This show features some of my favorite new releases, starting off with that most-Cuban of all New York tropical latin outfits, Los Hacheros (The Hatchets). The vocalist reminds me of all that I loved about Ibrahim Ferrer, the late star vocalist with the Buena Vista Social Club. The new album is filled with that catchy, soulful, sabor cubano that made the Buena Vista Social Club so famous.
We continue with the new cd Buenaventura (which means good luck, or can refer to the city of Ventura, CA) by La Santa Cecilia. La Santa Cecilia - aka Saint Cecilia – is the patroness of musicians, and I am smitten by the voice of Marisol Hernandez, the lead singer of this Mexican-American band. Some of you may have seen them along with Buika recently, on their U.S. tour.
Guitarist Anthony Wilson, son of the late great Gerald Wilson, is a terrific jazz guitarist who is usually on the road with Diana Krall. Here we find him on a solo outing as singer-songwriter, and feature the clever & fun song “I Saw it Through the Skylight” (I guess he didn’t ‘hear it on the grapevine’).
The French vocalese phenom Camille Bertault follows with a Herbie Hancock song “Empty Pockets”; Camille renamed it “Quoi de plus anodin” (“what could be more harmless”). Tenor sax veteran virtuoso George Coleman follows with a nice 12-bar blues dedicated to the late bluesman B.B. King.
The final quartet of songs fit together very nicely. Normally you have no way of knowing how songs segue into each other unless you have two cd players or turntables at your disposal, and I was taken by how these four songs seem to coalesce together.
Hélène Grimaud is a French pianist who’s done a concept album based on the theme of water. Here she plays the first part of a song cycle by Italian composer Luciano Berio.
Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan plays a song based on a 10th century Armenian liturgical song, featuring the stunning voice of Jenni Nazarian. The group is on a U.S. tour now, and visits UCLA’s Royce Hall on Saturday, April 30th. I will be there.
Ola Gjeilo is a Norwegian-born composer and pianist who specializes in vocal music. His new album is a stunning debut.
We wrap it up with a long piece featuring Valérie Milot, a French harpist (and French artist).
Rhythm Planet Playlist for 4/15/16:
- Los Hacheros / “Pintate” / Bambulaye / Chulo Records
- La Santa Cecilia / “Sacudo La Pereza” / Buenaventura / Universal Music Latino
- Anthony Wilson / “I Saw it Through the Skylight” / Frogtown / Goat Hill Recordings
- Camille Bertault / “Quoi de plus anodin (Empty Pockets)” / En Vie / Sunnyside
- George Coleman / “Blues For B.B.” (feat. Peter Bernstein) / A Master Speaks / Smoke Sessions Records
- Hélène Grimaud / “Berio: 6 Encores – 3. Wasserklavier (Live)” / Water / Deutche Grammophon
- Tigran Hamasyan / “Havoun Havoun” (Jenni Nazarian, Soprano) / Luys I Luso / ECM
- Ola Gjeilo / “Ubi Caritas” / Ola Gjeilo / Decca London
- Valérie Milot / “El Dorado” / Orbis / Groupe Analekta