Tom Moon

Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.

He is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing), and a contributor to other books including The Final Four of Everything.

A saxophonist whose professional credits include stints on cruise ships and several tours with the Maynard Ferguson orchestra, Moon served as music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1988 until 2004. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender, Spin, Vibe, Harp and other publications, and has won several awards, including two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Music Journalism awards. He has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered since 1996.

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Music Reviews
1:47 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Worth The Wait: The Transcendent Groove Of D'Angelo's 'Black Messiah'

Talk about a long-awaited holiday gift: D'Angelo's Black Messiah was released Monday, nearly 15 years after its predecessor.
Greg Harris Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 3:12 pm

There's usually reason to be apprehensive when an artist spends years in the workshop on a single set of songs. The results can seem joyless; think Chinese Democracy, which took Guns N' Roses 14 tortured years to finish. D'Angelo spent nearly as much time crafting his new record. He took his time and loaded up some of the tracks with everything from the audio candy store. Incredibly, the music rarely sounds cluttered or overwrought.

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Remembrances
3:07 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Rolling Stones Saxophonist Bobby Keys Dies

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 4:24 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Saxophonist Bobby Keys was still a teenager when he started playing with his fellow Texan Buddy Holly and pop star Bobby Vee. Later, he joined up with the Rolling Stones. And for more than 40 years, Bobby Keys' powerful sax was a key part of their sound.

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Music Reviews
12:16 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Bryan Ferry Slinks Home

Bryan Ferry's new album, Avonmore, revisits his Roxy Music heyday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 4:32 pm

The opening groove in "Loop De Li," the first song on Bryan Ferry's new album, Avonmore, might as well be a "Welcome Home" sign.

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Music Reviews
2:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Inside The Wall: Pink Floyd's 'Final' Album Is Process On Display

Pink Floyd's new album is titled The Endless River.
Albert Watson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 10:38 am

In typically grandiose fashion, Pink Floyd has created its own requiem.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

First Listen: Bob Dylan, 'The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11'

The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11, a compilation of unearthed recordings by Bob Dylan, comes out Nov. 4.
Elliott Landy Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:43 am

The dog's name was Hamlet.

He lived at the house known as Big Pink, in the woods near Woodstock, and during the summer of 1967, responsibility for his care was shared by Bob Dylan and members of The Band. Hamlet was on the scene during the fruitful recording of The Basement Tapes, part of the storied atmosphere that led to one of the most vivid chapters in American music.

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First Listen
9:02 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

First Listen: Yusuf/Cat Stevens, 'Tell 'Em I'm Gone'

Yusuf's (formerly known as Cat Stevens) new album, Tell 'Em I'm Gone, comes out Oct. 27.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:47 am

The Sunday-school singalong "You Are My Sunshine" is the rare evergreen that seems to withstand all manner of musical abuse.

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Music
2:58 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Art As Conversation: Three New Collaborative Albums

Nels Cline and Julian Lage's new collaborative album is called Room.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 2:37 pm

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Music Reviews
3:40 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Two Princes: The Purple One Returns In Stereo

Prince has two new albums out, Art Official Age under his own name and Plectrumelectrum with 3RDEYEGIRL (pictured).
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 4:46 pm

In the last 20 years, Prince has gotten more attention for his acrimonious spat with Warner Brothers — and the shenanigans surrounding his name — than for the music he's continued to make. And yet, as a performer, Prince is still undeniable, one of the living best.

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First Listen
9:03 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

First Listen: Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn, 'Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn'

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn's new self-titled album comes out Oct. 7.
Jim McGuire Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 7:28 am

This is not Dueling Banjos: The Married Couple Edition. You won't find the careening energy of the mano-a-mano from the Deliverance soundtrack, or of the Flatt and Scruggs classic "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Outbreaks of dazzling, speed-demon technique are few.

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Music Reviews
2:32 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

A Call From The Weird Fringes: Aphex Twin's 'Syro'

Richard D. James, known as Aphex Twin since his distinctive three-armed logo began showing up in record bins two decades ago, released Syro this week after a prolonged break from recording.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 3:20 pm

In music these days, the fastest-moving genre is electronic dance music, or EDM. It's the sound most people associate with rave culture and artists like Skrillex. But 20 years ago, Richard D. James — better known as Aphex Twin — was making a very different kind of electronic music, as heard on landmark releases like 1994's Selected Ambient Works Vol. II.

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