Rhythm Planet Playlist: Rediscovered Gems

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I constantly return to and rediscover musical gems from the past, often enjoying them more upon revisiting them than when I first heard them. This week’s two-hour eclectic playlist covers some of my perennial faves. I love variety and am a human sponge for many types of music, as you will hear.

The full playlist is listed below, so I’ll highlight just a few of the artists. Check out Chief Sikiru Ayinde Barrister who, like Big Joe Turner, has a booming voice so big that he just has to open his mouth and get out of the way. He calls it Fuji music, and believe me, it’s just as big and mighty as the famous mountain. Few can sing solo in front of twenty African drummers.

I’ve been listening to Claude Debussy’s “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” lately, and found Leonard Bernstein’s commentary on the famous work fascinating.

Mongo Santamaría’s song “Afro Blue” includes a wonderful improvised piccolo solo by Hubert Laws. At one point Laws circular breathes for about 45 seconds—not easy on any instrument but particularly difficult on a piccolo. Sister Rosetta Tharpe was the greatest singing nun of all. Roscoe Holcomb was a Kentucky mountain singer who sounded almost like a Tuvan throat singer. Bahamian Joseph Spence sings the gospel classic “Comin’ In on a Wing and a Prayer.” I turned the late Charlie Haden on to this, and he in turn shared it with Pat Metheny.

All in all, you’ll find African, Corsican, and Brazilian music, plus jazz, gospel, classical and more together on this playlist. It’s the sort of show I used to love doing while on-air at KCRW, but now that that isn’t possible, I enjoy putting these playlists together on Spotify. I’m grateful I still have a voice and people who enjoy listening online.

Rhythm Planet Playlist for January 21, 2020

  1. Stan Getz & Laurindo Almeida / “Maracatu-Too” / The Bossa Nova Years
  2. Cesária Évora / “Amor di Mundo” / Café Atlantico
  3. Sara Tevares / “De Nua” / Balance
  4. Art Pepper / “Four Brothers” / Modern Jazz Classics
  5. Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses / “Anima” / Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses
  6. Mark Murphy / “My Ship” / Midnight Mood
  7. Pierre Boulez & Cleveland Orchestra / Claude Debussy, “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” / Boulez Conducts Debussy and Ravel
  8. Janos Starker / “Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major: I. Prelude” / J. S. Bach - Suites for Solo Cello
  9. John Coltrane Quartet / “Wise One” / Crescent
  10. Zizi Possi / “Pout-Pourri: Renascer/Meditação” / Valsa Brasileira
  11. Keith Jarrett / “The Wind – Live at Salle Pleyel, Paris, 1988” / Paris Concert
  12. Roscoe Holcomb / “Moonshiner” / The High Lonesome Sound
  13. Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Marie Knight, Sam Price Trio / “Didn’t It Rain” / The Decca Singles, Vol. 3
  14. Joseph Spence / “Comin’ In on a Wing and a Prayer” / Joseph Spence: The Complete Folkway Recordings, 1958
  15. St Germain / “Real Blues” / St Germain
  16. Nahawa Doumbia / “Djina Mousso” / Didadi
  17. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister / “Alhaji Olansile Shafawu Medley” / Eku Odun
  18. Shirley Horn / “Violets for your furs” / Violets for Your Furs
  19. Johnny Hartman / “Down in the Depths” / Unforgettable
  20. Chuck Miller / “The House of Blue Lights” / The House of Blue Lights
  21. Mongo Santamaria / “Afro Blue – Live” / Mongo Santamaria’s Greatest Hits
  22. The Turbans / “When You Dance” / The Best of the Turbans