African, Artist Spotlight, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

My 1989 Interview with Papa Wemba

Posted April 27, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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As I wrote in a blog post earlier this week, Congolese rumba great Papa Wemba performed in L.A. a few times in the late 1980′s, first at the Executive Club and later as a star in an African musical at the Pantages Theater, in a show called Africa Oye. That’s where I caught him in 1989.
Africa Oye was extended into a two-week run, an …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #155: Bach Cello Suites Celebrated by 8 Great Cellists

Posted April 22, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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This is kind of an experimental show. Bach wrote six beautiful suites for solo cello, and I want to showcase two of them through interpretations by eight different cellists. The cello is probably the closest instrument to the human voice in terms of range and pitch. The form even resembles a human body (think Man Ray’s 1924 photo of …

African, Artist Spotlight, Music History, music phenomena, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Malick Sidibe, the “Eye of Bamako”, 1936-2016 RIP

Posted April 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Malick Sidibé, Malian photographer, has died at 80. Sidibé’s black and white photos captured the golden era of Malian music and culture during the 1960′s, a time of optimism, pride, pan-africanism, and joy. With the death of fellow Malian photographer Seydou Keita (1921-2001), Sidibé had been the only remaining photographic chronicler of a golden age.
Sidibé’s photos are full of post-independence joy. People came to his …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, French, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Lisa Simone Headlines at the Olympia in Paris This Thursday, April 14

Posted April 11, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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It’s been said that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. Lisa Simone (b. 1962) is now following her mom’s footsteps by playing in the famous Olympia Hall in Paris this Thursday. It is kind of France’s Carnegie Hall for popular music. All the greats have performed there, including Umm Kulthum, Yves Montand, Dalida, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles…and …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

My Afternoon with Gato Barbieri in 1977

Posted April 6, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Latin jazz saxophonist Leandro “Gato” Barbieri passed away recently at 83. When I heard the news, I rummaged through my old tapes and pulled out a cassette of my interview with him, which I did in a noisy room at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1977.
I love Gato Barbieri and have most of his albums in my music collection. Under Fire and Fenix are terrific, as is his soundtrack …

African, Blues, French, Jazz, Middle East, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #152: Musical Potpourri Part 2

Posted April 1, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Sometimes I just feel like sharing music I love regardless of whether it’s new or old and no matter the genre. There are plenty of others crowing about what’s new, but often what is older is better since it’s stood the test of time.
That’s certainly true for Howlin’ Wolf (né Chester Burnett). He’s a Mississippi-born blues shouter I’ve always loved. I …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Asia, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Anoushka Shankar’s “Land of Gold”: A Musical Response to Refugees and Victims of War

Posted March 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Countless singer-songwriters write and perform songs about love lost, heartbreak, or other personal issues. Anoushka Shankar has opted for the road not–or at most seldom–taken with her new album, Land of Gold.
In some ways it echoes her father Ravi Shankar’s and George Harrison’s 1971 The Concert for Bangladesh, a benefit concert, subsequent album, and documentary film to help seven million refugees displaced by the Bangladesh Liberation …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Interviews, Music History, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #149: Dorival Caymmi: The Alpha and Omega of Brazilian Music

Posted March 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Photo: Alex Pieros

 
Everybody who likes Brazilian music knows who Antonio Carlos Jobim is. Or Carmen Miranda. Bebel Gilberto. What about Dorival Caymmi?  Not as many know his work. In my own small way I hope to change that.
Dorival Caymmi (1914-2008) paved the way for Jobim, started Carmen Miranda’s career, and influenced an entire generation of musicians who came up in the 1950′s and 1960′s: Tom Jobim, Joao …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Subway Joe: Ordinary Guy’s Boogaloo Renaissance

Posted March 7, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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If you’re deejaying a crowded room of dancers who don’t know how to dance to latin music, there is a solution: play boogaloo. This catchy, soulful music will definitely move some hips.
Boogaloo purveyors such as Pete Rodriguez (“I Like it Like That”) and Joe Cuba (“Bang Bang”) were big in 1970′s New York as well as other big cities, but the genre was eclipsed …

Artist Spotlight, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

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 …

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