Art, Literature & Film, Classical, Music History, Uncategorized »

Beethoven’s Pianos

Posted March 11, 2015 by | 6 Comments
Musikinstrumente: Graf-Flügel

Beethoven, though primarily thought of as a great composer, was also the greatest pianist of his age. Only Franz Liszt could approach Beethoven’s virtuosity, and that was decades after Beethoven’s death; Liszt also had the benefit of improved piano technology.
Beethoven was most passionate about his sonatas. He kept composing them, 32 in all, long after he stopped composing his more public works such as …

Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Revisiting: Cannonball Adderley’s Nippon Soul

Posted March 9, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Cannonball Adderley - Nippon Soul

I recently bought a good vinyl cleaner and have been enjoying pulling out vintage vinyl, cleaning when necessary, and spinning it on the turntable. I also recently upgraded my phono cartridge and am rediscovering a treasure trove of musical delights hidden in the grooves.
One of the LPs I pulled out is Nippon Soul: Cannonball Adderley, recorded live at Tokyo’s Sankei Hall in 1963. It …

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 …

African, Cape Verde, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

Show #92: The Lusophone Hour

Posted January 30, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Lusophone Pinwheel

This week, we embark on a musical tour of six Lusosphere countries: Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal, and Brazil.
Lusophone refers to the Portuguese language, in the same way that the term Anglophone means English-speaking, or in the way that we apply Francophone to French speakers. The term Lusosphere refers to the actual countries where Portuguese (or a variant of) is spoken. The Lusophone world remains the …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Classical, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Sundance Report: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Nina Simone - Thumbnail

“But what happened, Miss Simone? Specifically, what happened to your big eyes that quickly veil to hide the loneliness? To your voice that has so little tenderness, yet flows with your commitment to the battle of Life? What happened to you?” —Maya Angelou
So wrote the erudite Maya Angelou, following a 1970 Redbook interview she did with the mercurial ‘High Priestess of Soul’ herself, Nina Simone (b. 1933–2003). Echoing …

African, Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

Show #91: New Releases & Rare Classics

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Dobet Gnahoré

 
This week, I showcase some choice new releases, as well a few classics. It’s a mixed bag, a variety show.
We ease into the show with Alison Balsom, an British classical trumpet player who has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras. She was most recently invited to play the iTunes Festival in London, and has been making headlines as an up-and-coming talent. There aren’t that many female trumpet players out there, …

Audiophiles, Jazz, Performances & Events, Uncategorized »

Surviving Las Vegas and CES 2015

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 1 Comment
IMG_2473

CES stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest showcase of new gadgets and gear that takes place every year around this time in Las Vegas. Techies swarmed the Strip last week for a sneak peak at the latest offerings for 2015. A friend of mine invited me to perform at CES with his jazz group, so I had the opportunity to check out some choice audiophile …

Uncategorized »

Music Lovers, Neighbors & Unwanted Noise

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Tippa Irie - Complain Neighbour

Years ago, I moved from an apartment to a building that was going to be converted into condominiums. The owners paid the residents $300 each to relocate. Luckily, I managed to find myself a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, took the money, and moved.
The new apartment was in a three-unit building. Just before I moved in, my soon-to-be next door neighbor, Lisa, told me, …

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Fall Music Salon, 5 Spaces Left, That’s All

Posted September 7, 2013 by | 0 Comments
salon chat

It all started with a bike ride in 1994. While on the bike path I ran into Ronee Rubin, then Director of Entertainment Studies at UCLA Extension, who was on her daily power walk.  She asked me what was happening and I told her I’d just moved into my first home. She asked me if I wanted to do something new and different from …

Artist Spotlight, Uncategorized »

Emily Bear, an 11 Year Old Piano Prodigy

Posted July 29, 2013 by | 2 Comments
imgres

It’s one thing to find some young classical talent that’s been nurtured from age 3 on the Suzuki method with a toy piano and can glide through Chopin and Schumann. It’s another thing when that same classical prodigy can play jazz well enough to please a giant like Quincy Jones.
Well, 11 year old Emily Bear has done just that, and proof is on her …

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