Music

Studio Sessions
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Jazz Musician Jamie Cullum Shares Stories And Plays Live

Jamie Cullum performs live in NPR's Studio 1.
Nick Michael NPR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:17 am

Jamie Cullum is the UK's best-selling contemporary jazz artist. He's collaborated with Paul McCartney, Clint Eastwood and Pharrell Williams. On his latest album, Interlude, he covers some distinctive jazz songs, with the help of a few friends.

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Music News
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

In Modern Klezmer, 'The Oldest Old Guy' Is The King Of The Scene

Pete Sokolow (center) and his bandmates in Tarras Band, a group of younger musicians inspired by the work of 20th-century clarinetist Dave Tarras.
Michael Macioce Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:18 am

During the the 1980s, when the traditional dance music of East European Jews known as klezmer was enjoying a revival, Pete Sokolow was called "the youngest of the old guys."

"Now I'm the oldest old guy," Sokolow says. "Most of the old guys are gone. Pincus is gone. Dave. Sidney is gone. All my old friends. I miss them."

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Author Interviews
2:36 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

Frank Sinatra captured by photographer William "PoPsie" Randolph during a 1943 concert. Author Ben Yagoda points to Sinatra as one of the interpreters who helped revive the Great American Songbook.
William "PoPsie" Randolph Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 4:18 pm

Writer Ben Yagoda has set out to explain a shift in American popular culture, one that happened in the early 1950s. Before then, songwriters like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern wrote popular songs that achieved a notable artistry, both in lyrics and music.

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Ask Me Another
10:06 am
Thu January 22, 2015

John Darnielle: Master Of Reality

"[Death metal] is a very passionate music. It's also really dark and gory--and I like that stuff." - John Darnielle, of the Mountain Goats.
DL Andersoni

John Darnielle is the core, and sometimes only, member of the band the Mountain Goats. Thought by many to be "America's best non-hip-hop lyricist," he crafts songs that read like stories, and sound like they were recorded in his basement on a rickety tape deck.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Thu January 22, 2015

KCRW Presents: The Budos Band

The Budos Band performs live on KCRW.
Larry Hirshowitz KCRW

Since 2005, Brooklyn's Budos Band has helped define and develop the modern Afro-soul sound for which Daptone Records is known. The group's previous albums have been heavily influenced by Ethiopian jazz. But on the new Burnt Offering, the 10-piece band has taken cues from '60s- and '70s-era psychedelia and hard rock. Songs like "The Sticks," performed live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, showcase this new side.

Songs We Love
6:03 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Eyelids, 'Psych #1'

The Portland band Eyelids made one of opbmusic's favorite local albums of 2014.
Courtesy of the artist

It's hard to meet the lofty expectations created when successful musicians unite. But in Portland, Ore., one band is quietly bucking that trend.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
12:48 am
Thu January 22, 2015

When Henry Met Steven

Henry Butler (left) and Steven Bernstein.
Stephanie Berger Courtesy of the artist

In 1984, when a young Steven Bernstein first encountered the blind virtuoso New Orleans pianist and singer Henry Butler, he was astonished. "This is it," he recalls thinking. "This is like the music that I always imagined. Everything you ever loved about music, all being in one place. But now it's all coming from one person." Nearly two decades later, Butler and Bernstein finally had the chance to collaborate when they were booked for a run together at New York's Jazz Standard.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
12:47 am
Thu January 22, 2015

A David Murray Double Bill

David Murray performs at Winter Jazzfest 2015.
John Rogers for NPR

For decades, David Murray was known as one of New York's most monstrously talented and astoundingly prolific artists — a tenor saxophonist who played and wrote for just about every imaginable context. He's still these things, but he lives in Europe now. So this year's Winter Jazzfest — already jam-packed with over 100 acts in two nights — saw fit to give New York audiences a proper saturation of what they'd been missing, presenting David Murray in three completely different sets.

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Jazz Night In America: Wednesday Night Webcasts
12:32 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Our Point Of View At Le Poisson Rouge

Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Derrick Hodge (bass) and Marcus Strickland (saxophone) of Our Point of View.
David Tallacksen WBGO

Blue Note Records celebrated its 75th anniversary last year, marking three-quarters of a century issuing music by the biggest names in jazz history. The company continues to aspire to that standard, with a contemporary roster ever on the lookout for today's movers and shakers. The supergroup Our Point Of View — the name references a 1963 Herbie Hancock album — combines six of those Blue Note artists for a program of originals and classics heard on Blue Note Records alike.

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Around the Nation
2:26 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Virginia Searches For A New State Song

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

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