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Arabic Twist On The Theme From Shaft

Posted March 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments
malik adouane

Years ago on PRI’s The World’s end-of-program feature called Global Hit, Marco Werman featured a tantalizing version of the Isaac Hayes classic, complete with the wah-wah pedal and drum riff that opens the song. This version was by an French artist of both Algerian and Celtic parentage named Malik Adouane. The version of the song I got was on an collection called Beur-FM, a …

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Don’t Miss Cirque de Soleil’s Totem

Posted March 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments

Cirque de Soleil’s new production, Totem, is here in LA just 2 more weeks until March 16th; the familiar blue and yellow big tops are just north of the Santa Monica Pier as usual.
The new production is has a grandiose conception: the history of humankind from beginning to present. As usual there is a rapid sequence of amazing acts, trapeese, rings, clowns, acrobatics, and …

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Show #41: Carnival Celebrations

Posted February 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments

Carnival is here again beginning this weekend and continuing until next Wednesday, which is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Although Carnival (Brazil spells it Carnaval) may seem like one big Bacchanalian orgy,  it has a religious origin: the Catholic church allowed this once-pagan ritual to precede Lent (the 40 days of abstinence, fasting, etc., that mirrored the 40 days Christ spent in the …

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Upcoming Benefit for Tourette’s Syndrome on 2/27

Posted February 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Hollywood Healsinviteimagecr

One of my favorite jazz musicians, pianist Michael Wolff, told me about this upcoming fundraiser at The Conga Room downtown on Feb. 27th that he’s a part of. It’s Hollywood Heals: Spotlight On Tourette Syndrome. Wolff has tourette syndrome, which causes tics in people who have it. Michael was the inspiration for the 2000 movie The Tic Code, starring Gregory Hines.

Many people didn’t know what …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Music Phenomena »

How Baden Powell Got His Name

Posted February 17, 2014 by | 1 Comment

Baden Powell (1937-2000) was an amazing and very influential guitar player from Brazil. I have featured his music on my shows for many years, and enjoyed it long before that, beginning with an MPS LP Apaixonado from Germany in the 1960s. I even have a picture of him on my wall, a more formal portrait where his hands and fingers look like something out of …

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Show #39: The Dark Side Of Love

Posted February 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments

Valentine’s Day is the last of the holidays that begin with Halloween: Turkey Day, Christmas, and now Valentine’s Day. “V-Day” is a mixed bag: a celebration of love (if you have it now) or a reminder of past conquests, failures, and mistakes. In the latter case, many will be happy to just see it go away for another year.
With this in mind, and after …

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Daft Punk’s Get Lucky: Soviet Style

Posted February 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
police choir

Though we might not know them (until now, that is) The Russian Police Choir has almost legendary status in Russia.  Formed in 1939 under Josef Stalin’s iron-fisted rule of the U.S.S.R., the choir has performed over 7000 concerts all over the world, even a show for Pope John Paul II.
With Daft Punk‘s recent Grammy wins, popular soundtracks and worldwide fame, most people have heard …

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The Female Voice Of Lebanon: Fairouz

Posted February 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments

I’ve known about Fairouz (born 1935) for 30 years. It started when a lovely man named Samir Hachem–who passed away years ago–brought in a bunch of her albums and guest-hosted an hour of Morning Becomes Eclectic with me. He was a reporter for the Hollywood Reporter at the time, mostly writing on film but also a fan of Arabic music. We did other shows …

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Show #36: Miles Davis Box Set Coincides with his First Art Collection

Posted January 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments

Miles Davis was a man of many passions, talents, and contradictions as well. Reading So What: The Life of Miles Davis by veteran biographer John Szwed, makes that very obvious. Miles once commented, “The public likes starts, confusion, and happy endings. But not everything is cut and dried like that. And neither is my music.”
I’ve been a fan of Miles’ music ever since my …

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Classic Songs and Artists Who Own Them

Posted January 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments

Song ownership goes, figuratively speaking, beyond record labels and publishing entities. It also goes back to who does the signature version and who made the song meaningful, perpetual, and famous.
For instance:
“People” – Barbra Streisand
“Poinciana” – Ahmad Jamal
“Giant Steps”, “A Love Supreme” – John Coltrane
“Little Girl Blue” – Nina Simone
“Strange Fruit”, “God Bless The Child” – Billie Holiday
“All Blues”, “So What” – Miles …

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