We start this week’s new releases show with the incredibly eclectic Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble. The Silk Road ensemble comprises so many different musicians and cultures. You have to credit the brilliance of Yo-Yo Ma — he’s a classical cellist, after all, he doesn’t have to stretch out like this — but I’m glad he does.
We segue into the crazy Konono No. 1 album, then check out a new Snarky Puppy track that has a Brazilian feeling to it. Which is the reason why we can fade into a song from Caetano Veloso‘s and Gilberto Gil‘s 50 year anniversary concert, a huge performance in Sao Paulo last summer.
From Brazil we head to Portugal for Ana Moura‘s new CD, called simply “Moura.” It’s somewhat of a crossover album, certain to maybe irk the purists but perhaps gain her new fans around the world. The album is again produced by veteran producer Larry Klein. We hear a cut called “Dancing Fado.”
The next song is an Astor Piazzolla classic, the moody and mysterious “Oblivion,” from Mike Vaccaro‘s beautiful new recording. After this we hear two fine new jazz releases, the first by veteran drummer Joe Chambers (who plays drums, percussion, marimba, vibes), then from German pianist Frank Woeste, who is known mostly for his work with the fine quarter-tone trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf.
We end with two remembrances: Papa Wemba, the Congolese rumba and soukous star who died last weekend at 66 while performing in Abidjan, and the late Billy Paul, who died recently at 81. Paul had a #1 hit in 1972 with “Me and Mrs. Jones” and was part of the Gamble & Huff Philly International Records stable, with fellow stars like Teddy Pendergrass. I love this label, its big sound, and production values.
Hope you enjoy these new releases, and the two fine songs by Papa Wemba and Billy Paul. They were one of a kind.
Rhythm Planet Playlist for 4/29/16:
- Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble feat. Roomful of Teeth / “Green (Vincent’s Tune)” / Sing Me Home / Masterworks Broadway
- Konono No 1 / “Tokolanda” / Konono No.1 Meets Batida / Crammed Discs
- Snarky Puppy / “Semente” / Culcha Vulcha / Ground Up
- Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil / “Filhos de Gandhi” / Dois Amigos, Um Século De Música / Nonesuch
- Ana Moura / “Fado Dançado” / Moura / Universal Portugal
- Mike Vaccaro and Friends / “Oblivion” / Latin Love / Mikevaccaro.com
- Joe Chambers / “Epistrophy”/ Landscapes / Savant
- Frank Woeste feat. Ben Monder and Justin Brown / “Terlingua” / Pocket Rhapsody / Act Music
- Papa Wemba Et Viva La Musica / “Dixième commandement” / Foridoles / Sonodisc
- Billy Paul / “False Faces” / The Best of Billy Paul / Philadelphia International