Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases »

John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean Makes Musical Tidal Waves

Posted February 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments
imgres

Composer John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean has been nominated for three Grammys.
The other day, I finally got my copy of Become Ocean by composer John Luther Adams. I’d been trying to get it for weeks now, in fact, ever since I first heard it on the radio and it blew me away. The label, Cantaloupe Records, had had it out of stock for some time.
Now I know the work of John Adams pretty well but was …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz »

Melissa Aldana Comes to LA’s Blue Whale—Feb6

Posted February 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Melissa Aldana

This Friday, February 6, LA’s premier Downtown LA jazz club, blue whale, serves up yet another delectable jazz treat. Born in Santiago, Chile, tenor saxophone virtuoso Melissa Aldana established herself as a heavyweight when she won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
A third generation saxophonist, Melissa first picked up the instrument at the age of six, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Enrique ‘Kiko’ Aldana, a …

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 | 0 Comments
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 …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events »

Jazz Prodigy Justin Kauflin to Play the Blue Whale

Posted January 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Quincy Jones & Justin Kauflin

Downtown LA’s premier jazz club owner Joon Lee of blue whale really knows how to pick talent. Nightly, this vibrant, intimate space buzzes with patrons, among them enthusiasts and musicians alike. It’s become a true mecca for ardent jazz fans.
Thursday, Jan29: Justin Kauflin Trio
Performing this Thursday at blue whale is 28-year-old jazz piano virtuoso, Justin Kauflin. He may not be a household name just yet, but I have no doubt that he will …

Audiophiles, Classical »

The Gestalt of Vinyl, Part 3

Posted January 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Argo Vinyl

I recently bought a new Shelter phono cartridge for my Linn Sondek turntable. It’s a nice one: low-output moving coil with the concomitant step-up transformer. I also outfitted my set-up with a new record cleaning machine—all standard accoutrements for any audiophile. I’ve since been pulling out my vinyl and enjoying it all anew.
As some of you may have seen in the photos we’ve previously posted, I’ve accumulated quite …

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, …

Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events »

The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna

Posted January 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Leek Violin

There are a lot of unusual orchestras out there: New Zealander composer Graeme Revell’s The Insect Musicians; New York-based composer Adam Rudolf’s  Go: Organic Orchestra; the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra; the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain; the Landfillharmonic of Paraguay; the Congolese jungle Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste; and the list goes on. I’m fascinated by the creativity and resourcefulness of these DIY orchestras.
The Vegetable Orchestra of Vienna takes it one step further. This 12-member Viennese …

Classical, Music History, Performances & Events »

Coughing During Concerts and Recordings

Posted January 19, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Horowitz vs Carnegie

Magnificent concert halls offer great acoustic settings to experience live music but can also amplify unwanted noise. There are various tactics you can employ to reproach chatty members of the audience: anything from the subtle glare and the school teacher finger shush, to getting the ushers to do the dirty work, or having a word with the guilty offenders yourself. Speaking of which, I was once offered a job …

African, Artist Spotlight, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #90: Angolan Superstar Waldemar Bastos

Posted January 16, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Peter Waldemar Tom

When I first heard Waldemar Bastos on a compilation called Adventures in Afropea 3: Telling Stories to the Sea, released by David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label years ago, I was completely taken by his mellifluous baritone and the sweet, gentle power of his music.
Back in 1999, as the newly appointed Hollywood Bowl Program Director of World Music, I programmed a Lusophone night featuring the music of Cape Verde (Fantcha), Angola …

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