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Rhythm Planet #103: New African Beats

Posted April 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BKO Quintet

This week, Rhythm Planet travels to Africa as we feature brand new releases from a broad mix of countries and their musical styles: Mali, Benin, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, and Mauratania.
We begin our musical adventure in Mali with the song, “Waati” from the fabulous roots band, Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba, off their new album, Ba Power. The predecessor to the banjo, the ngoni is traditionally a four-stringed, lute-like instrument commonly played throughout West Africa. Kouyaté, who …

Artist Spotlight, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #102: DJ Selecta Tom Spins Again!

Posted April 10, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Tom Schnabel

  
This week, it’s the second installment of my Rhythm Planet dance party. (Click here to stream the first one.) These are the type of tracks I’d play at a small club like Zanzibar or at a private event. I’m an old school ‘selecta’ or selector, rather than the type of beat-matching DJ that wheels around a big Traktor rig. Instead, I use an ancient M-Audio X-Session Pro …

African, Blues, Classical, Holiday, Jazz, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #101: Tom’s Easter Music Parade

Posted April 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Romanian Easter Eggs

Today is both Good Friday and Passover, so with Easter celebrations just around the corner, I thought we’d feature music for this special holiday this week on Rhythm Planet. Some of these tunes are homegrown; others come to us from different corners of the world.
Some would say there’s nothing like starting off Easter with a good, old “fire and brimstone” sermon by the Reverend Dr. J. Gordon McPherson (b. 1869–1936) …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #100: Tracing Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain

Posted March 27, 2015 by | 3 Comments
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One day many years ago, Miles Davis visited Gil Evans’ basement flat in New York City, and Evans played him Joaquín Rodrigo’s iconic Concierto de Aranjuez. Miles was immediately smitten, and the two set themselves to collaborate on one of the most beloved works of all time, Sketches of Spain (1960). Miles later remarked that it was the most difficult session he’d ever done.
One of the pieces from the album, …

African, French, Jazz, Latin, Middle East, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #99: March Music Madness

Posted March 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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I’ve got a big pile of new releases that have survived the—err, my curator’s cut. As the U.S. Marine recruitment slogan goes, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” In any case, I audition all of the CDs that are sent to me, except for the ones in genres that have nothing to do with Rhythm Planet (e.g. death metal, hard rock, teen angst, etc.) and …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Show #98: Black is the Color: Unusual Song, Interesting History

Posted March 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Rhiannon Giddens

Singer Rhiannon Giddens, a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group specializing in old-timey music, just released her first solo album. On it is her amended cover of a well-known classic that goes way back in time, “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair.” Giddens new version is uptempo, feel-good, and infectious. Her solo debut is auspicious; she is a fabulous singer with a …

Artist Spotlight, Asia, Middle East, Music History, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #97: Ghazal Ensemble Brings Indo-Persian Fusion to SoCal—Mar15 & 17

Posted March 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Kahlor & Khan

With Nowruz just around the corner, The Skirball Cultural Center and the Irvine Barclay Theatre will celebrate the Persian New Year with two very special concerts by the Grammy-nominated Ghazal Ensemble on March 15 and 17. Kamancheh (traditional Iranian fiddle) player Kayhan Kahlor and sitarist, Shujaat Hussain Khan, reunite to perform their dazzling blend of classical Persian and Indian music traditions and debut new works, joined this time by Sandeep Das on tabla.
The Ghazal Ensemble take their name from the ancient, pre-Islamic …

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

Show #96: Dance to the World Beat of DJ ‘Selecta’ Tom Schnabel

Posted February 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ghanaian Dance

I would never claim to be a beat-matcher with a big Traktor controller rig. Rather, I’m an old school selector, deeply ensconced in old school vinyl, rare CDs, and classic 12″ sides. But I am also always on the lookout for new stuff, and that includes dance sides.
So what is a selector or, colloquially, a ‘selecta’? It’s a reggae dancehall term referring to the person who selects the …

African, Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #95: The LA Cumbia Festival Comes to Town

Posted February 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Betto Arcos 2

The vibrant, ubiquitous sound of cumbia is one that we Angelenos should all be familiar with. Born in the barrios of Colombia in the 1950s, the origins of cumbia can be traced back even further to the 17th century colonial slave trade from West Africa. The word cumbé in Guinean refers to a specific rhythm and/or a communal, ritual courtship dance. This hybrid style of music and dance is a …

Holiday, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #94: The Sunny Side Of Love

Posted February 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments
valentines day

Last year, Rhythm Planet celebrated—or perhaps I should say observed—Valentine’s Day with a show, The Dark Side Of Love. I played songs about co-dependency, sleepless nights, waiting for texts and phone calls that won’t come, the gnashing of teeth and thrashing of souls. Utter misery.
This year, we counter all that suffering with songs that celebrate the joys and wonders of love: The Sunny Side Of …

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