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Jazz Artists in the Civil Rights Era

Posted January 16, 2017 by | 0 Comments
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Civil Rights didn’t end in the 1960’s; it’s an ongoing struggle that involves all of us. On this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we’ll highlight some albums that mirrored the early days of the era—albums that I discovered while in high school.
But first, I want to share again an excerpt from something that Dr. King wrote about jazz for the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964:
“God has wrought …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Featured, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Not To Be Forgotten: The Outrageous Esquerita!

Posted January 11, 2017 by | 1 Comment
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We lost some colorful and influential musical artists in 2016–David Bowie, Prince, George Michael. On the other hand, Boy George & Culture Club are still performing, and they blew a lot of minds at their Hollywood Bowl shows this past summer. Little Richard is also still around, but we haven’t heard much from him lately. All these artists have been both genre and gender-bending. Then there …

Featured, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

KBCA 105.1 FM: A Slice of L.A. Radio History

Posted January 2, 2017 by | 4 Comments
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I got a call from a jazz-loving friend the other day, and in the course of conversation, we discovered that we were both weaned in our jazz love by a commercial jazz station, KBCA 105.1, back in the 1960’s. It’s hard to believe that there was once a jazz station that would use John Coltrane’s song “Spiritual” as a morning drive-time theme, but it’s true. …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Middle East, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Remembering Samir Hachem and His Gift of Arabic Music

Posted December 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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During my “Morning Becomes Eclectic” days, I used to invite many guest hosts to come in and share their musical knowledge. Charlie Haden was the most frequent visitor, bringing in sweeping classical albums as well as old-timey mountain music that he grew up with in Missouri. Don Cohen, a busy attorney and passionate fadista–follower of Portugal’s great fado music–turned me onto Amalia Rodrigues, Carlos do …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Featured, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Miles Davis’s Landmark LP “Miles Ahead”: Enduring Fascination & Beauty

Posted December 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments
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I recently pulled out my new-ish audiophile copy of Miles Davis‘s great 1957 LP with the Gil Evans orchestra, Miles Ahead. I’ve listened to this album a zillion times, yet I hear something new almost each and every time I put it on the turntable. I’ve worn out an older copy of the LP, and now enjoy a great mono recording.
I know the work well, and have …

Featured, Headline, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #187: Cuban Classics–A Personal Selection Part 1

Posted December 2, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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With Fidel’s passing I wanted to play some Cuban music I really love. This is a personal selection, and if you’re wondering why there’s no Buena Vista Social Club, Cachao, or Gloria Estefan, we’ll have a sequel next week with more sizzling Cuban music.
We start with a Coca-Cola commercial from 1952. The beverage giant was a player on Cuban soil back …

Featured, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Cuban Music: Wonderful but Complicated by Politics!

Posted November 30, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Cuba is such a musical country, and it’s hard to find a Havana street that doesn’t have music coming out of a storefront. The rich brew of Cuban music consists of African rhythms, Spanish décima poetry that dates back to the 16th century, American jazz, plus other ingredients that together provide synergy, power, and flavor. The many styles of Cuban music include mambo, timba, bolero, guaracha, rumba, contradanza, trova, classical, danzón, son …

Blues, Featured, Headline, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #184: Past and Present Voices

Posted November 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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This week’s playlist is just a crazy mix of songs from past and present that I love. Jumping right in, we start with a 1980’s U.K. group called The Flying Lizards, from an album of cover songs and their stiff-upper-lip version of James Brown’s “Sex Machine.” A Lebanese cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid” follows. Then we’ll hear a cut by …

Blues, Featured, music phenomena, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Three Timely Presidential Songs

Posted October 31, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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With the election just a week away, I thought I’d call to mind some songs about U.S. presidents and elections — songs that either celebrate or poke a little fun at being POTUS. We can all use a little levity about now, right?
The first is “Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt” by Otis Jackson. Jackson first recorded this tribute song in 1946, a …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, French, Middle East, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Artists You Should Know: Thierry “Titi” Robin

Posted October 17, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Thierry “Titi” Robin is a French musician and composer. Mostly, however, he is an intrepid musical traveler. He plays guitar, Arabic oud, Turkish buzuq and other instruments of both European and Moorish origin. He has collaborated with Rajasthani gypsy, Indian, flamenco, and Pakistani musicians. He is a musical polymath equally at home in a variety of musical environments and cultures.
I discovered his work years ago on …

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