Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Adele’s Hit Song Hello: Original and Swahili Version

Posted December 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Lionel Richie wrote a song called “Hello” in 1983, a year after leaving the Commodores.  The theme of sadness is similar to the new song by Adele, written by her and Greg Kurstin, who we know from the group The Bird and the Bee.  The lyrics of the two songs, however, are different. There is another less-known version, in Swahili no less.  It is …

brazilian music, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Experiencing Lyrics More as Music than Words

Posted December 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments

When you listen to vocal music in languages you don’t understand–world music for instance – you experience the singers more as music than just following the words. You focus more on the sound of the voices, the phrasing, and most importantly the sound of the language. You don’t get hung up on the words, which you can always find out about later. Rather …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Interviews, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Dominique Sanda, Coltrane, et Moi

Posted December 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

If you’re single and a music lover (by that I mean serious, not casual listener) you might have hoped you would meet your perfect match and the music part would be part of it all.  Some people might want somebody who loves classical music and can listen to and enjoy an entire Mahler symphony without falling asleep. Or somebody who mirrors your love for …

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

Holly Woodlawn, Theresa, & Early Days, Late Nights @ KCRW

Posted December 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
So go the lyrics to Lou Reed’s famous song, “Walk on the Wild Side”.  The Holly here was Holly …

Recollections & Rediscoveries »

What Music Do You Play After a Tragedy?

Posted November 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments

On the day after the bloodbath in Paris, I’m listening to KCRW music as well as FIP (France Inter Paris) online radio. Anne Litt started out her Saturday show with “Peace Piece”, a long, subdued,  and beautiful Bill Evans classic. FIP played a lovely song by Piers Faccini called “Three Times Betrayed,” then “Protection” by Massive Attack, a song I remember playing after 9/11. …

African, Art, Literature & Film, French, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Revisiting Paris: Old Haunts And Music Discoveries

Posted November 4, 2015 by | 1 Comment
yellow deux chevaux

I just spent two weeks in France, much of it in Paris. It was Cherie’s and my first visit together. I lived there in 1970, back when Les Halles was still there, demonstrations continued to pick up where May 1968 left off, and many demonstrations against Nixon and Kissinger’s war in Vietnam. I got thrown in jail for being too close to a demonstration …

Classical, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

A Devotion To The Mighty Pipe Organ

Posted October 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Anybody who’s never experienced a big pipe organ concert in a cathedral has missed something special. The pipe organ is — and has always been — the biggest and most complicated musical instrument of all. Its huge array of sound, its sheer sonic power, would make a stack of Marshall amps or heavy metal band sound puny.
Then there is the setting: cathedrals, especially the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Six Great Music Educators

Posted October 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments

A good music teacher can infuse inspiration and instill a lifelong love of music. I couldn’t relate at all to my super straight, rigid piano teacher when I was seven or eight, plus there was simply no great music to be had in the Schnabel household, save for the 45 rpm 7″ R&B sides my older brother brought home. So I stopped taking lessons. …

Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

DNA of a pop song: Barry Manilow’s started with Chopin

Posted October 12, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Often big pop hits have somewhat obscure origins in classical music. This is true for a song that was a big hit for, first, Barry Manilow, who wrote the song “Could It Be Magic” in 1973. Then  three years later, Donna Summer followed suit.
Now, I was never much of a Barry Manilow fan, but I have to say he melted my heart — along …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Thwarted Interview with Stan Getz

Posted September 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I still remember the night of April 24, 1980, when I drove to Howard Rumsey’s popular Redondo Beach jazz spot, Concerts by the Sea, because it was the same date as the failed attempt to rescue the Iranian hostages. I was on my way to interview Stan Getz.
I had my questions prepped and my portable cassette recorder ready to go. My first question was whether he had …

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