Jazz, Music History, RIP »

In Passing: Bernard Stollman, Iconoclast Founder of ESP-Disk

Posted May 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Bernard Stollman

What other label would release LPs by Timothy Leary, The Fugs, Giuseppe Logan, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Burton Greene & Patty Waters, and Pharoah Sanders—not to mention Bob James’s first wild album, Explosions. People remember the 1960s as being about The Doors, Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, but let’s not forget ESP-Disk. It was the wonderful lunatic fringe on the other side of the coin.
ESP-Disk was …

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

Music as Time Capsules: Joe Cocker & Papa Yoro Diop

Posted April 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Joe Cocker Photo

Awhile back, I wrote on vinyl about LPs as time capsules. As an ardent collector of vinyl, I’ve regularly find all sorts of random paraphernalia inside: newspaper clippings, handwritten personal notes, mementos, etc. Once, I even found a $5.09 receipt that had somehow made its way over from Platterpus Records in Easthampton, Massachusetts, to Los Angeles.
Radio airchecks (demo tapes made of on air radio …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

A Billie Holiday Celebration

Posted April 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Billie Holiday

Tomorrow is the centennial of Billie Holiday. Her haunting, soulful sound was laden with personal stories of heartbreak and misfortune. A victim of circumstance from early on, she took to substance abuse as a means not only of coping but in defiance of social norms. She was surrounded by dope all her life as a jazz musician—it was part of the jazz underground scene. However, addiction was considered …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

How Jazz Trumpeter Clark Terry Kept On

Posted February 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Clark Terry

My first introduction to the musical genius of Clark Terry happened back in 1964 during a surfing trip to Oahu. I was 16 at the time. I had purchased the Oscar Peterson Trio + One LP at a record shop in the Ala Moana shopping center. The album featured jazz trumpeter Clark Terry doing a funny song called, “Mumbles,” which sounded exactly like the title implies: Terry mumbling—rather, scat singing …

Audiophiles, Classical, MBE Archive, Music History, New Releases, Performances & Events, RIP, Uncategorized »

The Other Yoko

Posted February 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Yoko Nagae Ceschina - thumbnail

(L–R) Nadezhda von Meck, Betty Freeman, and Nica von Koenigswarter with Thelonious Monk
Few musicians are fortunate enough to have patrons. Tchaikovsky had one, a female benefactor whom he never met. Nadezhda von Meck’s largesse stipulated that he devoted himself full-time to composing, and that they would never meet. Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Barry Harris had Nica von Koenigswarter, a scion of the powerful Rothschild …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Music History, RIP »

Aldo Ciccolini and Erik Satie

Posted February 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 18.44.22

Back in the 1960s, composer Erik Satie’s limpid, odd, but wonderful solo piano music became known largely through the recordings of the late Aldo Ciccolini, who very recently passed away at the age of 89 in France, where he had lived for years.
Born in Naples in 1925, Ciccolini exhibited a natural gift for piano early on and was admitted to conservatory as a young boy. After …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

RIP: Zane Musa (1979–2015)

Posted February 9, 2015 by | 5 Comments
Zane Musa in Recording

 
One of the most talented saxophonists to emerge on the LA jazz scene in the past twenty years has left us. Zane Musa passed away tragically last week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had just returned from performing with Arturo Sandoval’s band on a Caribbean jazz cruise. His family, friends, musicians, and fans alike are shocked and mourning his untimely death.
“Zane Musa [was] an incredible virtuoso of the …

Audiophiles, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

Director David Greene on John Coltrane

Posted January 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
David Greene

I am once again listening to a glorious reissue of my gateway jazz LP, John Coltrane‘s Impressions remastered by the great German label, Speakers Corner Records. They do a fantastic job reissuing the classics on 180 gram vinyl.
The terms, ‘virgin,” heavyweight,’ or ’180 gram’ refer to the mass of vinyl used in the pressing of the cut. Whereas most standard LPs are either 120 …

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

Show #84: Nicolas Slonimsky, Amazing Musical Iconoclast (1894–1995)

Posted December 5, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Slonimsky Autographed 1988

This week, Rhythm Planet reprises the 100th birthday tribute I did back in 1994 for one of the most extraordinary men I’ve ever met: Nicolas Slonimsky, the Russian composer, conductor, musicologist, and lexicographer. Born in 1894 in czarist St. Petersburg to a family of intellectuals, he was singled out as a boy “genius,” who would, indeed, be destined for greatness.
Slonimsky learned music theory, composition, and …

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

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

Posted November 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Manitas de Plata 2

“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 …

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