Artist Spotlight, Blues, Music History, RIP »

The Zydeco Legend of Amédé Ardoin

Posted June 17, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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The great musicologist Alan Lomax weighs in on Amédé Ardoin’s music and tragic death.
I recently read an article in the New York Times by Campbell Robertson about a New Orleans musician lost in time. His name was Amédé Ardoin (b. 1898–1942). With his virtuosic talent as an accordionist, he woud cross white Cajun and black Creole lines at a time when it was otherwise unthinkable. Ardoin is credited …

Classical, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

A Brief Encounter: Gustav Mahler & Sigmund Freud

Posted June 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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In 1910, when Viennese composer Gustav Mahler took leave from his rehearsals in Munich to visit Sigmund Freud in Leyden, Holland, he certainly had a lot to talk about. Mahler had grown up in an unhappy household, bearing witness to the frequent abuse of his mother by his father and the deaths of his younger siblings. It’s difficult to imagine his extraordinary musical gift being the product of such a …

Asia, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

Show #111: More June Releases

Posted June 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Chico Trujillo - Group

This week on Rhythm Planet, we chase away June gloom with another fine sampling of musical eclecticism, together with some spectacular jazz tracks.
But first up, it’s a jaunty Latin party record that’s got a great Chilean cumbia beat by the band, Chico Trujillo, who incorporate ska, reggae, and rock into their fun grooves. Next, I bring you the strange and wonderful sounds of Mbongwana Star, a new psychedelic grunge band from Kinshasa, Congo, who use …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, RIP »

RIP: Ornette Coleman, Jazz Visionary (1930–2015)

Posted June 11, 2015 by | 1 Comment
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Cézanne. Picasso. Stravinsky. Schoenberg. Pollock. Derrida. Ornette Coleman. They all rewrote the books.
Ornette Coleman (b.1930–2015) died this morning of cardiac arrest in Manhattan at the age of 85. He burst upon the jazz scene in 1958, not in New York but here in Los Angeles when he recorded his first album, Something Else!!!, for Lester Koenig’s great Contemporary Records label. Coleman had come to Los …

Artist Spotlight, French, Jazz, Music History »

Miles Davis & Juliette Greco: Romance Ruined by Racism

Posted June 10, 2015 by | 1 Comment
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A young Miles Davis went to Paris in 1949 with the Tadd Dameron group and fell in love with two women: La Belle France and Juliette Greco. Miles came from a solid, well-to-do family, attended The Juilliard School, and was a hip, sophisticated jazz musician. Paris intellectuals were hugely fond of the new post-war bebop style and treated jazz musicians with the utmost respect and admiration.
Juliette …

Art, Literature & Film, Music History »

Taschen’s Ultimate Robert Doisneau Book

Posted June 8, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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I received a heavy package in the mail the other day. It was Taschen’s new catalogue of Robert Doisneau photographs. Compiled by his dear friend, photography historian and author, Jean-Claude Gautrand, it’s the most comprehensive publication of Doisneau’s work to date, including both his most iconic images and many lesser-known works from the collection.
The tome is so massive that I feel like I can just use it to pump …

New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #110: This Week’s Best of the Best

Posted June 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments
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I’ve been a DJ at KCRW now for many years, and still, the sheer volume of new releases I get sent on a weekly basis never ceases to astound me. It’s a major time investment auditioning all of them, especially because I feel somewhat of a moral responsibility to give each of them a fair shot at ear time so that I can provide you guys …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, RIP »

L.A.’s Latin Dance Community Loses Ron Arciaga & Johnny Polanco

Posted June 3, 2015 by | 4 Comments

When you’re young like I once was and reading Camus, Hemingway, Plath, Ibsen and others, you ponder death and think you understand it. You don’t. It’s when we get older and bear witness to our friends and family shuffle off this mortal coil, that we actually understand that death can come, as the Bible says, “like a thief in the night.” The silver lining is that …

Audiophiles, Classical, Jazz, New Releases »

Speakers Corner Audiophile Reissues

Posted June 1, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Speakers Corner

Gourmands and oenophiles love DOC/AOC (controlled designation of origin) wines, artisanally roasted micro lot coffees, cold-pressed olive oils, and heirloom everything.
With the demand for vinyl on the rise, what about artisanal vinyl? Specialty labels such as Classic Vinyl, Impex, and Analogue Productions work hard to bring music lovers and audiophiles vinyl reissues that are of superior quality compared to the originals. They take great care to source the …

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

Show #109: June New Music Mix

Posted May 29, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Gillian Margot

This week on Rhythm Planet, I have a bunch of new releases that I’ve been wanting to share with you guys, as my ever-expanding stack of CDs in my To Play bin just seems to keep growing on me (in both senses of the term), so let’s get started!
We begin our show with a collective of musicians from Spain, Japan, Russia, Italy and the U.S.—all currently …

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