Rhythm Planet’s Autumn Harvest

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Cape Verdean singer Elida Almeida Photo © Alex Tom

This week, we sample a new crop of recent releases along with a few classic sides mixed in. Highlights include the latest from Shafqat Ali Khan, a classical singer from Pakistan whose music is rooted in the Sufi tradition, but he mixes traditional sounds with western synths and electric guitars. We also hear a new version of the Antonio Carlos Jobim composition “Surfboard,” performed here by jazz bassist Brandi Disterheft’s trio. The classic song was born after Jobim visited Malibu Surfrider Beach and watched longboard surfing in the 1960’s, when he was in L.A. to record his Reprise albums.

A few new albums starring the cello make the playlist – there’s a cello version of Bob Marley’s classic “Redemption Song” from the talented family group The Kanneh-Masons; “She’s Like the Swallow” from Ofra Harnoy’s new album On the Rock; and Yo-Yo Ma’s new version of “Over the Rainbow” recorded with pianist Kathryn Stott.

I had to include the new song “Bidibido” from Cape Verde’s wonderful Elida Almeida. She’s only 27 but has already released her fourth album Gerasonobu (New Generation). We also check-out Turkish psych-groove from Ilhan Ersahin and a wild song from Xanga called “Boom Boom Boom” from a few years back.

We revisit three albums: Kiri Te Kanawa’s radiant Canteloube, the Neville Brothers’s “Yellow Moon” (on a new Putumayo compilation), and Kenny Barron’s “Cook’s Bay.” I liked the old-school Brazilian guitar sound of Kiko Dinucci, because it reminded of the immortal guitarist Baden Powell. We hear The Royal Bopster’s version of “Cuando Te Vea,” a song that Tito Puente and singer Santos Colón made famous in the 1950’s.

New jazz albums always have a home on Rhythm Planet, so we check out a wonderful album by sax and flute player Ian Hendrickson-Smith, jazz drummer Richard Baratta covers Harry Nilsson’s “Everybody Talkin’,” plus an explosive new 4-CD set of Charles Mingus in Bremen 1964 and 1975. The Hendrickson-Smith album The Lowdown is very special. On top of the great playing, the album was recorded in that sacred temple of sound, Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. 

I could go on, but why not just stop and listen to the music? Words alone rarely do music justice. And I wish you all a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 11/24/20: 

  1. Shafqat Ali Khan / “Love Sublime” / ARC
  2. Marziam Alibek / “Love Song” / Naxos World Music
  3. Brandi Disterheft Trio / “Surfboard” / Justin Time Records
  4. The Royal Bopsters / “Cuando Te Vea (When I See You)” / Motema Music
  5. Chad McCullough / “November Lake” / OUTSIDE IN MUSIC
  6. The Kanneh-Masons / “Redemption Song” / Decca Music Group
  7. Ofra Harnoy / “She’s Like the Swallow” / Groupe Analekta
  8. Yo-Yo Ma, Kathryn Stott / “Over the Rainbow” / Sony Classical
  9. Kiri Te Kanawa, English Chamber Orchestra / Canteloube: “Chants d’Auvergne: 2. Bailero” / Decca
  10. Scott Routenberg / “Pentamerous” / Summit Records
  11. Modou Touré / “Wakh di tane” / ARC
  12. Volker Goetze / “African Child” / MustHaveJazz/Membran
  13. Elida Almeida / “Bidibido” / Lusafrica
  14. Xanga / “Boom Boom Boom” Remaster / Multi Culti
  15. Ilhan Ersahin / “Aslan” / Nublu Records
  16. Kenny Barron / “Cook’s Bay” / Verve Records
  17. Richard Baratta / “Everybody’s Talkin’” / Savant
  18. The Neville Brothers / “Yellow Moon” / Putumayo World Music
  19. Kiko Dinucci / “Exu Odara” / Mais Um Discos
  20. Ian Hendrickson-Smith / “Savin’ Up” / Cellar Live
  21. Charles Mingus / “For Harry Carney” / Sunnyside

Here’s another one from The Kanneh-Masons: