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Kala Ramnath: Raga Bhatiyar from Kala (Sense Music)
A girl is born in India in 1967. She doesn't get to play or hang out much because her grandfather violinist Vidwan Shri Narayan Iyer took her as his student when she was very young and he was a real taskmaster. She was also taught by her aunt Dr. N. Rajam, who was
kinder. Her aunt introduced her to Pandit Jasraj who became her guru and main violin teacher. Now she is a renowned classical violinist in the south Indian tradition, sometimes collaborating with western musicians, and sometimes, as on this CD, playing classic ragas purely, with just tabla accompaniment. Check out her website. And you can watch her perform here.
Eric Dolphy: You Don't Know What Love Is from Last Date (Limelight)
I bought this piece of vinyl when it came out in 1965 and I have always loved Eric Dolphy's playing and loved who he was as a man: in an era of jazz musicians who were often drug-addicted or wildly eccentric or justifiably bitter, the friends Dolphy and Coltrane walked a path of integrity while remaining creatively innovative, and Dolphy was known as a kind and actively generous person. He was an extremely brilliant musician who died at age 36 from complications of diabetes. Dolphy was primarily an alto saxophonist and pioneered the use of the bass clarinet as a solo jazz instrument, but he was also a wonderful flute player and this piece is his real legacy on that instrument. This was his last recording before he died, hence the album title.
Kimi Djabate: Djalia and Fololon, from Karam (Kumbancha)
This young man is a griot from Guinnea-Bissau, who learned to play the Balafon (West African marimba when he was three. He's also a guitarist and singer and one of the charming things about this music is the occasional chorus of female voices.
Yo Yo Ma: Antonin Dvorak: Silent Woods, Humoresque in g-flat major ( both with Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa) and Songs My Mother Taught Me (with Patricia Zander, piano) from The Dvorak Album (Sony)
Most of this album is taken up with Dvorak's Cello concerto which I did not play but might one day. The rest has several short pieces or segments of larger pieces by Dvorak, all lovely, and they finished off this hour perfectly.