This show features mostly new releases, with a few classics thrown in. We begin with four fabulous African CD’s, with the first by a Kenyan artist named So Kalmery. The track “Brave Margot” is about a woman who rescues an abandoned kitten and nurses it back to health, even breast feeding it. French speakers may notice that Kalmery’s French is very accented (being Kenyan).
Then we hear from a 1960’s album by the great Congolese artist Joseph (Le Grand Kalle) Kabasele, who fronted one of Kinshasha’s most popular bands of the period. The joyous and buoyant sound of “Africa D’Ambience” is further leavened here by a Cuban flutist.
Senegalese superstar Cheikh Lô is next. Though not as famous as Youssou N’Dour or Thione Seck, Lô is a wonderful artist and very popular in Dakar and Paris. We close the opening African segment with a kora player named Maher Cissoko. The sound of the 21-string harp-lute never fails to soothe and entrance.
We move on to a jazz set, beginning with veteran drummer Louis Hayes who worked with the great Cannonball Adderley Quintet. His new album out on Blue Note is called Serenade for Horace. I really like the tenor player, Abraham Burton. Then we hear music from two terrific jazz guitarists: Alex Goodman and Rotem Sivan, the latter covering the evergreen “Over the Rainbow” with a new twist, with vocals by Gracie Terzian.
We wrap it up with a Korean singer-pianist-composer-bandleader-conductor named Jihye Lee. She leads a big band on a cut called “Whirlwind,” from a recent release called April. The album was inspired by the South Korean ferry boat disaster in April 2014 in which hundreds of passengers perished.
Here she is conducting at the Berklee School of Music, where she studied:
Rhythm Planet Playlist for 6/30/17
- So Kalmery / “Brave Margot” / Brave Margot / Buda
- Grand Kalle & African Team / “Africa D’Ambiance” / Grande Kalle & African Team 1967, 1968, 1970 / Sonodisc
- Cheikh Lô / “Warico” / Jamm / World Circuit
- Maher Cissoko / “Kooma Kumaro” / Kora Fo / Ajabu!
- Louis Hayes / “Ecaroh” / Serenade for Horace / Blue Note
- Alex Goodman / “Heightened” / Second Act / Lyte Records
- Rotem Sivan Trio / “Over the Rainbow (feat. Gracie Terzian)” / Antidote / Aima Records
- Jihye Lee Orchestra / “Whirlwind” / April / Joun music