Artist Spotlight, Holiday, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Lady Gaga: Jazz Singer?

Posted November 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Cheek to Cheek

Pop diva, Lady Gaga, and the great Tony Bennett have been making headlines together touring their recent collaborative album, Cheek to Cheek. Who would have thought that the woman in the meat dress with the flashy, stage shows was a closet jazz vocalist…?
The pair made their first debut together singing “Lady is a Tramp” on Tony’s Duets II album, which was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop …

African, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Music History, New Releases, Performances & Events »

Tinariwen, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer

Posted November 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Tinariwen - Joshua Tree 2

Tinariwen, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer sounds like a gruesome scene from the Kel Tamashek uprising of 1963 in northern Mali that saw the death of messianic Tinarwen frontman Ibrahim Ag Alhabib’s parents when he was a small boy. But in fact, it’s actually the group’s playbill for the North America tour for their latest album, Emmaar.
When The Harpoonist (Shawn Hall) and the …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #77: Choice New Releases

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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This week we check out some good new product I’ve received recently.
We start with a triple-threat: Mexican singer Lila Downs teams up with flamenco siren Nina Pastori and Argentine superstar Soledad. Together the trio do Cesaria Evora’s most famous morna. What could be better? After that, it’s Congolese star Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca. He grew up in Kinshasha, Congo and was smitten early …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #75: A Dozen (Mostly New) Releases

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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This week, we preview mostly new releases and revisit some classics at the end.
We begin with Robert Plant’s new album, a mixture of old timey and African. That slides into some nice Malian groove from a new The Rough Guide to Music of the Sahara. More Malian classic stuff from a superb new 2 CD set from the 1970s, Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de …

African, Blues, New Releases »

Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara

Posted September 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Rough Guides music has just released a terrific new album that showcases the music of the Sahara, the vast stretch of heat and sand that stretches all the way from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. The album title is The Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara.
There is the blues-tinged music from Mali, Mauretania and Western Sahara, the catchy groove of  Niger, Egypt …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, New Releases »

Robert Plant’s New Album: Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar

Posted September 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
lullaby

I once asked Malian bluesman Ali Farka Toure if he was influenced by the great John Lee Hooker. He gave me a sharp look and said it was the other way around. And he was right. The blues came to America from slaves from the Sahel, the part of Africa between the Sahara and Forest Africa (principally Mali, Senegal, Niger, Mauretania, and Gambia).
Robert Plant‘s …

Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #70: Featured Artists—Mélanie De Biasio & Hollie Cook

Posted August 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Hollie Cook - Twice

I want to feature two new albums that showcase two young artists who couldn’t be more different: Mélanie De Biasio and Hollie Cook. Both of them are so outstanding, however, that their excellence binds them together. These two singers have fantastic, new albums out that I highly recommend.
Hollie Cook is a young British singer. The daughter of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, her mother Jeni was …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, New Releases »

Mandolin Player: Hamilton de Holanda

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the mandolin. However, there’s a player out there who is about to change my mind–Hamilton de Holanda.
The mandolin has a higher-pitched, kind of thinner sound than say the rich tones of a guitar or an oud. It is a descendant of the lute and its history reaches back to be one of the earliest instruments.
Brazilian mandolin player Hamilton …

African, Artist Spotlight, New Releases »

The “Wired for Sound – Mozambique” Project

Posted August 25, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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There’s an intriguing new album out via an organization called Wired for Sound, put together by Simon Attwell, founding member of the South African supergroup Freshlyground. The organization is known by its acronym OSISA (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa). They have put together a modern roaming field-recording studio, taken it into remote regions of Southern Africa, in this case Mozambique. The mobile studio …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #68: Noteworthy New Releases

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Great new releases have been piling up on my desk, so now it’s time to share them.
We begin with Jimmy Cobb, the drummer on Miles Davis’ famous 1959 album, Kind of Blue, playing a cool version of the classic song “Old Devil Moon.” We follow with two fine guitarists: Brazilian Chico Pinheiro and LA-based Anthony Wilson, who usually tours with Diana Krall. Next, Mia Doi Todd does …

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