New and Noteworthy Releases

It’s once again time to showcase choice new releases.

We begin by reprising French singer Lou Tavano’s cool version of the Mongo Santamaria classic, “Afro Blue.”  Then we check out the Haitian band Lakou Mizik’s new CD on the Cumbancha label, a reliable curator and purveyor of good world music.

A new jazz singer, Jackie Gage, follows with the wonderful, witty standard “Comes Love.”  She also does a nice version of “Afro-Blue” on this new album. Israeli-born trumpet player Avishai Cohen comes next with a track from his beautiful new ECM CD.  By the way, there is another jazz musician, a bass player, named Avishai Cohen…it’s a little confusing!!

Anoushka Shankar’s new CD Land of Gold follows. It’s her very personal musical response to the refugee crisis in the middle east. We hear a track featuring the spoken word of Vanessa Redgrave.

The next cut is wild; you’ll either love it or hate it — Tuvan singer Sainkho Namchylak’s “Worker Song.” Let me know on the Rhythm Planet Facebook what you think of it!

A New York outfit Los Hacheros have a new one out of great musicians playing in fine Cuban style. Dutch harmonica virtuoso Henrik Meurkens then covers Milt Jackson’s cool song “SKJ.”

And finally, two stunning new ECM albums close the show: Armenian pianist TigranHamasyan doing a 10th century Armenian liturgical song, featuring the gorgeous voice of Jenni Nazarian. Then Algerian-born, Paris-based bass player Michel Benita and his band Ethics. I can’t stop listening to this amazing new album.

Note that Anoushka Shankar and Tigran Hamasyan both perform at UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance in April, as part of their U.S. and world tours. Click here for more info.

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 3/18/16:

  1. Lou Tavano / “Afro-Blue (Bali Hues)” / For You / Act
  2. Lakou Mizik / “Pran Ka Mwen” / Wa Di Yo / Cumbancha
  3. Jackie Gage / “Comes Love” / Siren Songs / First Orbit Sounds
  4. Avishai Cohen / “Life And Death” / Into The Silence / ECM
  5. Anoushka Shankar / “Remain The Sea (Feat. Vanessa Redgrave)” / Land Of Gold / Deutsche Grammophon
  6. Sainkho Namchylak / “Worker Song” / Like A Bird Or Spirit, Not A Face / Ponderosa Music & Art
  7. Los Hacheros / “Descarga para Abe” / Bambulaye / Chulo Records
  8. Henrik Meurkens / “SKJ” / Harmonicus Rex / Height Advantage
  9. Tigran Hamasyan / “Havoun Havoun” / Luys I Luso / ECM
  10. Michel Benita / “Off The Coast” / River Silver / ECM


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Tom Schnabel