Show #225: A Dozen Superb New Jams

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This week Rhythm Planet once again spins the latest fine new releases in classical, jazz, and world music. We begin with French classical pianist Hélène Grimaud performing Rachmaninov’s adaptation of a J.S. Bach classic, the “Prelude in E Major.” We then feature a short track from jazz guitarist John Abercrombie’s beautiful new ECM album, Up and Coming. Abercombie sadly passed away earlier this week. I will remember him on next week’s show with a number of his albums from 1975-2017. On the next track, clarinetist Anat Cohen and guitarist Marcello Gonçalves celebrate the special music of the late Brazilian composer Moacir Santos.


I wanted to again feature “Eh Ya Ye” from the new Kronos Quartet album with top Malian artists Trio Da Kali. The music flows seamlessly together, as though both sides are coming from the same place. We move on to hear a track from Flying Carpet by the groups Quadro Nuevo and Cairo Steps. I like their blend of East and West in this record that explores Egyptian Sufi music. We then listen to the opening track from Italian pop chanteuse Vanessa Racci‘s new album, Italiana Fresca. Fans of Racci would enjoy Putumayo’s Italian music compilations, as well as the movie Big Night, which gives a nod to Louis Prima.


The next set of three songs reflects upon current political and social issues. Joe Romersa was the lead singer in the legendary Soy Cowboy group; he’s got a new song called “Fake News.” Then John Beasley’s cut “Brake’s Sake” featuring Dontae Winslow serves up a rap commentary on top of a Thelonious Monk music bed. Trumpeter John Vanore finishes the trio with the lovely “I Hope in Time a Change Will Come,” inspired by the late Oliver Nelson.

The photograph on the cover of The Black Market Trust’s “Folk Songs” CD kind of makes the group look like some Kentucky mountain singers. But they’re actually based in Los Angeles and the music on the album is a sophisticated blend of French gypsy manouche and other folk styles. These five guys can really play!

The extraordinary jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant is out with a new live album called Dreams and Daggers. She’s on the bill tomorrow night, August 26, with Bryan Ferry at the Hollywood Bowl. We wrap it up the week with a salsa big band album from the multi-talented Panamanian singer Rubén Blades.

A dozen new sides, an hour of eclectic music. Hope you enjoy it.

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 8/25/17

  1. Hélène Grimaud / “Bach/Rachmaninov: Prelude in E Major” / Perspectives / Deutche Grammophon
  2. John Abercrombie Quartet / “Flipside” / Up and Coming / ECM
  3. Anat Cohen & Marcello Gonçalves / “Nanã (Coisa No. 5)” / Outra Coisa: The Music of Moacir Santos / Anzic
  4. Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet / “Eh Ya Ye” / Ladilikan / World Circuit
  5. Quadro Nuevo & Cairo Steps / “Shams” / Flying Carpet / GLM/Justin Time Records
  6. Vanessa Racci / “C’é La Luna (Mezzo’o Mare)” / Italiana Fresca / Vanessa Racci Entertainment
  7. Joe Romersa / “Fake News” / Enough / Shadow Box Studio
  8. John Beasley / “Brake’s Sake” featuring Dontae Winslow / MONK’Estra Vol. 2 / Mack Avenue Records
  9. John Vanore / “I Hope in Time a Change Will Come” / Stolen Moments: Celebrating Oliver Nelson / Acoustical Concepts
  10. The Black Market Trust / “La Gitane” / Folk Songs / The Black Market Trust
  11. Cécile McLorin Salvant / “Devil May Care” / Dreams and Daggers / Mack Avenue Records
  12. Rubén Blades & Roberto Delgado & Orquesta / “Arayué” / Salsa Big Band / Rubén Blades Productions