Holiday, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #88: Rhythm Planet 2014 Year-End Faves

Posted January 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments

As we say goodbye to 2014 and usher in the new year, I wanted to feature (and revisit) some old and some new records that I enjoyed a lot in 2014. It’s not a top 10 list or anything like that, since I have way too many favorites, but just music that I really think holds its own.
We begin with Hollie Cook, a wonderful …

African, Music History »

Africa & Cuba: A Musical Love Affair

Posted December 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Le Grand Kallé

When the first 78 rpm Cuban records started arriving (by boat) in the West African nations of Benin, Congo, Cameroon, and others, it was love at first listen. Songs by Miguelito Valdés and Benny Moré became popular, and it wasn’t long before African musicians began creating their own versions. They recognized their own African roots within the Cuban rhythms, many of which were re-workings of earlier African …

Classical, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

My Gateway Albums to Musical Satori

Posted December 29, 2014 by | 2 Comments

SA·TO·RI: noun \sə-ˈtȯr-ē, sä-\ refers to a sudden state of consciousness or enlightenment
People talk about ‘gateway’ drugs as precursors to the heavier, more destructive stuff. The film, Reefer Madness, depicts marijuana ruining young lives, and we’ve all heard ad nauseam that smoking pot leads to heroin addiction.
Growing up, my older brother was into classic 1950s R&B, so I listened to a lot of Chuck Berry, Bobby Bland, Chuck …

Jazz, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #87: A Blue Note Tribute

Posted December 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Blue Note

Last week on Morning Becomes Eclectic, I shared my longstanding musical love interest: Blue Note Records. Sitting in for Jason Bentley that day, Anne Litt asked me to give the condensed history of Blue Note, and we discussed what makes it the iconic label that it is, even today. I featured three cuts on the show that offer an introductory glimpse into 75 years of the label’s outstanding music-making …

Uncategorized »

Music Lovers, Neighbors & Unwanted Noise

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Tippa Irie - Complain Neighbour

Years ago, I moved from an apartment to a building that was going to be converted into condominiums. The owners paid the residents $300 each to relocate. Luckily, I managed to find myself a rent-controlled apartment in Santa Monica, took the money, and moved.
The new apartment was in a three-unit building. Just before I moved in, my soon-to-be next door neighbor, Lisa, told me, …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases »

Myung Whun Chung’s Exquisite New ECM Release, Piano

Posted December 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Myung Whun Chung - Piano

Yesterday, I received a treasure trove of new classical music from ECM Records, short for Edition of Contemporary Music. Founded in 1969 by producer Manfred Eicher in Munich, Germany, ECM first established its bearings as a jazz label, signing artists like Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, and Chick Corea, before expanding its repertoire to span pre-baroque to contemporary composition with the ECM New Series, which features artists like …

Holiday, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #86: Rhythm Planet Fans’ Top Breakup Songs for the Holidaze

Posted December 18, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Holiday Breakups

Thanks to all of you Rhythm Planet friends and fans who sent in your own personal picks for more “Breakup Songs to Wallow In” after our Thanksgiving show. I decided to spin them on this week’s pre-holiday show. You sent in so many touching expressions of heartbreak that I wish I could have included all of them, but there wasn’t enough time on our show for the 40-plus songs you …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Classical, Jazz »

Herbie Hancock on Possibilities

Posted December 17, 2014 by | 1 Comment
Young Herbie

Herbie Hancock’s memoir, Possibilities, has just been published, painting a revealing picture of one of the most influential jazz pianists ever. I recently read the book while on vacation and just could not put it down.
Along with fellow jazz pianist, McCoy Tyner, Herbie rewrote the book on modern jazz piano stylings. He eschewed the 2-5-1 harmonic changes characteristic of bebop (think Charlie Parker & Bud Powell), introducing …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Holiday, Jazz, New Releases »

5 Holiday Gift Book Ideas

Posted December 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments

Some of you have asked me about suggestions for holiday gift ideas for the music lover. It’s a matter of musical preference, of course, but if it were all about me, below are several book ideas that would definitely make it onto my wish list for Santa.
Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression. This is the story of the iconic jazz label, Blue Note. It’s a fascinating read, spanning the label’s 1939 …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #85: More New, Noteworthy Releases

Posted December 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
Ten Cities

It’s time again to survey a bunch of recently released albums that have caught my attention. Some of you might even consider adding these to your holiday shopping lists!
We begin with the a cappella Moipei Quartet from Nairobi, Kenya, adapting the John Denver classic, “Take Me Home, Country Roads” into a love song for their African homeland. Another African side follows from Cameroonian Bébé Manga, with her …

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