RIP, world music »

Manuel Agujetas, Flamenco Great, 1939-2015 RIP

Posted January 20, 2016 by | 0 Comments

There have been some notable musician obits over the past month. David Bowie, Natalie Cole, Pierre Boulez, and most recently, Glenn Frey of the Eagles. Soul/r&b singer Otis Clay died on January 8th at the age of 73. Even Brett Smiley got some print love: he was the Bowie look-alike who never rose to fame. He died two days before his famous contemporary.
There was …

Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events »

Dr. Martin Luther King and His Regard for Jazz Music

Posted January 18, 2016 by | 0 Comments

We know that Dr. King loved gospel music, the music of Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Swan Silvertones and other great artists.  Nina Simone and Miriam Makeba marched with him. What is maybe less known is his high regard for jazz.
On this MLK Day, I want to share an excerpt from something he wrote for the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964.
“God has wrought …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #141: Weather Report: The Legendary Live Tapes 1978-1981

Posted January 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Peter Erskine is one of the best drummers on the planet. Just ask any drummer. He is a powerhouse drummer who can power a big band (that’s where he started his career) or be a subtle poet in a trio or quartet. His ECM albums are exemplary; so is his work with pianist Alan Pasqua. He is indeed a drummer’s drummer. One of my …

Artist Spotlight, film, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History »

The Amazing Nina Simone: Great Film Doc from Jeff L. Lieberman

Posted January 13, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Nina Simone’s music has been part of my life for a long time, and I’m sure her other fans share this love with me. Her many albums show many different sides of her multifaceted talent and personality: her reluctance to entering the pop-jazz world; her limited vocal range counterpointed with her perfect pitch and ability to deliver emotion; her amazing piano playing and love …

brazilian music, Classical, Jazz, Performances & Events »

Seven Magnificent & Historic Concerts

Posted January 11, 2016 by | 0 Comments

There are so many live concerts, some recorded for posterity, some we remember hearing only once when we where there. Here are seven that will keep you coming back for return visits, since they are all still available. This is a personal list, and I’m not trying to pull rock and arena shows out of this hat, though I loved Richie Havens at …

Jazz, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #140: Spiritual Jazz: The Roots

Posted January 8, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington has been getting a lot of attention for his Wagnerian-sized 3 cd set, The Epic. He is drawing a different audience among young people who maybe weren’t even that into jazz…his appeal is something different, and harkens back to other trendsetters back in the 1960s and 1970s, musicians that Washington’s young audience might have missed out on.
I’ll call …

Jazz, RIP »

Paul Bley (1932-2016) RIP

Posted January 6, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I’ve written about Paul Bley because he is one of the most interesting jazz pianists to come of age in the early 1950′s, when so much was happening in the jazz idiom.  Paul Bley was a pianist’s pianist, a pianist that other jazz artists respected, especially those bassists and drummers who were lucky enough to work with him.  Bley was the archetypal New York …

French »

Songs about Paris Streets: Many. What About LA?

Posted January 4, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I recently listened to a cd called “Rues de Paris” (Paris Streets) from a great 12-cd box set Les Chansons de Paris (Songs of Paris). In Paris, streets are named after famous historical figures, reflecting the long and amazing history of the city. There are songs about Parisian streets by Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Juliette Greco, Charles Trenet, and more than twenty other famous singers. All …

Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #139: New and Noteworthy Releases to Begin 2016

Posted January 1, 2016 by | 2 Comments

Happy New Year from Rhythm Planet! We start the new year with a few more wonderful recent releases.
First we have a terrific new recording of the Bach Goldberg Variations with French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. There have been many recordings of this iconic work, originally penned by J.S. Bach as a soporific for a nobleman. Glenn Gould recorded the most popular version, first in 1955 as …

Artist Spotlight, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Adele’s Hit Song Hello: Original and Swahili Version

Posted December 30, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Lionel Richie wrote a song called “Hello” in 1983, a year after leaving the Commodores.  The theme of sadness is similar to the new song by Adele, written by her and Greg Kurstin, who we know from the group The Bird and the Bee.  The lyrics of the two songs, however, are different. There is another less-known version, in Swahili no less.  It is …

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