African, Artist Spotlight, New Releases »

The “Wired for Sound – Mozambique” Project

Posted August 25, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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There’s an intriguing new album out via an organization called Wired for Sound, put together by Simon Attwell, founding member of the South African supergroup Freshlyground. The organization is known by its acronym OSISA (Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa). They have put together a modern roaming field-recording studio, taken it into remote regions of Southern Africa, in this case Mozambique. The mobile studio …

Featured, Headline, Jazz, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #69: Al Pryor of Mack Avenue Records

Posted August 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I met Al Pryor back in the late 1970s when I was getting started: he was working at the time with Tim Owen and Michael Cuscuna on the NPR show Jazz Alive, which we then broadcasted. He went from there to working at a classical station, then a long stint at WBGO in Newark, a popular tri-state NPR station devoted to jazz.
Now he’s the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, 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 …

African, Art, Literature & Film, Featured, Latin, Music History »

Cubans Trace Musical Roots Back to Africa…Once Again

Posted August 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Cuban music is a combination of Spanish décima poetry and African music and rhythms, but we know that the driving forces in Cuban music are the African polyrhythms, not the poetry. Some might say that about rock and roll, too.
Ned Sublette in his authoritative study, Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, traces back to the secret societies formed by Cuban …

Featured, Headline, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #68: Noteworthy New Releases

Posted August 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Great new releases have been piling up on my desk, so now it’s time to share them.
We begin with Jimmy Cobb, the drummer on Miles Davis’ famous 1959 album, Kind of Blue, playing a cool version of the classic song “Old Devil Moon.” We follow with two fine guitarists: Brazilian Chico Pinheiro and LA-based Anthony Wilson, who usually tours with Diana Krall. Next, Mia Doi Todd does …

Classical, Featured, Latin, Music History »

The Triangle: Easy to Play or Muito Complicado?

Posted August 13, 2014 by | 4 Comments
triangle musician

Eric Hopkins, percussionist for the Utah Symphony, was featured in a recent NPR story about playing the triangle in a classical orchestra. Here are some of his Triangle 101 tips on how to play the triangle when performing Gustav Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.
Your To-Do List…

Decide what beaters to use. Stainless steel or the more malleable brass? Heavy or light, and to what degree?
Decide where on the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Jazz, Latin, New Releases »

Mario Adnet’s Gorgeous Brazilian Music

Posted August 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I’ve known the name Mario Adnet for awhile. He’s a Brazilian guitarist and arranger. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he also studied in the U.S. and Austria, and is mostly known for his compositions and arrangements for other artists on their albums.
Mario’s label, Adventure Music, recently issued two beautiful albums that I can’t stop listening to. One is titled, Um Olhar Sobre Villa-Lobos (A Look …

Featured, Headline, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #67: MOLAA Celebrates Palladium, Mecca of Mambo

Posted August 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Photos of the Palladium: Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Mario Bauza, Machito, and classic mambo dancers on the Palladium Ballroom dance floor.
Guido Herrera-Yance is one of the best tropical latin deejays in LA, and we who love salsa and all the other forms of tropical music are fortunate to have him on the air.
But deejaying is not all he does: he’s organized a popular Summer …

Art, Literature & Film, Featured »

Walter Benjamin: Why Is Art Worth More Than Music?

Posted August 6, 2014 by | 11 Comments
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Walter Benjamin was a German philosopher (1892-1940) whose most famous work from 1936 was called The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. You can read here. In his famous work, he discusses originality, authenticity, and mass production of art. He writes about the “aura” that original works of art possess and the loss of that “aura” in works that have been reproduced. …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, 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 …

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