This week, I’ve got a trove of new releases in various styles. We start with Australian DJ/producer, Tim Sullivan, who goes by the moniker, This Soft Machine. His debut single, “On & On,” was first featured by fellow KCRW DJ, Mario Cotto, earlier this month and recalls former British rock band, The Kinks’s “You Really Got Me.” Then it’s Italian composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi with his most adventurous album yet, the Taranta Project, which takes its name from the 17th century taranta dance tradition of Southern Italy. Occasioned by a spider bite. this libidinous dance is based on an old wives’ tale that victims should dance to a frenzied tempo in order to perspire the toxins from their bodies.
Next, I premiere an exclusive new cut, titled “High Sea” from Iranian trance vocalist Mamak Khadem’s forthcoming album, Jostojoo II: The Road. For those of you in LA, she performs at the Japanese American Community Cultural Center on Sunday, May 2. Presented by the Aratani World Series, Khadem will perform her gorgeous blend of Sufi poetry set to musical influences from around world. Culling from the traditions of the Persian masters, she “weaves a canopy, both simple and rich, for a stunningly emotional and spiritual experience…”
We’ll also listen to a medley of world music. First up is Galician (as in Spanish Celtic) Cristina Pato, a renowned master of the gaita and piano, who is also a frequent collaborator for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. I thought I’d tie in her “Tarantella-Muiñeira: Epilogue,” which begins with a Sicilian 6/8 dance rhythm that she juxtaposes with a Galician folk melody.
The World Village label recently released an album by Portuguese fado singer, António Zambujo, from which I’ve selected the lovely “Valsa do Vai Não Vas.” On that note, we’ll follow with Brazilian guitarist, Fabiano do Nascimento,who performed his Dança Dos Tempos album release party at the blue whale earlier this month, together with legendary percussionist, Airto Moreira.
Young rising Cape Verdean star Elida Almeida is next. Her debut album, Ora Doci Pra Margos translates to mean ‘Sweet Times Bitter Times,’ with songs like “Lebam Ku Bo,” which tell of her own bittersweet life experiences growing up on the island of Santiago. Then French-Haitian singer Cécile McLoren Salvant performs a beautiful rendition of Edith Piaf’s timeless “La Vie en Rose” with Uruguayan jazz/classical violinist, Federico Britos.
Finally, a lively collaboration between pianist Harold Mabern and jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, covering Charlie Parker’s bebop classic “Billie’s Bounce.” And last but certainly not least, we end this week’s Rhythm Planet show with another explosive collaboration, this time by pianist Michael Wolff and drummer Mike Clark’s new album, Wolff & Clark Expedition 2.
For more information about Mamak Khadem’s upcoming Aratani World Series concerton Sunday, May 2, please click here.