Music History »

Are Cassettes Coming Back? Really?

Posted December 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I just read an op-ed article in the New York Times last Thursday, December 24, about singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado releasing her new album on cassette. Did I hear that right? Yes, cassette. The article mentions that Furtado has sold more than 20 million singles-interesting that it doesn’t say “albums”, which reflects the atomization of music in the iTunes age.
This is nostalgia at its most absurd. …

African, Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #138: New and Noteworthy Releases to End 2015

Posted December 25, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This Christmas Day I’m on the air doing Christmas Becomes Eclectic once again, something that’s become a holiday tradition at KCRW.
We’ll start this Christmas Day’s Rhythm Planet with a great new CD by Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra – wowing the crowd in Havana, Cuba. I love the playing of Dan Nimmer, the pianist. He plays with precision and intensity, and great …

brazilian music, Recollections & Rediscoveries, world music »

Experiencing Lyrics More as Music than Words

Posted December 22, 2015 by | 0 Comments

When you listen to vocal music in languages you don’t understand–world music for instance – you experience the singers more as music than just following the words. You focus more on the sound of the voices, the phrasing, and most importantly the sound of the language. You don’t get hung up on the words, which you can always find out about later. Rather …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Interviews, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Dominique Sanda, Coltrane, et Moi

Posted December 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

If you’re single and a music lover (by that I mean serious, not casual listener) you might have hoped you would meet your perfect match and the music part would be part of it all.  Some people might want somebody who loves classical music and can listen to and enjoy an entire Mahler symphony without falling asleep. Or somebody who mirrors your love for …

Holiday, Jazz, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #137: KCRW Christmas Becomes Eclectic: Sneak Preview

Posted December 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I’m doing the annual KCRW Christmas show again this year, so for this Rhythm Planet I thought I’d give you a sneak preview, as well as a listen to a few new Christmas releases.
We begin with a Tito Puente latin classic, his version of “The Little Drummer Boy” (in Spanish: “El Tambolero”). Then we hear a cut from the new, second Sharon Jones & …

Asia, Performances & Events »

North Korea’s Top All-Female Pop Band Cancels Beijing Concert

Posted December 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments

We have tons of K-Pop music…Psy’s “Gangnam Style” went through the roof all over the world, and South Korean TV dramas are plentiful online, with many daily addicts watching every episode.
But what about North Korean music? Nada,  I never hear anything. But the other day an article in the New York Times caught my eye: The all-female Moranbong Band from Pyongyang was headed for Beijing …

Artist Spotlight, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

Holly Woodlawn, Theresa, & Early Days, Late Nights @ KCRW

Posted December 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments

Holly came from Miami F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She said, hey babe, take a walk on the wild side,
Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side.
So go the lyrics to Lou Reed’s famous song, “Walk on the Wild Side”.  The Holly here was Holly …

African, Blues, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #136: New and Noteworthy Releases Pt. 2

Posted December 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week I want to give some love and feature all of the new albums that have been piling up chez moi.  Hence this second show.
We begin with Dexter Story’s new cd Wondem.   The title is Amharic (Ethiopian) for brother.  LA-born and bred, Story is an accomplished musician, conductor, and band leader.  I have been impressed by his live sets at Grand …

Artist Spotlight, Holiday, Jazz, Music History, New Releases »

Christmas 2015: 17 Choice Stocking Stuffers

Posted December 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments

There are plenty of nice goodies out there this holiday season for your music-loving friends.   Here are some of my recommendations for the bigger-ticket items:
Blue Note:  Photos by Francis Wolff:   If you love jazz music, graphic design, or just great music photography, this is a must-get.  Five stars.
Sam Phillips:  The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll:  While …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, New Releases »

Camille Bertault: Vocalese Virtuoso

Posted December 7, 2015 by | 9 Comments

Vocalese is the art of singing famous jazz instrumental solos;  like scatting, it is much harder than singing, which is probably why not that many singers do it. Kurt Elling does it well, so did the late Mark Murphy. Ditto for Jon Hendricks and King Pleasure. Annie Ross did a great performance of Wardell Gray’s bebop classic “Twisted”.  The Manhattan Transfer did a great cd called …

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