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Artists We Lost in 2016

Posted December 26, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Top row: Buckwheat Zydeco, Papa Wemba, Bobby Hutcherson; bottom row: Rudy Van Gelder, Prince Buster, Amjad Sabri (photo by SohailKhanzada)
The pop music world lost some prominent stars in 2016, starting with David Bowie in January, then Prince in April, and now George Michael. There was also Glenn Frey of the Eagles, bluesman Otis Clay, and Natalie Cole. Classical music also lost a titan …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, music phenomena, RIP, world music »

Esma Redzepova, Queen of the Gypsies, 1943-2016 RIP

Posted December 19, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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The great Romani singer Esma Redzepova passed away earlier this month at the age of 73. She began her career at the age of nine, and eventually sang in ten languages and recorded over 500 songs through her long career. The voice of the Romani (also spelled Romany), Redzepova was a powerful performer who captured the joys and sorrows of her people. As the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Middle East, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Remembering Samir Hachem and His Gift of Arabic Music

Posted December 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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During my “Morning Becomes Eclectic” days, I used to invite many guest hosts to come in and share their musical knowledge. Charlie Haden was the most frequent visitor, bringing in sweeping classical albums as well as old-timey mountain music that he grew up with in Missouri. Don Cohen, a busy attorney and passionate fadista–follower of Portugal’s great fado music–turned me onto Amalia Rodrigues, Carlos do …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Featured, Headline, Jazz, Latin, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #185: Remembering Mose Allison and Claus Ogerman

Posted November 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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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 …

Blues, Featured, Interviews, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

Phil Chess, Co-Founder of Chess Records, RIP

Posted October 24, 2016 by | 0 Comments
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Phil Chess, co-founder of Chicago’s legendary Chess Records, has died at the age of 95. Born Fiszel Czyz in Motol, Poland, in 1921, he changed his name after moving to Chicago, a city with a large Polish population and a home of the blues. With his brother Leonard, he founded Chess Records in 1950. Just a year later, one of the first great rock and roll records, Ike …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, Featured, French, RIP »

Buckwheat Zydeco’s Stanley Dural, Jr., RIP

Posted September 28, 2016 by | 2 Comments
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Accordionist Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr., leader and founder of the funky New Orleans band Buckwheat Zydeco, passed away Saturday, September 24, in his hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana at the age of 68.
Zydeco is cajun-creole funk music. It’s about as funky as you can get, a blended musical analog for gumbo and other spicy cajun cuisine. The word Zydeco is believed to be a creolized version of …

Featured, Music History, reggae, RIP »

Prince Buster, Early Blue Beat and Ska Great, RIP

Posted September 14, 2016 by | 3 Comments
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Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer Prince Buster (1938-2016) died on September 8 in Miami at the age of 78. Born Cecil Bustamente Campbell in a rough neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica, he came of age in the early 1960’s, cutting classic Jamaican sides in the Blue Beat and ska styles, precursors of the rocksteady and reggae styles that came a few years later.
I’ve always loved ska, …

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

Show #173: Potpourri

Posted August 26, 2016 by | 6 Comments
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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, Audiophiles, Featured, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

Rudy Van Gelder, Legendary Jazz Engineer (1924-2016) RIP

Posted August 25, 2016 by | 2 Comments
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I have been dreading the day I would hear this news. But it’s true, Rudy Van Gelder (RVG) has died at the age of 91. He became legendary, but started out recording late-night sessions in his parents’ living room in the early 1950’s while attending optometry school by day. Thank goodness he didn’t pursue an optometry career!
The other day I pulled out his 1953 recording for Prestige, Bag’s …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, Latin, RIP »

Toots Thielemans and Irving Fields, RIP

Posted August 24, 2016 by | 4 Comments
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Two musicians I like passed away recently. Harmonica legend Toots Thielemans died on Monday, August 22 at 94; composer and pianist Irving Fields died Saturday, August 20 at the age of 101. Their longevity aside, they couldn’t have been more different.
Toots Thielemans (1922-2016)
Thielemans was by far the better known musician of the two. Born in Brussels in 1922, over his long life he worked with …

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