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The Real Girl from Ipanema

Posted September 23, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 23.27.58

“The Girl from Ipanema” is the most popular Brazilian song in the world. When it was released in 1963, it turned the world onto bossa nova (new beat) and swept past The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand, selling over two million copies. Aside from being a great song, part of the reason it succeeded is because a young Astrud Gilberto was in …

Audiophiles, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

New Vinyl Sales are Up, Up and Away…!

Posted September 21, 2015 by | 0 Comments

I am a vinyl junkie and have written about my habit before:
Also some seriously bad LP cover art…
I perked up when I saw this in the New York Times (there is a video after the ad, too).
Rusty old pressing plants are being bought up, refurbished after years of non-use and neglect, and still can’t keep up with demand for new vinyl pressings. Many independent labels …

Artist Spotlight, French, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #125: Musical Ambrosia, Part 1

Posted September 18, 2015 by | 1 Comment

Ambrosia is the nectar of the gods in Greek mythology. For me it’s a little more mundane: a fruit salad with mandarin oranges, pineapple, grapes, pecans, cherries, with a dash of whipped cream. I have added a splash of Cointreau to this beautiful mélange.
I heard the word in a different and incongruous way the other day, when I read an article in the …

Artist Spotlight, Classical, French, Jazz, RIP »

My Week Chez Francis Paudras

Posted September 16, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Francis Paudras

Most people have never heard of Francis Paudras (1935–1997). I, however, will never forget him and the days we spent together in Antigny, a small village in Western France in the waning days of summer, 1981. A classic Frenchman in so many ways, he was just as well-versed in old world culture as he was in the American new: Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy were on …

Asia, Middle East, Performances & Events »

Grand Performances’ Re:Arranged: Muslim Cultures Illuminated

Posted September 15, 2015 by | 0 Comments
GP - Yuna 1

At a time when the world’s attention is focused on the tragic plight of Syrian refugees, and governments across Europe race to create contingency plans for dealing with the growing migrant crisis, there is really no more crucial moment for building bridges than now. Thanks to a generous grant received by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Downtown’s Grand Performances is on a mission to do exactly that, guided …

African, Jazz, Latin, New Releases, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #124: Hot Weekend Grooves

Posted September 11, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week, I’m especially excited about the new releases that I’ve been sent. I’ve got tracks for you from around the globe and back, which I’ll feature along with a few recent rediscoveries.
Let’s begin with a nice melding of traditional African and western classical music. It’s the music of the 21-string harp-lute kora, played by Malian virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko, in collaboration with French cellist, Vincent Ségal. Sissoko is descended from …

Artist Spotlight, Interviews, RIP »

RIP: Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard (1928–2015)

Posted September 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments
Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard

Two luminaries were recently lost: Oliver Sacks and Wes Craven, for whom many tributes poured out. But in the smaller print, hidden in the back pages, I discovered the passing of another person from whom I had learned so much. Her name was Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard.
Lucina Agbabian-Hubbard (b. 1928–2015) taught Armenian and culture for decades at USC and was choir conductor of the Armenian Evangelical Church, bestowing …

Artist Spotlight, Jazz, MBE Archive »

Jazz Pianist Bud Powell & His Guardian Angel

Posted September 7, 2015 by | 0 Comments
BN Bud Powell Recordings (1949–1958)

I am just now reading Oliver Sacks’ recent memoir, On the Move. In one chapter he recalls his older brother’s descent into schizophrenia and its effect upon their parents, who were both doctors like him.
Michael Sacks was prescribed Largactil, a powerful tranquilizer also known as Thorazine in America. This was around the same time that a young Francis Paudras (b. 1935–1997) both housed,  championed, chaperoned, and otherwise took care …

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

Show #123: Weekend World Groove

Posted September 4, 2015 by | 0 Comments

This week on Rhythm Planet, I’ve culled and curated exciting new releases from around the world expressly for your weekend listening enjoyment.
We start with a great new album by Los Angeles-based Mamak Khadem. From beginning to end, The Road is an incredible musical journey to her homeland of Iran and the distant lands of her travels, including Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and Andalusian Spain. It’s literally a musical travelogue …

Artist Spotlight, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

What I Learned From Oliver Sacks (1933–2015)

Posted September 2, 2015 by | 1 Comment
Oliver Sacks - Headphones

I was deeply saddened to learn that Oliver Sacks (b. 1933–2015) had succumbed to the cancer that he announced this past February. He was 82-years young.
The sheer number of obituaries penned over the past few days remembering this gifted author and neurologist for his immense contribution to the field made me recall how differently I learned to understand the situations of people suffering with neurological …

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