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Show #61: Remembering Charlie Haden

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 3 Comments
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Charlie Haden died last Friday at 77. He had contracted polio as a teenager in Springfield, Missouri and the dreaded disease had returned in 2011 like Faust from Hell.
Charlie was a great friend of KCRW. He probably visited both myself and Chris Douridas 30 times on Morning Becomes Eclectic. But he didn’t want us just to play his music; he loved being guest deejay, …

Featured, Headline, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #56: Brazilian Futebol & Music

Posted June 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I bought a caxirola the other day. This is the official noisemaker for the 2014 World Cup games hosted in Brazil. Alas, they’ve already been banned from the games because supposedly they can be hurled like missiles and could hurt somebody. Nonetheless, it’s time for World Cup! This week’s show celebrates Brazilian Futebol and its music.
I’ve been to Brazil numerous times. Once I went up to …

Featured, Music Phenomena, Recollections »

Record Sleeves as Time Capsules

Posted June 9, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Old albums on vinyl can be time capsules. You can’t put much into a CD jewel case and can’t do anything with a digital music collection. When my CD player was in the shop, I went through my vinyl collection in search of analog LPs I haven’t visited in a long time. Some funny things turn up in LP jackets. A friend of mine …

Featured, Headline, Recollections, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #55: African Sax Kings

Posted June 6, 2014 by | 6 Comments
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Many of us know the great guitarists of Africa: Mali’s Ali Farka Toure, Guinea’s Sekou “Diamond Fingers” Diabate, the great bass players of South Africa (Bakhiti Kumalo who played with Paul Simon on Graceland, Sipho Gumede who worked with Dollar Brand and others). But we don’t know much about African saxophone players. I had to do some thinking about this too.
The impetus was a …

Featured, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections »

Russian Rock: Then and Now

Posted May 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I was Music Director of KCRW and host of Morning Becomes Eclectic during the 1980s and we did regular programs featuring the latest in Soviet-era Russian pop and rock music. Back then, the Cold War was alive and well, with Reagan and Brezhnev regularly rattling their swords. Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny once told me that as a kid in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, he played near …

Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, Featured, Music History, Recollections »

Cape Verde’s Cesaria Evora

Posted April 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I have spent the last week in Cape Verde, 300 miles southwest of Dakar, Senegal. The islands were discovered in 1460 by a Portuguese explorer named Diego Gomes, who was en route to Goa, India. All he found were volcanic islands uninhabited except for a few goats wandering around.
I have come to this country for the music. I featured Cape Verdean music by the …

Featured, New Releases, Recollections, Rediscoveries »

New and Rediscovered Tunes

Posted March 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I listen to a fairly big number of albums each week. First I audition, then if I like the music I listen again, maybe in the car, and then if an album really grabs me, I listen with the reference system.
Here are 5 albums I’ve listened to repeatedly and enjoyed a lot.
1.    Valérie Milt & Les Violons du Roy / Concertos for Harp …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, MBE Archive, Recollections, RIP »

Remembering Ronald Shannon Jackson

Posted March 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Jazz drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson passed away in October of 2013. He was a powerful drummer in a band that broke down a lot of barriers and blended many genres of music: The Decoding Society. The Decoding Society was more edgy, funky, driving. Looking in my KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic archives and there is my aircheck of an interview I did with him on September …

Featured, Music Phenomena, Recollections »

Songs About March & Spring

Posted March 19, 2014 by | 2 Comments
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We’re now in the middle of March with Spring–at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere–right around the corner.  The Vernal Equinox is tomorrow, 3/20.
Here are two songs about that, but each with a twist. The first is Antonio Carlos Jobim’s song Águas do Março, Waters of March. Jobim was learning English at the time of the writing in the early 1960s; …

Featured, Music History, Recollections »

100 Years Of Bollywood

Posted February 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Last year, Bollywood, as the Indian film industry is known, turned 100. Its first film, Raja Harishchandra, was a silent film released in 1913. This was seventeen years after the very first films arrived in India from England, using technology derived from the French Lumiere Brothers, who created the first moving pictures in 1895.
For decades the Bombay film industry has produced 10 times as …

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