Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Some Jazz Humor for You

Posted February 16, 2015 by | 3 Comments
A Great Day in Harlem - Latecomers

Jazz has its own type of humor. Tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd once told me that he was with a bunch of musicians in Thelonious Monk’s big early 1950s Buick with Monk at the wheel, when he almost crashed the car, spinning it around a full 360 degrees. Recovering from the shock, they heard him say, “Ain’t ya glad I’m driving.”
Pioneering jazz violinist Joe Venuti …

Holiday, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #94: The Sunny Side Of Love

Posted February 13, 2015 by | 0 Comments
valentines day

Last year, Rhythm Planet celebrated—or perhaps I should say observed—Valentine’s Day with a show, The Dark Side Of Love. I played songs about co-dependency, sleepless nights, waiting for texts and phone calls that won’t come, the gnashing of teeth and thrashing of souls. Utter misery.
This year, we counter all that suffering with songs that celebrate the joys and wonders of love: The Sunny Side Of …

Artist Spotlight, Latin, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Rubén Blades’ “El Padre Antonio y Su Monaguillo Andrés”

Posted February 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Ruben Blades Archbishop Romero

Grammy Award-winning Rubén Blades is a wonderfully gifted Panamanian poet and songwriter whose works often take on a political tinge. Raised in a progressive family, his grand-uncle was a revolutionary during the Cuban War of Independence against Spain. His mother was an actress, his father a musician, and the girls in his family attended college. Ruben himself studied international law at Harvard on a full scholarship.
I knew Rubén back when he lived in …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show, RIP »

RIP: Zane Musa (1979–2015)

Posted February 9, 2015 by | 5 Comments
Zane Musa in Recording

 
One of the most talented saxophonists to emerge on the LA jazz scene in the past twenty years has left us. Zane Musa passed away tragically last week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had just returned from performing with Arturo Sandoval’s band on a Caribbean jazz cruise. His family, friends, musicians, and fans alike are shocked and mourning his untimely death.
“Zane Musa [was] an incredible virtuoso of the …

African, Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Asia, Cape Verde, Classical, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #93: Tom’s Personal Grammy Picks for 2015

Posted February 6, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Grammys 2015

I have been involved with the Grammys for 25 years now. As a short-lived executive at A&M Records from 1990–91, I sat on the committee that created the first Grammy Awards category for World Music (thanks to the late Bill Traut for shepherding this through). For this week’s Rhythm Planet show, I thought we’d have some fun and highlight several favorites among this year’s nominees for the 57th Annual Grammy …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, New Releases »

John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean Makes Musical Tidal Waves

Posted February 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments
imgres

Composer John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean has been nominated for three Grammys.
The other day, I finally got my copy of Become Ocean by composer John Luther Adams. I’d been trying to get it for weeks now, in fact, ever since I first heard it on the radio and it blew me away. The label, Cantaloupe Records, had had it out of stock for some time.
Now I know the work of John Adams pretty well but was …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz »

Melissa Aldana Comes to LA’s Blue Whale—Feb6

Posted February 2, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Melissa Aldana

This Friday, February 6, LA’s premier Downtown LA jazz club, blue whale, serves up yet another delectable jazz treat. Born in Santiago, Chile, tenor saxophone virtuoso Melissa Aldana established herself as a heavyweight when she won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
A third generation saxophonist, Melissa first picked up the instrument at the age of six, following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Enrique ‘Kiko’ Aldana, a …

African, Cape Verde, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show, Uncategorized »

Show #92: The Lusophone Hour

Posted January 30, 2015 by | 2 Comments
Lusophone Pinwheel

This week, we embark on a musical tour of six Lusosphere countries: Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal, and Brazil.
Lusophone refers to the Portuguese language, in the same way that the term Anglophone means English-speaking, or in the way that we apply Francophone to French speakers. The term Lusosphere refers to the actual countries where Portuguese (or a variant of) is spoken. The Lusophone world remains the …

Art, Literature & Film, Artist Spotlight, Blues, Classical, Interviews, MBE Archive, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Uncategorized »

Sundance Report: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Nina Simone - Thumbnail

“But what happened, Miss Simone? Specifically, what happened to your big eyes that quickly veil to hide the loneliness? To your voice that has so little tenderness, yet flows with your commitment to the battle of Life? What happened to you?” —Maya Angelou
So wrote the erudite Maya Angelou, following a 1970 Redbook interview she did with the mercurial ‘High Priestess of Soul’ herself, Nina Simone (b. 1933–2003). Echoing …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, Performances & Events »

Jazz Prodigy Justin Kauflin to Play the Blue Whale

Posted January 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Quincy Jones & Justin Kauflin

Downtown LA’s premier jazz club owner Joon Lee of blue whale really knows how to pick talent. Nightly, this vibrant, intimate space buzzes with patrons, among them enthusiasts and musicians alike. It’s become a true mecca for ardent jazz fans.
Thursday, Jan29: Justin Kauflin Trio
Performing this Thursday at blue whale is 28-year-old jazz piano virtuoso, Justin Kauflin. He may not be a household name just yet, but I have no doubt that he will …

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