Jazz, Music History »

Martin Luther King On Jazz

Posted October 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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The words of Martin Luther King are always worthy to reflect upon. We are forever grateful for his courage and perseverance. Even his words on jazz are still prescient and moving. He gave this short speech listed below at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival. This year, the jazz festival is celebrating 50 years and will be held from October 30th – November 2nd. It’s now one …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History »

Old Man Bebo: Amazing Documentary on Cuban Musical Giant

Posted October 5, 2014 by | 1 Comment
old man bebo

Bebo Valdes (1918-2013) is a giant of Cuban music, but an artist that isn’t appreciated enough or even known at all. Maybe because he was forced to leave Cuba by a young and repressive Castro regime, leaving to reside permanently in Sweden. There, he worked as an Arctic Circle hotel pianist playing old fisherman songs for the patrons. It was only because of his 2004 …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #75: A Dozen (Mostly New) Releases

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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This week, we preview mostly new releases and revisit some classics at the end.
We begin with Robert Plant’s new album, a mixture of old timey and African. That slides into some nice Malian groove from a new The Rough Guide to Music of the Sahara. More Malian classic stuff from a superb new 2 CD set from the 1970s, Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Interviews, Jazz, Music History »

Michael Cuscuna: Jazz Spelunker

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Michael Cuscuna

Michael Cuscuna is a jazz curator and archivist, and a man you can trust. Today, vinyl is enjoying a resurgence of popularity, but many vinyl albums turn out not to analog at all: they’re mastered from digital files. You’re losing a generation of sound. The best companies: Analogue Productions, Impex, Mobile Fidelity, and Cuscuna’s Mosaic Records all go straight into record company archives and …

African, Blues, New Releases »

Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara

Posted September 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Rough Guides music has just released a terrific new album that showcases the music of the Sahara, the vast stretch of heat and sand that stretches all the way from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. The album title is The Rough Guide to the Music of the Sahara.
There is the blues-tinged music from Mali, Mauretania and Western Sahara, the catchy groove of  Niger, Egypt …

African, Jazz, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #74: Malian Music Plus Happy Birthday Ray Charles & John Coltrane

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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This week we feature some great music from Malian father and son duo Toumani and Sidiki Diabate and Rokia Traoré. The Diabates were supposed to have a show with Traoré tonight on Friday 9/26 to UCLA’s Royce Hall, but they sadly had to cancel. Fret not, Rokia Traoré will still be performing and will extend her performance by 90 minutes. For more details or refunds, visit …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, Jazz »

Keeping the Michael Brecker Spirit Alive

Posted September 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Michael-Brecker

There are as many styles of tenor sax playing as there are disciples and influences: Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Stan Getz. The late Joe Henderson was pretty unique and though he influenced a lot of tenor players, his style of improvising was so different that I really can’t think of anybody who quite sounded like him.
Michael Brecker studied with a famous New York …

Artist Spotlight, Blues, New Releases »

Robert Plant’s New Album: Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar

Posted September 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I once asked Malian bluesman Ali Farka Toure if he was influenced by the great John Lee Hooker. He gave me a sharp look and said it was the other way around. And he was right. The blues came to America from slaves from the Sahel, the part of Africa between the Sahara and Forest Africa (principally Mali, Senegal, Niger, Mauretania, and Gambia).
Robert Plant‘s …

Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #73: The Shazam Hour

Posted September 19, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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I love the smart phone app, Shazam. In case you don’t know Shazam, it listens to music and identifies the artist and song. And not just pop stuff but also world music, tropical music from Brazil and the Caribbean, and even can identify which recording of classical pieces by Bach or Mozart or Schoenberg you’re hearing. It is an amazing app, and like other …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz »

Shirley Horn’s Lyrics for “Come Back To Me”

Posted September 16, 2014 by | 0 Comments
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Shirley Horn has long been a favorite jazz singer and pianist of mine. I’m not alone: Miles Davis was a big fan as well. That’s probably why he made a cameo appearance on her 1989 Verve album You Won’t Forget Me. He plays on the title track. Shirley puts lots of space into her chords and piano runs, also lots of pauses and space in …

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