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, 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 …

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 …

African, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #124: Hot Weekend Grooves

Posted September 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week, I’m especially excited about the new releases that I’ve been sent. I’ve got tracks for you from around the globe and back, which I’ll feature along with a few recent rediscoveries.
Let’s begin with a nice melding of traditional African and western classical music. It’s the music of the 21-string harp-lute kora, played by Malian virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko, in collaboration with French cellist, Vincent Ségal. Sissoko is descended from …

African, Cape Verde, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #123: Weekend World Groove

Posted September 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week on Rhythm Planet, I’ve culled and curated exciting new releases from around the world expressly for your weekend listening enjoyment.
We start with a great new album by Los Angeles-based Mamak Khadem. From beginning to end, The Road is an incredible musical journey to her homeland of Iran and the distant lands of her travels, including Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and Andalusian Spain. It’s literally a musical travelogue …

Classical, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #122: Adagios, Art of the Sublime

Posted August 28, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Johannes Brahms

The term ‘adagio‘ means slowly in Italian, the language from which most of our musical terminology comes from. As such, adagios usually designates a slow movement bookended by movements that are faster in tempo, like scherzos or allegros. I often consider the lilting adagio movements to be the most beautiful and moving parts of classical works.
We begin with the Italian Baroque composer, Tomaso Albinoni (b. 1671–1751), and his Adagio in G …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History »

Izzy Sanabria: Latin Music’s Renaissance Man

Posted August 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Izzy Sanabria - headshot

I recently dropped some dough on a vintage mono LP (used) by the Alegre All-Stars called Way Out (Vol. 4). They spawned the immortal mambo DNA of groups like Tico All-Stars, Cesta All-Stars, and the final incarnation, the Fania All-Stars. The band changed its name every time the core group recorded for new labels (i.e. Tico, Alegre, Cesta, Fania). The LP I just bought was released …

Jazz, Latin, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #121: Cubana Be, Cubana Bop, The Return of Bebop at MOLAA—Next Saturday, Aug29

Posted August 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

When Afro-Cuban drummer Chano Pozo (b. 1915–1948) met jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie (b. 1917–1993) in New York City, it was a meeting of two legends with musically explosive results. At the time, bebop was still new and revolutionary, but Chano’s fiery drumming served as a catalyst that furthered its dynamism. It was a short-lived partnership between the two, though, with only a few records …

Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #120: New August Mix

Posted August 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week on Rhythm Planet, I’ve got ten superb new albums to share with you.
We begin with a lovely, heartfelt version of the John Lennon classic, “Imagine,” sung by Filipina-American jazz-world vocalist, Charmaine Clamor. It’s a track from her new album of songs that were inspired by a Filipino festival she once attended that she told me “brought out the best in people.” Her …

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