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Cape Verde: The Spirit of Morabeza

Posted April 9, 2014 by | 0 Comments
cape verde beach

A few years ago, one of my favorite Cape Verdean artists, Boy Ge Mendes, released an album called Noite de Morabeza. I never quite knew what the word “morabeza” meant.
But now, on just my second day in Praia, on the island of Santiago in Cape Verde, I do.
Morabeza is both a word and a concept, a lifestyle, a way of seeing and understanding things …

Artist Spotlight, 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, Headline, Music History, Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Congolese Rumba Classics Revisited

Posted September 20, 2013 by | 0 Comments
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Congolese Rumba is the glorious musical hybrid of Cuban music fused with African DNA. It started back in the 1950s with a boatload of 78 rpm Cuban records featuring Arsenio Rodriguez, Orquesta Aragón, Beny Moré, Miguelito Valdes, and other Cuban stars. Africans in Senegal, Mali, and the then Belgian Congo (capital: Kinshasha) and French Congo (capital: Brazzaville) ate it up. It was somehow familiar, …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, MBE Archive, Recollections, Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Overlooked Unusual Songs, Part 1

Posted August 9, 2013 by | 1 Comment
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As I’ve said before, I’m always so busy listening to new albums that some real gems tend to be forgotten or neglected. This week, Rhythm Planet shows the love for some long-form pieces and pop pieces in a part 1 of a 2 part series. Some of these pieces run 20-30 minutes so for interests of space and time I had to excerpt them–no way …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Recollections, Rediscoveries »

Revisiting Paul Horn

Posted July 31, 2013 by | 0 Comments
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In 1966 I bought my first flute, a cheap $25 Vito from a pawn shop near USC, where I was struggling through my sophomore year. I already knew about Paul Horn, one of the best musicians anywhere and an artist who had an incredibly beautiful sound when he played flute. I bought all his RCA LPs, although it took me a long time to …

Featured, Headline, Music History, Recollections, Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Forgotten Gems, Part 1

Posted July 12, 2013 by | 0 Comments
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This week, Rhythm Planet revisits some rare sides from years past. As a longtime KCRW deejay,  I can tell you that you’re always swamped with new releases, trying to audition them, often hurriedly, and then cull the best from the bunch. You rarely have time to go back to savor earlier releases that have been relegated to the shelves.
With that in mind, let’s dust …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Music History, Rediscoveries »

3 Unusual Covers of One of the Best Jazz Ballads

Posted May 29, 2013 by | 0 Comments
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John Coltrane wrote “Naima” for his first wife, and it first appeared on his 1959 Atlantic album Giant Steps, on which the tour de force title track re-wrote the book on tenor saxophone playing.
“Naima” is one of the most beautiful and durable of all jazz ballads; it has been recorded hundreds of times.  Coltrane also played it often in concerts and recorded it numerous …

Artist Spotlight, Music History, Music Phenomena, Rediscoveries »

For Valentine’s Day: The Great 1950s Love Song by The Flamingos: ” I Only Have Eyes for You”

Posted February 14, 2013 by | 0 Comments

I played this song last Sunday, 2/10 in a Valentine’s set, now Jason Bentley is playing it again (he, like I, have played this song many times before).  It is one of the most sublime love songs ever written.
It’s all also one of the greatest doo wop songs of all time.  It was written by Henry Warren and Al Dubin and released in 1959.  It …

Artist Spotlight, Music History, Music Phenomena, Recollections, Rediscoveries »

Vinyl Rediscovery: Proustian Recollections: Music as Time Machine

Posted January 30, 2013 by | 0 Comments

This means some delicious, holographic Proustian moments. A time machine propelled by music and memories.    By the way, this year marks the 100th anniversary of Proust’s masterpiece, Swann’s Way, in which the famous madeleine-in-the-tea mnemonic episode occurred.
One of those happened last night.  I pulled out a two lp set, Philippe Lefebvre playing Duruflé’s organ works on the immense Chartres cathedral pipe organ.  Suddenly …

Artist Spotlight, Music Phenomena, Recollections, Rediscoveries »

Miles Davis’ 1st Record With Gil Evans: 1957 Masterpiece Now Reissued in Glorious Original Mono

Posted January 8, 2013 by | 0 Comments

Miles Davis and Gil Evans first worked together in 1949 on the seminal Birth of the Cool, which took jazz away from bebop and introduced the cool sound.  Gone was the frenetic flurry of notes, replaced by a smoother, softer groove.   Their next big collaboration was Miles Ahead:  Miles Davis + 19;  it was their first record for Columbia, two years before the …

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