Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Classical, Featured, Jazz, Music History, Performances & Events »

Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vernon Duke: Dual (Composer) Personalities

Posted August 15, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I was at the Hollywood Bowl last Saturday night for the big “An Olympic Carnival – Sergio Mendes & 50 Years of Brasil ’66” show, which opened with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra playing Brazilian classics. It was a great program–beautifully conducted by Thomas Wilkins, with fantastic guest dancers and singers, plus a spectacular fireworks finale.
The show started with “Aquarela do Brasil,” Ary Barroso‘s 1939 classic, a Brazilian musical …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #171: Stan Kenton & Tito Rodriguez: Anatomy of an Orchestra

Posted August 12, 2016 by | 0 Comments

In 1952, Stan Kenton recorded a piece called “Prologue: This is An Orchestra.” In the 10 minute work he introduces all the members of his jazz orchestra: the drummer, bassist, saxophonists, trumpet player, trombone, and bass trombone player. In the bass trombone part he tells George Roberts to go lower, to the bottom of the instrument’s capability, which he does. Kenton also talks about …

brazilian music, Featured, Latin »

Songs Celebrating Brazil and Rio

Posted August 10, 2016 by | 0 Comments
View of Rio de Janeiro. Photo by (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flickr

With the summer Olympics in full swing, I wanted to highlight two great songs about the country as well as the carioca city of Rio (Rio de Janeiro, “River of January”).
The first song is archetypically Brazil. Written by Ary Barroso over half a century ago, this classic samba was featured in the opening ceremony and in the famous Disney cartoon. Though it has been recorded …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, Featured, Performances & Events, world music »

Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble Perform at the Hollywood Bowl on August 21st

Posted August 8, 2016 by | 0 Comments

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma are performing on Sunday, August 21, at the Hollywood Bowl as part of KCRW’s long-running World Festival series. I’m definitely going. In fact, I’ll be hosting the show that evening! Hope to see you there.
I first got to know Yo-Yo Ma from his exquisite recordings of Bach’s six solo cello suites. His tone, articulation, and fluid expression brought out the beauty …

African, brazilian music, Classical, Featured, French, Headline, Jazz, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #170: Music About Water & Oceans

Posted August 5, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week’s show celebrates water. Given climate change, rising oceans, and the horrible drought in California, I thought it would be timely and maybe even refreshing in some odd way. We begin with the sounds of surf on a coastline in Tonga in the South Pacific from a new collection of Pacific Islander music from Arc Music. A fun cut from years back …

brazilian music, Featured, Latin, Music History »

Musings on Brazil as the Olympics Near

Posted August 3, 2016 by | 0 Comments
View of Corcovado. Photo by Pedro Vasquez Colmenares (CC BY-NC 2.0) via Flickr

With the Summer Olympics in Rio just two days away, I’m thinking about our great southern neighbor. Caetano Veloso once told me that Brazil is “the great other.” The largest Latin American country but the only Lusophone nation, separated by Pope Julius II in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas so that Spain and Portugal would not fight over dominion of newly-discovered lands. Caetano implied that this …

Artist Spotlight, brazilian music, Featured, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Clementina de Jesus: A Legendary Brazilian Singer

Posted August 1, 2016 by | 0 Comments

With the world’s attention focussed on the upcoming summer Olympics in Rio, I thought I’d shine a spotlight on a lesser-known Brazilian singer, Clementina de Jesus (1901-1987). She was an unlikely diva: Born south of Rio in Carambita in 1901, she worked as a maid for decades before being discovered in 1963 by a record producer and composer named Herminio Bello de Carvalho. How many singers …

African, brazilian music, Featured, Headline, Jazz, New Releases, Rhythm Planet Music Show, world music »

Show #169: New Music that Caught Tom’s Ear

Posted July 29, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This week I wanted to share some new sides I’ve been enjoying at home. We begin with a reggae band I just discovered, Raging Fyah. I love the bass lines and the great rim shots, typical of good roots reggae. After that we hear two interesting and beautiful songs. First, a song suggesting Christ’s second coming by Gregory Porter, …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, MBE Archive, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Wayne Shorter: A Love for the Abstract, the Mystical

Posted July 27, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I listened again to Miles Davis‘s album Nefertiti the other day. Like Davis’s album Water Babies, all the compositions were by saxophonist Wayne Shorter. Tracks like “Fall” are ambiguous and strange; does the title refer to the fall of man or just the season? Will we ever know?
Wayne Shorter wrote amazing compositions, which is probably why an artist as egotistical and controlling as Miles Davis let …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, Music History »

Miles Davis Wouldn’t Have Envied Sly Stone Later On

Posted July 25, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Miles Davis once groused that in big Bill Graham-type rock shows in the late 60’s and early 70’s, that he was only making $10k per appearance and not the $50k that Sly and the Family Stone were getting. Davis also once said that Sly Stone “was my only peer.” This was during the Betty Mabry days when Miles was making funk/pop records, to the …

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