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Music

Live At The Village Vanguard
2:10 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Tootie Heath: Live At The Village Vanguard

L-R: Ethan Iverson, Ben Street, Albert "Tootie" Heath.
John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 2:54 pm

Drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, 77, has certainly played thousands of gigs like this one, where he's hired to bring his casual brilliance to the extended songbook of jazz standards. After all, he played on John Coltrane's first album as a leader, and with every other name in hard bop from the late 1950s onward. In contrast, pianist Ethan Iverson's schedule currently revolves around touring with The Bad Plus, a band whose repertoire almost entirely omits common-practice jazz.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:43 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Guest DJ: Decoding Debussy With Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) ignored the old rules about how to write music and created a brave new world of sonic possibilities.
adoc-photos Corbis

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:55 pm

In the western suburbs of Paris 150 years ago today, a boy was born to an unassuming couple, proprietors of a china shop who had no great taste for music. But that little boy felt otherwise, and grew up to write music of bold color, timbre and harmonic daring.

Claude Debussy ignored the old rules about how to write music and in the process created a brave new world of sonic possibilities.

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Music Reviews
2:44 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Janka Nabay: The King Of Bubu Music

Forced into exile from Sierra Leone, Janka Nabay (left of center) now makes his mysterious, mesmerizing music in Brooklyn.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 6:36 pm

Janka Nabay is the king of Bubu music. That style has old roots in Muslim Sierra Leone, but it's come to life recently in the clubs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as on a new album called En Yay Sah.

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World Cafe
1:40 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Sara Watkins On World Cafe

Sara Watkins.
Aaron Redfield

Former Nickel Creek fiddler Sara Watkins is a musical protege, both as a vocalist and as a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, mandolin and ukulele. Watkins enjoyed widespread success in Nickel Creek, which included her older brother Sean and childhood friend Chris Thile.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:04 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

How Slow Can You Go?

What happens when musicians slow the music way down?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:55 pm

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Music Interviews
5:21 am
Sun August 19, 2012

Bill Fay: A Cult Figure Returns, Skeptical But Optimistic

Bill Fay's new album Life Is People is out August 21.
Courtesy of Steve Gullick

Originally published on Sun August 19, 2012 3:19 pm

In the early 1970s, British musician Bill Fay recorded a couple of luscious folk albums — which didn't sell very well. Fay was dropped from label after label, and though he continued to write his storybook songs over the years, he eventually fell off the map.

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Music Interviews
2:23 pm
Sat August 18, 2012

Rhiannon: An Improviser Resists The Urge To Reuse

"There was this sensation of going on a journey together, without seat belts," says Rhiannon of her band's first totally improvised performance. Her newest album is called Spontaneous.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat August 18, 2012 6:14 pm

If you ever listened to jazz vocalists and wondered if you could ever in your life scat like them, there's someone who's willing to teach you. The vocalist Rhiannon has long held the importance of improvisation as a personal credo, and in her career has blended that art form with jazz, world music and storytelling.

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Kind of Blog: An Occasional KWGS Jazz Journal
9:26 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Next Time on All This Jazz: "The Less-Familiar Ellington"

Howdy, kids. Sorry about the prolonged absence, blog-wise; I'm still away from the studio on vacation.

I'll be back soon enough, but in the meantime I wanted to quickly preview the "re-broadcast" that we have on deck for tonight's edition of All This Jazz (that is, for our 8/18/12 show).

The second-hour theme for this program, which first aired in December of 2010, is pretty special --- it's "The Less-Familiar Ellington."

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Favorite Sessions
6:14 am
Sat August 18, 2012

The Devil Makes Three: Punk Ethos With A Country Twang

Folk Alley

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 2:25 pm

Based on their instruments, they seem like an old-time string band; based on their appearance, they seem like they might play punk music. The answer lies somewhere in between. Pete Bernhard (guitar) and Cooper McBean (banjo) grew up in New England to parents who liked ragtime and old blues. The two moved to Santa Cruz temporarily, where they met Lucia Turino (upright bass), and The Devil Makes Three was born. (For our session, Adam Chilenski fills in for Lucia, who had a broken arm.)

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Newport Folk Festival
6:15 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

The Tallest Man On Earth, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2012

Tallest Man On Earth performs at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival.
Erik Jacobs for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 10:19 am

Kristian Matsson, the smallish Swede who performs under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth, sings, plays guitar and occasionally takes a turn at the piano. That's all there is to his act: no backing band, no frills. Heck, he barely needs amplification, given the volume at which he performs. But that right there — the gigantic force of his delivery, the percussive hyper-dexterity of his playing — is part of what makes him so magnetic on stage. On paper, he's just another poet strumming a guitar.

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