Once again I'd like to feature some new albums that caught my ear. We start with Michael Franti & Spearhead's latest release Soulrocker. I've followed Franti ever since he fronted the Disposable Heroes of Hipoprisy in the late 80's. He formed Spearhead a few years after that. Franti is one of the smartest lyricists around, writing committed and intelligent music, usually with a strong affirmative spirit. "Once a Day" is no exception.
The next cut by Rodrigue Milien et Son Groupe Combite comes from a tremendous new CD of various Haitian bands playing classic music from 1960-81. There are many styles on this compilation--meringue, kompa kreyol, vodou jazz--with most of the great bands making music over this two-decade period. This CD is a true labor of love and comes with a great booklet giving info on the bands, the Port au Prince scene, the record companies and Haitian radio. Five stars, a must have, a total treasure.
Cuban drummer Pedrito Martinez has a new CD and we feature a track with both Ruben Blades and Wynton Marsalis. We follow with a 45 RPM single by the Colombian/UK band Sidestepper.
Antonio Adolfo is a Brazilian pianist with a long string of recordings to his credit. On his Tropical Infinito, he covers a bunch of jazz classics, including Benny Golson's "Killer Joe."
Next up the popular L.A. band Boogaloo Assassins, who are performing a free show on Saturday, July 2, at LACMA. This song, "One and Only" is from a vinyl single. What a great name for a band, Boogaloo Assassins! They are one talented group of musicians, and kill it live too!
One for All is a jazz supergroup with some of the best players in the business: Eric Alexander on tenor, Jim Rotondi on trumpet, Steve Davis on trombone, pianist David Hazeltine, and the great bass-drums duo of John Webber and Joe Farnsworth. This is my favorite new jazz album, beautifully performed and recorded, too. Another new jazz CD from pianist/vibist Warren Wolf comes next. He's part of the Mack Avenue Records stable of great jazz musicians.
The final three songs are moody and mysterious. First, a song from Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, co-lead by Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, featuring Natacha Atlas on vocals and Brazilian cellist Jaques Morelenbaum. Then, an alternative UK group called 9BACH fronted by Welsh singer-songwriter Lisa Jen and guitarist Martin Hoyland (formerly of Pusherman). We wrap up this week's show with Spanish singer Ana Alcaide, with a track featuring the Swedish instrument called the nyckelharpa.
Hope you enjoy these 11 new sides as much as I do.
Rhythm Planet Playlist for 6/3/16:
- Michael Franti and Spearhead / “Once A Day” (featuring Sonna Rele) / Soulrocker / Fantasy Records
- Rodrigue Milien et Son Groupe Combite / “Rapadou” / Tanbou Toujou Lou: Meringue, Kompa Kreyol, Vodou, Jazz & Electric Folklore from Haiti 1960-1981 / Ostinato
- Pedrito Martinez / “Antadilla” (featuring Ruben Blades and Wynton Marsalis) / Habana Dreams / Motema Music
- Sidestepper / “Fuego Que Te Llama” / 7” Single / Real World Records
- Antonio Adolfo / “Killer Joe” / Tropical Infinito / AAM Music
- Boogaloo Assassins / “One and Only Part 1” / 7" Single / Pres Records
- One For All / “Hey, Stevie D” / The Third Decade / Smoke Sessions
- Warren Wolf / “King of Two Fives” / Convergence / Mack Avenue Records
- Paolo Fresu and Omar Sosa / “Teardrop Ya Habibi” / Eros / Juslikemusic/Tuk
- 9BACH / “Deryn” / Anian / Real World
- Ana Alcaide / “Tlalli” / Leyenda: World Music Inspired by Feminine Legends / Arc