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Show #96: Dance to the World Beat of DJ ‘Selecta’ Tom Schnabel

Posted February 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ghanaian Dance

I would never claim to be a beat-matcher with a big Traktor controller rig. Rather, I’m an old school selector, deeply ensconced in old school vinyl, rare CDs, and classic 12″ sides. But I am also always on the lookout for new stuff, and that includes dance sides.
So what is a selector or, colloquially, a ‘selecta’? It’s a reggae dancehall term referring to the person who selects the …

Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Some Jazz Humor for You

Posted February 16, 2015 by | 3 Comments
A Great Day in Harlem - Latecomers

Jazz has its own type of humor. Tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd once told me that he was with a bunch of musicians in Thelonious Monk’s big early 1950s Buick with Monk at the wheel, when he almost crashed the car, spinning it around a full 360 degrees. Recovering from the shock, they heard him say, “Ain’t ya glad I’m driving.”
Pioneering jazz violinist Joe Venuti …

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

Rubén Blades’ “El Padre Antonio y Su Monaguillo Andrés”

Posted February 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ruben Blades Archbishop Romero

Grammy Award-winning Rubén Blades is a wonderfully gifted Panamanian poet and songwriter whose works often take on a political tinge. Raised in a progressive family, his grand-uncle was a revolutionary during the Cuban War of Independence against Spain. His mother was an actress, his father a musician, and the girls in his family attended college. Ruben himself studied international law at Harvard on a full scholarship.
I knew Rubén back when he lived in …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Classical, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Sundance Report: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Nina Simone - Thumbnail

“But what happened, Miss Simone? Specifically, what happened to your big eyes that quickly veil to hide the loneliness? To your voice that has so little tenderness, yet flows with your commitment to the battle of Life? What happened to you?” —Maya Angelou
So wrote the erudite Maya Angelou, following a 1970 Redbook interview she did with the mercurial ‘High Priestess of Soul’ herself, Nina Simone (b. 1933–2003). Echoing …

Audiophiles, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

Director David Greene on John Coltrane

Posted January 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
David Greene

I am once again listening to a glorious reissue of my gateway jazz LP, John Coltrane‘s Impressions remastered by the great German label, Speakers Corner Records. They do a fantastic job reissuing the classics on 180 gram vinyl.
The terms, ‘virgin,” heavyweight,’ or ’180 gram’ refer to the mass of vinyl used in the pressing of the cut. Whereas most standard LPs are either 120 …

Classical, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Gateway Albums to Musical Satori

Posted December 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments
Debussy:Ravel

SA·TO·RI: noun \sə-ˈtȯr-ē, sä-\ refers to a sudden state of consciousness or enlightenment
People talk about ‘gateway’ drugs as precursors to the heavier, more destructive stuff. The film, Reefer Madness, depicts marijuana ruining young lives, and we’ve all heard ad nauseam that smoking pot leads to heroin addiction.
Growing up, my older brother was into classic 1950s R&B, so I listened to a lot of Chuck Berry, Bobby Bland, Chuck …

Holiday, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #86: Rhythm Planet Fans’ Top Breakup Songs for the Holidaze

Posted December 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Holiday Breakups

Thanks to all of you Rhythm Planet friends and fans who sent in your own personal picks for more “Breakup Songs to Wallow In” after our Thanksgiving show. I decided to spin them on this week’s pre-holiday show. You sent in so many touching expressions of heartbreak that I wish I could have included all of them, but there wasn’t enough time on our show for the 40-plus songs you …

Art, Literature & Film, Latin, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Carlos Saura’s “Flamenco Flamenco” Masterpiece—in LA but Not for Long

Posted December 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Flamenco, Flamenco

Carlos Saura is a renowned Spanish filmmaker hailed for his documentaries celebrating the performing arts traditions along the Iberian peninsula. Spanning his prolific 60-year career, Saura has received countless honors directing such works as Tango (1998), Fados (2007), and Flamenco (1995), just to name a few. Perhaps his greatest film of all, Flamenco Flamenco, a sequel to its Flamenco predecessor, had its original debut back in 2010, but is re-screening for a …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Interviews, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #84: Nicolas Slonimsky, Amazing Musical Iconoclast (1894–1995)

Posted December 5, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Slonimsky Autographed 1988

This week, Rhythm Planet reprises the 100th birthday tribute I did back in 1994 for one of the most extraordinary men I’ve ever met: Nicolas Slonimsky, the Russian composer, conductor, musicologist, and lexicographer. Born in 1894 in czarist St. Petersburg to a family of intellectuals, he was singled out as a boy “genius,” who would, indeed, be destined for greatness.
Slonimsky learned music theory, composition, and …

Holiday, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Breakup Songs to Wallow In

Posted November 17, 2014 by | 3 Comments
Frank Sinatra - No One Cares

While the upcoming holidays can be cause for cheer for many, they can also open up a black hole that others emerge from only after Valentine’s Day.
My current relationship status is happy and stable, but with the holidays just around the corner, I find myself musing back on certain songs or pieces of music that I once listened to repeatedly post-breakup. Naturally, the songs were different …

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