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

John Coltrane’s Funeral Service – July 21, 1967

Posted May 18, 2016 by | 4 Comments
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My music teacher Joe Nazzaretta recently sent me John Coltrane’s funeral service program. I am still moved by anything having to do with this genius of modern music. I recall sitting in a Will Rogers State Beach lifeguard tower on July 17, 1967, when I heard the news of Coltrane’s death on the local jazz station, KBCA 105.1 FM. I didn’t even know he was sick with …

brazilian music, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

The Bar do Lagoa in Rio and Robocop

Posted May 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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My first trip of many to Brazil, our great and troubled southern neighbor, was in 1990. I went there with a bunch of friends to discover the music and culture of the various states: Rio de Janeiro, Minas, Pernambuco, Bahia, Sao Paulo. We had a Varig air pass so we went everywhere. We drank cashew milkshakes, got robbed in Olinda, viewed Rio’s gorgeous …

Music History, music phenomena, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Paul Bowles: Music of Morocco 1959

Posted May 9, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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Dust to Digital has just released a remarkable and historic box set: Music of Morocco, from the Library of Congress, recorded by Paul Bowles over a five-month period from July to December 1959. It is a snapshot, or perhaps a time capsule, of a culture then relatively pure and unmolested by the world outside.
Paul Bowles lived in Tangier for over 50 years, from his arrival …

African, Artist Spotlight, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

My 1989 Interview with Papa Wemba

Posted April 27, 2016 by | 1 Comment
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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 …

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