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 …

Audiophiles, Jazz, Performances & Events, Uncategorized »

Surviving Las Vegas and CES 2015

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 1 Comment
IMG_2473

CES stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest showcase of new gadgets and gear that takes place every year around this time in Las Vegas. Techies swarmed the Strip last week for a sneak peak at the latest offerings for 2015. A friend of mine invited me to perform at CES with his jazz group, so I had the opportunity to check out some choice audiophile …

Audiophiles, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP »

Director David Greene on John Coltrane

Posted January 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments
David Greene

I am once again listening to a glorious reissue of my gateway jazz LP, John Coltrane‘s Impressions remastered by the great German label, Speakers Corner Records. They do a fantastic job reissuing the classics on 180 gram vinyl.
The terms, ‘virgin,” heavyweight,’ or ’180 gram’ refer to the mass of vinyl used in the pressing of the cut. Whereas most standard LPs are either 120 …

African, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #89: Music on My Mind

Posted January 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Orchestre Baobab

This week, I thought I’d share with everyone the various tracks that I’ve been musing over recently. It says a lot about a piece of music when I can listen to something repeatedly without getting tired of it, or pick out something that I haven’t listened to in awhile and find myself transported right back to that very same moment in time when I first fell …

African, Artist Spotlight, Cape Verde, Jazz, Performances & Events »

January Concerts I Plan to Attend

Posted January 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Waldemar Bastos - Guitar

The year is just getting started, and there are already two exceptional concerts this month that I’m really looking forward to:
Saturday, January 10: Jazz Saxophonist Chris Potter
The first is the exceptional tenor saxophonist Chris Potter, performing together with a superb rhythm section: Alan Pasqua (piano), Darek Oles (bass), and Peter Erskine (drums). As the youngest musician to ever receive Denmark’s prestigious Jazzpar Prize, Chris Potter was awarded the honor …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, French, Latin, MBE Archive, Music History, Performances & Events »

Artists You Should Know: Carlos do Carmo

Posted January 5, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Música: Carlos do Carmo homenageia Sinatra, o cantor a quem "deve muito"

There is a new documentary by filmmaker Ivan Dias, called Um Homem no Mundo, that hit Portugal’s theater circuit on New Year’s Day. Best known for his work as Carlos Saura’s co-director for the documentary, Fado (2007), Dias has now turned his camera to Portugal’s champion of its fado heritage, Carlos do Carmo.
I’ve long been a fan of fado, the Portuguese traditional song form, ever since lusophile historian, Donald Cohen, visited …

Holiday, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #88: Rhythm Planet 2014 Year-End Faves

Posted January 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments
2015

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 …

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