Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

3 New Russian Recordings You Should Hear

Posted November 27, 2015 by | 0 Comments

For this post-turkey day show, we’ll feature three great Russian works: a great new recording of Rachmaninov’s masterpiece, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, then two Scriabin miniatures by the great Vladimir Horowitz and a popular new Ukrainian pianist, Valentina Lisitsa.
Rachmaninov represents the last era of great 19th century Russian romanticism. He followed in the footsteps of Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, and Rimsky Korsakov.  For a …

Asia, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

Show #111: More June Releases

Posted June 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Chico Trujillo - Group

This week on Rhythm Planet, we chase away June gloom with another fine sampling of musical eclecticism, together with some spectacular jazz tracks.
But first up, it’s a jaunty Latin party record that’s got a great Chilean cumbia beat by the band, Chico Trujillo, who incorporate ska, reggae, and rock into their fun grooves. Next, I bring you the strange and wonderful sounds of Mbongwana Star, a new psychedelic grunge band from Kinshasa, Congo, who use …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases, Uncategorized »

New Release: Joey Alexander’s “My Favorite Things”

Posted May 20, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Joey Alexander

Last week, jazz wunderkind, Joey Alexander, released his highly-anticipated debut solo album, My Favorite Things, on Motéma Records. I previewed his music last month on Rhythm Planet. This Balinese 11-year-old has been making major headlines and has caught the attention of all the jazz giants: Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock to name just a few. Even former president Bill Clinton is a fan.
Like them, I am completely blown away by Joey Alexander, not because—well, …

Latin, Performances & Events, Uncategorized »

Brazilian Superstar Gilberto Gil Returns to UCLA Saturday, April 18

Posted April 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Gilberto Gil

Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (b. Salvador, Bahia, Brazil 1942), better known as Gilberto Gil, returns to CAP-UCLA this coming Saturday, April 18. As a founding member of the Tropicália movement, together with Caetano Veloso, Rita Lee, Gal Costa and others, he combined Brazilian popular styles with a psychedelic twist as young musicians. Considered revolutionaries by the generals who ruled Brazil from (1964–1985), Gil and Veloso were imprisoned and …

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 | 1 Comment
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, …

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