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Schiff, Laws, Einaudi and Winston make KCRW - Rhythm Planet: New Music Discoveries

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This week's Rhythm Planet playlist showcases my picks for the best new releases in mostly jazz and world music. We will hear pianist András Schiff play one of my favorite Schubert impromptus on the keyboard of the composer's day, the piano-forte, precursor to the modern piano. I prefer modern pianos, but this album gives you a sense of what the piano sounded back then during Schubert's brief lifetime (1797-1828).

We transition to the gorgeous sound of Hubert Laws' flute, playing the Kurt Weill/Ira Gershwin classic "My Ship." This track is an oldie, but I'm featuring it because Laws has a show coming up on Saturday, May 18, at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica. He's one of my heroes, and I plan to catch this rare performance.

The music of Ludovico Einaudi-recently dubbed "the most streamed classical musician of all time"-can be heard seemingly everywhere in movies, advertising, etc. I helped to debut Einaudi's first album, Diario Mali, with Malian kora player Ballaké Sissoko back in 2003. The pianist/composer has since reached international stardom. Einaudi has launched a new series of albums called Seven Days Walking, with each "Day" to be released a month apart. He performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 16, and it will surely sell out so grab your seats now.

I was surprised to receive a new album from pianist George Winston, from whom I hadn't heard anything for a long time, probably due to his struggle against cancer. Winston helped build the Windham Hill label, beginning with his best-selling 1981 album Autumn. His new solo piano album Restless Wind sounds different from his earlier work, with Winston showing more pianist facility than before. I like the differences. Winston frequently visited Morning Becomes Eclectic back in the Stone Age when I hosted it, bringing in a satchel of New Orleans blues, Brazilian guitar, and other albums as my guest host in the early 1980's. 

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