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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 …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

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 …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, MBE Archive, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

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 …

African, brazilian music, Cape Verde, Featured, French, Headline, Jazz, Middle East, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

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 …

Featured, French, Headline, Jazz, Latin, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #177: Timeless Gems — Tom’s Personal Selection Part 3

Posted September 23, 2016 by | 0 Comments

We present the last installment of just a partial sampling of my favorite music. It’s eclectic, all over the place, which is just the way I like it.
We begin with the short-lived sensational pan-Francophone band Orchestre National de Barbès, named after a North African/Arab neighborhood in Paris. It is the carrefour, or crossroads, where the 9th, 10th, and 18th arrondissements meet. The …

African, brazilian music, Classical, Featured, French, Headline, Middle East, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #176: Timeless Gems — Tom’s Personal Selection Part 2

Posted September 16, 2016 by | 2 Comments

This week I wanted to again feature music that has stuck with me over the years. First up, a trio of wonderful guitarists. We begin with Hungarian guitarist Zsófia Boros, whose debut ECM album has her covering some beautiful songs from the Americas, hence the CD title En Otra Parte (“In Another Place” or “Elsewhere”). Boros coaxes the ache, sadness, and joy out …

African, Classical, Featured, Headline, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #175: Timeless Gems – Tom’s Personal Selection Part 1

Posted September 9, 2016 by | 3 Comments

Deejays are always sampling new releases, but occasionally, it’s great to go back to recordings that have withstood the test of time. This is the first in a short series of programs that does just that. I hope you enjoy this eclectic selection!
We begin with a song from Leon Thomas, a progenitor of what people now call “Spiritual Jazz.” Kamasi Washington is the current embodiment of …

Artist Spotlight, Asia, Featured, Headline, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #174: Qawwali Music: The Mystical, Peaceful Side of Islam

Posted September 2, 2016 by | 2 Comments

I first heard the Sufi devotional music called qawwali around 1982 on a WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) album. WOMAD was Peter Gabriel’s world music label and brainchild. This was right about the time when a bunch of Brit record executives coined the term “world music” as a category for retail sales purposes. The five-minute excerpt I heard was powerful, enthralling. I was transfixed. …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #173: Potpourri

Posted August 26, 2016 by | 6 Comments

This week I’ll mostly feature new releases, but I’ll also play a little Cuban son and remember two musicians, Toots Thielemans and Irving Fields.
We start with a wonderful guitarist based in Los Angeles, Wolfgang Schalk. He has a new album I keep returning too, and it’s on CD and vinyl. After that, a track from busy Bronx bass player Carlos Henriquez, …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, reggae, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #172: Jamaican D.J. Junor Francis Does Reggae Proud in L.A.

Posted August 19, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Jamaica has been in the news lately because of Usain Bolt and the great Jamaican track and field athletes. To celebrate Jamaica, know that there’s a reggae oasis here on Saturday night and his name is Junor Francis. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre and delivers the goods with verve and authentic Jamaican flavor. Junior arrived to the U.S. from the island in …

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