar back in the day before it closed. I didn’t know about his artistic side, however, until I heard him playing drums with Todd Simon’s band Ethio-Cali at Grand Performances at California Plaza (great night), then conducting the band at the Wattstax show, also at Grand Performances. Both …

RIP, world music »

Manuel Agujetas, Flamenco Great, 1939-2015 RIP

Posted January 20, 2016 by | 0 Comments

There have been some notable musician obits over the past month. David Bowie, Natalie Cole, Pierre Boulez, and most recently, Glenn Frey of the Eagles. Soul/r&b singer Otis Clay died on January 8th at the age of 73. Even Brett Smiley got some print love: he was the Bowie look-alike who never rose to fame. He died two days before his famous contemporary.
There was …

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