This week’s Rhythm Planet features some good new music. We start with the great Dutch orchestra, the Metropole Orchestra (Metropole Orkest), reprising the great songs of Juan Garcia Esquivel, Mexican composer of Space Age Bachelor Pad music. This is the first time anybody has re-done his classics, and there is no better band to do it than the Metropole, under the capable baton of Vince Mendoza.
Rhythm Planet Playlist: 7/26/13
- Metropole Orchestra/ Poinciana / Perfect Vision: The Esquivel Sound / Basta Records
- Jose Rizo’s Monograma / Suavectio / Baila Que Baila / Saungu Records
- Gogol Bordello / Lost Innocent World / Pura Vida Conspiracy / Casa Gogol
- Lord Mouse & The Kalypso Kats / Limbo Song / Go Calypsonian / Initiative Music
- Aziz Sahmaoui & University Of Gnawa / Ana Hayou / Aziz Sahmaoui & University Of Gnawa / Adami
- Natacha Atlas/ River Man / Expressions: Live In Toulouse / Mazeeka
- Maisey Rika / Reconnect / Walk A Mile In My Shoes / VGM
- Azam Ali & Loga R. Torkian/ Behind The Sky / Lamentation Of Swans / Azam Ali Music
- Eliana Cuevas / Melancolia / Espejo / Ec Music
- Tom Kennedy / The Night Has A 1000 Eyes / Just Play! / Capri
Jose Rizo is a busy local DJ on NPR here in LA, and he’s put together a big Latin orchestra that’s up there with the best New York bands. The band Mongorama is named after Mongo Santamaria, the great Cuban percussionist and composer. There is a nice photo of yours truly and Mongo in KCRW’s Master Control room.
Gogol Bordello was formed by a former citizen of Kiev, Ukraine, whose family fled after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. It’s a crazy gypsy-proto-punk band, high energy and intense.
Lord Mouse and the Kalypso Kats are a bunch of European musicians who take up the great Trinidadian song form, and do so with verve and gusto.
Aziz Sahmaoui and University of Gnawa–currently on tour in the U.S.–are a Moroccan trance band. Aziz plays the guimbri, a small string instrument central to Gnawa Trance music, with stupefying percussion typical of this Moroccan style.
Next a quartet of talented women: Natacha Atlas sings a dreamy, orchestrated version of Nick Drake’s “River Man”, Maori superstar Maisey Rika with a moving song called “Reconnect”. She is a big star in New Zealand and Pacific Oceania. Azam Ali‘s new album with Loga Torkian is world trance goth elegantly wrought. Eliana Cuevas, Venezuelan-born and Toronto-based, is already being called “La Reina” of latin music in Canada. She gives us a beautiful, sad song called “Melancolia”.
We wrap up with a nice, straight-ahead version of Victor Young’s classic song, “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” performed by bassist Tom Kennedy and his talented band.
‘Nuff said. Enjoy the music!