African, Jazz, Latin, Middle East, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #118: Tom’s Friday Groove

Posted July 31, 2015 by | 1 Comment
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So many new releases, so little time, as they say…
We begin this week’s Rhythm Planet show with the fabulous Malian band, Les Ambassadeurs (The Ambassadors), which came together at a Bamako rail station. With their roots in traditional griot music, they blended elements of blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, making them the voice of West African independence in their years from 1970–1985. Les Ambassadeurs gave Salif Keita, Mory Kanté and others …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #117: What I’m Listening To

Posted July 24, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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When you’re a DJ, one of the questions you get asked most often is: “What are YOU listening to right now?” So this week on Rhythm Planet, I share my own personal playlist. It’s a mix of several cuts from around the world, as well as some special new releases that have just stuck with me.
We begin with Cristina Pato, a gaita (Galician bagpiper or the instrument …

Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #116: Songs of Summer

Posted July 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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With July already halfway through, and summer almost half over—the sun already has a different position than it did on the June 21st solstice—I thought it was high time for some summer music.   Here are just a few summer songs I like.
Let’s begin with a Quincy Jones 1973 track, titled, “Summer in the City,” a bouncy, feel-good song that has become a classic. Then, French …

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

Show #115: That Timeless Gil Evans Sound

Posted July 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Just like Miles Davis, Gil Evans’s timeless arrangements charted the course of jazz during the 20th century, influencing big bands to bebop to cool and beyond.
Ian Ernest Gilmore (Gil) Evans was born May 13, 1912 in Toronto. His family moved to Stockton, California, during his youth, where he was raised until relocating to New York in his twenties. The early part of his career …

Jazz, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #114: The Spiritual Jazz Legacy of John Coltrane and His Followers

Posted July 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Kamasi Washington - The Epic 2

The Epic, a new 3-disk set by saxophonist Kamasi Washington has just been released on Brainfeeder Records. It’s of the same Spiritual Jazz musical DNA as John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, Meditations, Ascension, Cosmic Music, Sun Ship, and his other classics.
Jazz titans like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, and John Coltrane all broke down music barriers. Ornette Coleman may have deconstructed music, but Coltrane stands apart …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz, MBE Archive, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #113: Branford Marsalis Quartet’s Tribute to John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

Posted June 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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If I had to name a few of the greatest instrumental jazz records of all time, several artists would come to mind: Louis Armstrong, Ahmad Jamal, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis would be at the top of my list.
John Coltrane and his album, A Love Supreme, was music of an even higher order. It distinguishes itself from the rest by being not only …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Netflix Releases “What Happened, Miss Simone” Documentary

Posted June 22, 2015 by | 2 Comments
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Back during the Sundance Film Festival, there was a big buzz about filmmaker Liz Garbus’s new documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone, which screens this Thursday, June 25, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), followed by a Q&A. If you can’t make it, it will also be released on Netflix this Friday, June 26. I guested on Morning Becomes Eclectic afterwards to talk about this exceptional artist and her legacy.
I …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Show #112 – Directly From My Heart: Billy Vera on Little Richard

Posted June 19, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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Billy Vera is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter who has written hits for top stars like Dolly Parton and Bonnie Raitt. It’s always a special treat for us when Billy comes by the station because he was the host of his own KCRW show for six years when he’d play classic rhythm and blues, gospel, and early rock and roll. Billy is the authority on this …

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

Show #111: More June Releases

Posted June 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Chico Trujillo - Group

This week on Rhythm Planet, we chase away June gloom with another fine sampling of musical eclecticism, together with some spectacular jazz tracks.
But first up, it’s a jaunty Latin party record that’s got a great Chilean cumbia beat by the band, Chico Trujillo, who incorporate ska, reggae, and rock into their fun grooves. Next, I bring you the strange and wonderful sounds of Mbongwana Star, a new psychedelic grunge band from Kinshasa, Congo, who use …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #110: This Week’s Best of the Best

Posted June 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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I’ve been a DJ at KCRW now for many years, and still, the sheer volume of new releases I get sent on a weekly basis never ceases to astound me. It’s a major time investment auditioning all of them, especially because I feel somewhat of a moral responsibility to give each of them a fair shot at ear time so that I can provide you guys …

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