Audiophiles, Featured, Music Phenomena »

Speakers Corner Records: Superb Sound for Audiophiles

Posted January 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments

I recently got 5 LPs from a fine German record company, Speakers Corner: Ella Fitzgerald, Michel Legrand, Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. Speakers Corner does everything right. What you get is even better than the original LP releases–because the pressings are of much higher quality.
Many companies reissue vinyl at cheaper price points but caveat emptor: you might be getting pressings …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

Calypso Gets Muzzled in Guyana

Posted January 8, 2014 by | 2 Comments

Q: Why is it that music always gets banned in totalitarian regimes?
A: Because music is a human expression of freedom.
Q: Why did the Vatican try to suppress music that had any rhythm to it?
A: Because rhythm is dangerous and might make people want to get down, shake some booty, even fornicate.
In Germany and the Soviet Union, jazz was banned because it was considered decadent and bourgeois. Way …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music Phenomena, New Releases »

Aaron Parks: Predictability vs. Abstraction

Posted January 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments

The other night I was listening (again) to Aaron Parks‘ beautiful new ECM album Arborescence (the title refers to a resemblance to tree in form and branching structure). Like a lot of other music, Parks’ music does not reveal its beauties all at once. It takes several if not many listenings to fully appreciate its intricacies.
I like unpredictability in music. By that I don’t …

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Arthur B. Lintgen: Groove Reader

Posted December 18, 2013 by | 0 Comments

Back in the day before CDs, you either spun vinyl or tape, reel to reel or cassette. When KCRW’s studio was in the old John Adams Middle School classroom, the only bathrooms were outside. If you had to use the restroom, you’d have to know how much time you had left on an LP and factor in wait time if somebody else was using …

Featured, Headline, MBE Archive, Music History, Music Phenomena, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #31: Music Celebrating Nelson Mandela

Posted December 13, 2013 by | 2 Comments
mandela cover

I was music director of KCRW (1979-1991) we had a dedicated African show (The African Beat) and often featured African music on other programs as well. We gathered South African music wherever we could: from Jo’Burg’s Kohinoor Store, from a woman named Di Brukin who brought us the latest SA grooves when KCRW was still on the John Adams Middle School Campus in 1981-1984. …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

Rudy Van Gelder: The Cartier-Bresson of Jazz

Posted December 9, 2013 by | 3 Comments

Rudy Van Gelder is the legendary recording engineer of thousands of classic jazz recordings: you’ll find his name on Impulse classics by John Coltrane, CTI classics from Freddie Hubbard and Stanley Turrentine, Blue Note evergreens by Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, and others, as well as countless Prestige releases. Though not that well-known to the casual listener, jazz devotees know this optometrist turned recording engineer from …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Music History, Music Phenomena, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #30: The 3 Titos of Latin Music

Posted December 6, 2013 by | 1 Comment

This week, Rhythm Planet celebrates the triple threat of tropical latin music: Cuban singer Tito Gomez, Puerto Rican superstar Tito Rodriguez, and the great timbalero and bandleader Tito Puente.
Tito Gomez (1920-2000) is perhaps the least well-known of  the three, but he is known to Cuban aficionados as one of the great singers. He won a contest in 1938, one called La Corte Suprema del …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

The Story of the Cuban Tres Guitar

Posted December 2, 2013 by | 1 Comment

The Cuban tres guitar resembles a guitar, but instead of having the normal 6 strings, it has 3 pairs of strings each tuned to the same pitch. The tres started out as a 10 string guitar, called the bandola, in Spain. But the trip from Spain to Cuba would take a long time back in the day, and strings would break en route and in …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Music History, Music Phenomena, Performances & Events »

Show #29: Favorite Tenor Sax Solos

Posted November 22, 2013 by | 2 Comments

The tenor sax is a jazz instrument. The paradigmatic jazz instrument, if I may thrown in a $50 word. How many tenor sax sonatas or concertos can you think of that feature the tenor as a solo, or even important instrument?
Years ago, I found an ad in DownBeat magazine for Lacoste-style knit shirts, but instead of the alligator you could get an instrument as …

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Britney Spears’ Music Used To Repel Somali Pirates

Posted November 11, 2013 by | 1 Comment

The inimitably talented Marco Werman, host of PRI’s syndicated show The World, introduced a recent feature by saying “Okay, we know this story looks like a headline from the Onion, right? Wrong”. Click to read.
Turns out that Britain’s Merchant Navy, which has been attacked by Somali pirates, is using the Britney’s music to repel the nimble invaders. They blast Spears’ hits like “Oops! I …

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