French, Latin, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

RIP: Manitas de Plata, “A Great and Savage Artist” (1921–2014)

Posted November 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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“A great and savage artist” were the words John Steinbeck once used to describe gypsy guitarist, Ricardo Baliardo, better known as “Manitas de Plata” for his “little silver hands.” Born in 1921 to a traveling gypsy caravan in the Camargue region of southern France, de Plata never learned to read or write (he was tasked with begging as a child), but was a self-taught …

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

My Late Friend, Joe Zawinul

Posted November 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Joe Zawinul

Joe Zawinul first became known when he replaced Victor Feldman as pianist of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, a fantastic band with music director Charles Lloyd on sax and flute. David Axelrod was the svengali who produced those timeless Cannonball Adderly sessions from 1964–75.
I remember buying Joe’s new Zawinul LP in 1971 and going over to a friend’s who had a good stereo system, and lying on the floor enjoying …

Artist Spotlight, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #78: Remembering Tim Hauser Through the Songs He Loved

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I was both surprised and saddened by the recent passing of Tim Hauser just a week ago. He was not only the guy who founded the famous vocal group The Manhattan Transfer; he was a friend and did a weekly vocal music show on KCRW back when I was Music Director. His show was called Sunday Sings Jazz on Sundays and was on from noon till 2 PM. …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

RIP: Nati Cano of Mariachi Los Camperos

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Natividad “Nati” Cano, the violinist-leader of the legendary, Los Angeles-based Mariachi Los Camperos, has passed on October 3rd. He was 81.
Although I’m not a huge fan of mariachi music, the first time I heard Mariachi Los Camperos perform, I remember being struck by the beauty of Nati’s sound. His was full and sweet, the equivalent of a Mexican Jascha Heifetz. I was also knocked …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, RIP »

RIP: Jazz Trumpet Great, Joe Wilder

Posted August 20, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Joe Wilder

Joe Wilder was one of the best trumpet players that people have never heard of. Playing mostly in pit bands for musicals and TV shows like Dick Cavett’s, he wasn’t well-known. Wilder was so busy working with other bands that he rarely recorded anything as a leader.
I got turned onto him by the late jazz wizard, Will Thornbury, who did music shows for KCRW from …

Artist Spotlight, French, Music History, RIP »

Jacques Brel’s Haunting Song: “Les Marquises”

Posted August 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Last night, I dreamt about the title track from Jacques Brel’s final album called, “Les Marquises,” named for the Marquesas Islands, where he spent his final years away from France. He had purchased a ’62 sailboat and sailed to the islands from France. The journey took something like six months via the Panama Canal.
The Belgian singer-songwriter had been earlier diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his lung that …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #64: Remembering Charlie Haden (1937–2014)

Posted July 18, 2014 by | 6 Comments
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Charlie Haden died last Friday at the age of 77. He had contracted polio as a teenager in Springfield, Missouri, and the dreaded disease returned in 2011 like Faust from Hell.
Charlie was a great friend of KCRW. He probably visited both myself and Chris Douridas at least 30 times on Morning Becomes Eclectic. But he didn’t want us just to play his music; he …

Artist Spotlight, RIP »

RIP: David Weiss, Master of the Musical Saw

Posted July 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments
david weiss

Another musical friend has passed: David Weiss. What makes it more poignant is that he performed on his $7.00 Stanley Handyman Saw on Morning Becomes Eclectic with me on December 5, 1983, but also that he was born 3 days after me. Tragically, David Weiss dropped dead in Pacific Palisades while surfing on May 24th. One would think that if you’re healthy enough to go surfing …

Artist Spotlight, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

Show #60: Remembering Little Jimmy Scott

Posted June 20, 2014 by | 0 Comments
little jimmy scott

Little Jimmy Scott was a singer’s singer. Let’s start with what Nancy Wilson said about him:
“There would be no Nancy Wilson were it not for Little Jimmy Scott. I owe all that I am and all that I have to this man’s singing style…when I hear Jimmy, he touches me with his unique ability for phrasing. The emotions riding on the timbre of his …

RIP »

RIP: Maya Angelou

Posted May 28, 2014 by | 3 Comments
Maya Angelou

I interviewed Maya Angelou on January 7, 1995. She visited Cafe LA as a guest DJ. She was wearing Malian mud cloth slacks. It was an El Niño year and it was pouring buckets outside. I welcomed her to sunny Southern California.  The guest mike wasn’t working, there was no engineer on duty to fix it, but I had prepared and was ready. She …

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