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Show #187: Cuban Classics–A Personal Selection Part 1

Posted December 2, 2016 by | 0 Comments

With Fidel’s passing I wanted to play some Cuban music I really love. This is a personal selection, and if you’re wondering why there’s no Buena Vista Social Club, Cachao, or Gloria Estefan, we’ll have a sequel next week with more sizzling Cuban music.
We start with a Coca-Cola commercial from 1952. The beverage giant was a player on Cuban soil back …

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Show #186: In the Thanksgiving Spirit — Music from Hawai’i and Cape Verde

Posted November 25, 2016 by | 2 Comments

I just returned from an idyllic vacation in Hawai’i—down on the Gold Coast of Oahu near Diamond Head—and felt the spirit of aloha in my heart and soul. Aloha means many wonderful things, all of them good:  kindness, compassion, affection, farewell, greetings, grace, hello and goodbye. No wonder that in surveys of happiness, Hawaiians often say they’re the “most contented with …

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Show #185: Remembering Mose Allison and Claus Ogerman

Posted November 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Two musical giants have passed: Mose Allison and Claus Ogerman. Actually, Ogerman shuffled off this mortal coil eight months ago, but nobody knew it because the family kept it a secret. Old Man Mose died on Monday, November 15, 2016, at the age of 89.
Mose Allison (1927-2016)
Mose Allison was one-of-a-kind, to put it mildly. Growing up in the backwoods town of Tippo, Mississippi, he would …

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Show #184: Past and Present Voices

Posted November 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week’s playlist is just a crazy mix of songs from past and present that I love. Jumping right in, we start with a 1980’s U.K. group called The Flying Lizards, from an album of cover songs and their stiff-upper-lip version of James Brown’s “Sex Machine.” A Lebanese cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid” follows. Then we’ll hear a cut by …

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Show #183: Autumn Songs

Posted November 4, 2016 by | 2 Comments

It’s finally cooling off here in SoCal and temperatures are dipping across the country, too. People living in areas that have seasons love the changing colors that autumn brings — arboreal symphonies in the midwest and east. Of course it is spring in the southern hemisphere, where the weather is warming up. In this age of global warming, however, weather patterns are changing and not …

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Show #182: A Fun Hour with Jazz Guitar Wizard Wolfgang Schalk

Posted October 28, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Jazz guitarist Wolfgang Schalk is a Viennese transplant and one of L.A.’s hidden treasures. I immediately liked his new album From Here to There, from the first track to the last, and find him to be a fresh new musical voice. I invited Schalk in to showcase the new CD, plus to throw some “blindfold test” music at him. It didn’t surprise me that we shared …

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Show #181: New and Noteworthy Releases

Posted October 21, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week we feature ten new records that caught my ear. Let’s check them out, starting with a bolero from Cuban-born, Toronto-based pianist Roberto Fonseca, with the beautiful voice of Dayme Arocena. Venezuelan pianist Edward Simon then covers Ariel Ramirez’ beautiful song “Alphonsina y El Mar,” made famous by the late Mercedes Sosa.
We follow with a posthumous release by …

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Show #180: John Beasley’s “Monk’estra” Celebrates Thelonious Monk Classics

Posted October 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week, I had pleasure of welcoming John Beasley to KCRW’s studios to talk about his cool new project, Monk’estra Vol. 1, which celebrates the music of Thelonious Sphere Monk. Monk, like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, was a proto-beatnik. As house pianist at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem beginning in 1942, he helped launch the bebop revolution in modern jazz. Their take on music inspired beat poets like Jack …

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Show #179: Michel Petrucciani: Amazing Virtuosity Despite All Odds

Posted October 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments

In the summer of 1981, I went to Paris on vacation. I squeezed in a few visits to record labels as part of my job as KCRW’s Music Director. The station was known in Paris and other French cities because we always sent various record companies our playlists, and I frequently sent my interviews to Jazz Magazine and other music publications there.
One of the labels I …

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Show #178: Eclectic New Release Mix (+2 classics).

Posted September 30, 2016 by | 0 Comments

For the last 3 weeks, I’ve been playing my personal selection of timeless classics. It’s time to check out some new jams. We begin with a nice track from the ARC label, featuring a number of great Brazilian musicians accompanying a West African traditional 21 string harp-lute, the kora, played here by Ravi (aka J.P. Freeman). The CD, The Afro-Brazilian Project, features top-flight Brazilian musicians like …

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