New Music that Caught Tom’s Ear

This week I wanted to share some new sides I’ve been enjoying at home. We begin with a reggae band I just discovered, Raging Fyah. I love the bass lines and the great rim shots, typical of good roots reggae. After that we hear two interesting and beautiful songs. First, a song suggesting Christ’s second coming by Gregory Porter, a singer who has really grown on me. This cut, “Take Me to the Alley” is the title track from his second Blue Note album. The next song features Kurt Elling as the guest vocalist on the Branford Marsalis Quintet‘s new album. We hear an unusual love song called “Practical Arrangement.”

We continue with the big bad orchestra piano wizard John Beasley arranged and conducted to celebrate Thelonious Monk’s timeless compositions.  “Epistrophy” features Gary Burton on vibes. Chico Freeman, son of veteran Chicago-based tenor sax elder Vaughan Freeman, disappeared years ago after releasing a bunch of LP’s on the India Navigation label. I often wondered what happened to him. The answer is: he moved to Austria. He sure hasn’t lost any of his horn chops, though, and we hear him with a great Austrian rhythm section.  The album Spoken Into Existence is a love song to his daughters.

The final three cuts inhabit the Lusophone universe (i.e. Portuguese speaking countries). First, a new album from singer Ceuzany that is filled with both sweet saudade and the unique Cape Verdean ingredient known as morabeza, a sort of Cape Verdean version of Hawaiian aloha. I wrote about morabeza during a visit to Cape Verde a couple of years ago.

We finish with two Brazilian classics, one bossa nova from the wonderful film Black Orpheus, then a 1957 samba by the great Dorival Caymmi. This show turned out nicely IMHO. I hope you enjoy it too.

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 7/29/16:

  1. Raging Fyah / “Everlasting” / Everlasting / Dub Rockers/VP Records
  2. Gregory Porter / “Take Me to the Alley” / Take Me to the Alley / Blue Note
  3. Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling / “Practical Arrangement” /Upward Spiral / Okeh
  4. John Beasley / “Epistrophy” / John Beasley Presents Monk’Estra Vol. 1 / Mack Avenue
  5. Chico Freeman 4-Tet / “N’tiana’s Dream” / Spoken Into Existence / Jive Music Austria
  6. Ceuzany / “Dança Ma Mi Criola” / Ilha d’Melodia / Lusafrica/Harmonia
  7. Elizete Cardoso & Luiz Bonfa / “Manha de Carnaval” / Rio Bossa / Chant Du Monde
  8. Dorival Caymmi / “Maracangalha” / Rio Samba / Chant Du Monde

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Tom Schnabel