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Show #143: Devotional Songs from India and Pakistan

Posted January 29, 2016 by | 4 Comments
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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, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History »

The Amazing Nina Simone: Great Film Doc from Jeff L. Lieberman

Posted January 13, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Nina Simone’s music has been part of my life for a long time, and I’m sure her other fans share this love with me. Her many albums show many different sides of her multifaceted talent and personality: her reluctance to entering the pop-jazz world; her limited vocal range counterpointed with her perfect pitch and ability to deliver emotion; her amazing piano playing and love …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Interviews, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Dominique Sanda, Coltrane, et Moi

Posted December 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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If you’re single and a music lover (by that I mean serious, not casual listener) you might have hoped you would meet your perfect match and the music part would be part of it all.  Some people might want somebody who loves classical music and can listen to and enjoy an entire Mahler symphony without falling asleep. Or somebody who mirrors your love for …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, MBE Archive »

Jazz Pianist Bud Powell & His Guardian Angel

Posted September 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BN Bud Powell Recordings (1949–1958)

I am just now reading Oliver Sacks’ recent memoir, On the Move. In one chapter he recalls his older brother’s descent into schizophrenia and its effect upon their parents, who were both doctors like him.
Michael Sacks was prescribed Largactil, a powerful tranquilizer also known as Thorazine in America. This was around the same time that a young Francis Paudras (b. 1935–1997) both housed,  championed, chaperoned, and otherwise took care …

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
What Happened Miss Nina Simone - poster

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, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

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 …

Audiophiles, Classical, MBE Archive, Music History, New Releases, Performances & Events, RIP, Uncategorized »

The Other Yoko

Posted February 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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(L–R) Nadezhda von Meck, Betty Freeman, and Nica von Koenigswarter with Thelonious Monk
Few musicians are fortunate enough to have patrons. Tchaikovsky had one, a female benefactor whom he never met. Nadezhda von Meck’s largesse stipulated that he devoted himself full-time to composing, and that they would never meet. Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Barry Harris had Nica von Koenigswarter, a scion of the powerful Rothschild …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Classical, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Sundance Report: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Nina Simone - Thumbnail

“But what happened, Miss Simone? Specifically, what happened to your big eyes that quickly veil to hide the loneliness? To your voice that has so little tenderness, yet flows with your commitment to the battle of Life? What happened to you?” —Maya Angelou
So wrote the erudite Maya Angelou, following a 1970 Redbook interview she did with the mercurial ‘High Priestess of Soul’ herself, Nina Simone (b. 1933–2003). Echoing …

Audiophiles, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

Director David Greene on John Coltrane

Posted January 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
David Greene

I am once again listening to a glorious reissue of my gateway jazz LP, John Coltrane‘s Impressions remastered by the great German label, Speakers Corner Records. They do a fantastic job reissuing the classics on 180 gram vinyl.
The terms, ‘virgin,” heavyweight,’ or ’180 gram’ refer to the mass of vinyl used in the pressing of the cut. Whereas most standard LPs are either 120 …

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