Classical, Featured, Performances & Events »

L’Arpeggiata brings “Teatro d’Amore” to the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Posted November 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Last week, the world watched, stunned, as America elected Donald Trump to succeed President Obama. Around noon on Election Day here in the US, L’Arpeggiata posted to their Facebook: “Today: watching elections on American TV in the hotel room in Los Angeles… Tomorrow: concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall…” Still bubbling with my own Election Day optimism, I ’Liked’ and commented, “So excited for …

Blues, Featured, Headline, Latin, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #184: Past and Present Voices

Posted November 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week’s playlist is just a crazy mix of songs from past and present that I love. Jumping right in, we start with a 1980’s U.K. group called The Flying Lizards, from an album of cover songs and their stiff-upper-lip version of James Brown’s “Sex Machine.” A Lebanese cover of Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid” follows. Then we’ll hear a cut by …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Music History, New Releases »

Tchaikovsky’s Powerful Sixth Symphony Gets Great New Reading

Posted November 9, 2016 by | 1 Comment

I’ve been listening to a new recording of Tchaikovsky’s last symphony, the Sixth–named the Pathétique–paired with the romantic masterpiece Romeo & Juliet. It is a wonderful recording, with Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov leading the Czech Philharmonic on the Decca Classics label, which is famous for the quality of their recorded sound. This is the first volume of “The Tchaikovsky Project” recording cycle that will eventually cover all of the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Latin, New Releases, Performances & Events, world music »

Diego El Cigala’s Hot New Release: Flamenco Meets Fania

Posted November 7, 2016 by | 1 Comment
Image courtesy

Flamenco singer Diego El Cigala‘s career exploded when he recorded Lagrimas Negras with legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés in 2003. By “legendary” I mean patriarch of the Valdés piano clan (with Chucho and Chuchito) as well as his regular employ as music director and pianist of the swank, pre-Castro Havana nightclub, The Tropicana. Never has a duet album travelled so far so fast. El Cigala …

Asia, Classical, Featured, French, Headline, Jazz, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #183: Autumn Songs

Posted November 4, 2016 by | 2 Comments

It’s finally cooling off here in SoCal and temperatures are dipping across the country, too. People living in areas that have seasons love the changing colors that autumn brings — arboreal symphonies in the midwest and east. Of course it is spring in the southern hemisphere, where the weather is warming up. In this age of global warming, however, weather patterns are changing and not …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, New Releases »

Voces8 / Winter: Fresh New Choral Album

Posted November 2, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Rich Capparela hosts the weekday afternoon drive-time shift on KUSC, L.A.’s classical music station. He calls the selections “anti-road rage.” That would definitely apply to the beautiful, lilting music on Winter, a new album from Decca by the British vocal ensemble Voces8. It would also be wonderful music for meditating, yoga, or lying on your back on the rug on Sunday morning. It’s an album that you can …

Blues, Featured, music phenomena, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Three Timely Presidential Songs

Posted October 31, 2016 by | 0 Comments

With the election just a week away, I thought I’d call to mind some songs about U.S. presidents and elections — songs that either celebrate or poke a little fun at being POTUS. We can all use a little levity about now, right?
The first is “Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt” by Otis Jackson. Jackson first recorded this tribute song in 1946, a …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #182: A Fun Hour with Jazz Guitar Wizard Wolfgang Schalk

Posted October 28, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Jazz guitarist Wolfgang Schalk is a Viennese transplant and one of L.A.’s hidden treasures. I immediately liked his new album From Here to There, from the first track to the last, and find him to be a fresh new musical voice. I invited Schalk in to showcase the new CD, plus to throw some “blindfold test” music at him. It didn’t surprise me that we shared …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Performances & Events, world music »

A Beautiful Evening with Flamenco Legend Tomatito

Posted October 26, 2016 by | 1 Comment
Photo by Sari Makki Phillips

Flamenco guitarist Tomatito and his group performed for the first time in Los Angeles last Friday night at the Wilshire Ebell Theater as part of the LA Flamenco Festival. I was thrilled to have been there to enjoy this passionate, intense, and beautiful concert.
Tomatito has the singular distinction of being the late singer Camarón de la Isla‘s guitarist. He took over Camarón’s guitarist mantle after Paco de Lucia …

Blues, Featured, Interviews, Jazz, Music History, RIP »

Phil Chess, Co-Founder of Chess Records, RIP

Posted October 24, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Phil Chess, co-founder of Chicago’s legendary Chess Records, has died at the age of 95. Born Fiszel Czyz in Motol, Poland, in 1921, he changed his name after moving to Chicago, a city with a large Polish population and a home of the blues. With his brother Leonard, he founded Chess Records in 1950. Just a year later, one of the first great rock and roll records, Ike …

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