Show #104: World of Music

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Iranian trance vocalist Mamak Khadem performs the Aratani World Series on May 2. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

61s4kFknGYL._AA160_This week, I’ve got a trove of new releases of 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 must dance to a frenzied tempo in order to release 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 will perform at the Japanese American Community Cultural Center on Sunday, May 2, so trance music fans, you are in for a treat! 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…”

51t2ki38NmL._AA160_We’ll also listen to a medley of world music. First up is Galician (as in Spanish Celtic) Cristina Pato. A master of both the gaita and piano, she 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. Listen closely and you’ll hear the two influences.

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.

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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,” she shares 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 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 lively collaboration, this time by pianist Michael Wolff and drummer Mike Clark off their new album, Wolff & Clark Expedition 2.

For more information about Mamak Khadem’s upcoming Aratani World Series concert on Sunday, May 2, please click here.

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Rhythm Planet Playlist for 04/24/15

    1. This Soft Machine / “On & On”On & On/This Place Was Meant For Me / Eskimo Recordings
    2. Ludovico Einaudi / “Preludio/Nar I-Seher” / Taranta Project / Ponderosa
    3. Mamak Khadem / “High Sea” / Jostojo II: The Road / To Be Released
    4. Cristina Pato / “Tarantella- Muiñeira: Epilogue” / Latina / Sunnyside Records
    5. António Zambujo / “Valsa do Vai Não Vás”Rua da Emenda / World Village
    6. Fabiano do Nascimento / “Canto de Iemenja”Danca Dos Tempos / Now Again Records
    7. Elida Almeida / “Lebam Ku Bo”Ora Doci Ora Margos / Lusafrica
    8. Frederico Britos feat. Cécile McLoren Salvant / “La Vie en Rose”Hot Club of the Americas / 3 Knocks Entertainment
    9. Harold Mabern feat. Kurt Elling / “Billie’s Bounce”Afro Blue / Smoke Session Records
    10. Michael Wolff & Mike Clark / “Clark Bar”Wolff & Clark Expedition 2 / Random Act Records

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