Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:13 pm
Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, oldest son of New Orleans pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, released an album with his quartet this week. He spoke to weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz about the failings of modern jazz, his hopes for the next generation and leaving New York City to move back to the South.
Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 1:02 pm
All summer long, Weekend Edition has been sampling the sounds of America's street musicians. The latest to catch our ear is Alexis Dawdy, a young violinist who returned to her hometown of Lansing, Mich., to study at Michigan State University — and do a little busking on the side.
"I'm actually not a music major. This is really a hobby that accidentally became a profession," Dawdy says. "I'm studying linguistics, and I'm 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and this pays for food."
More than half a century ago this week, on Aug. 12, 1958, some of the greatest jazz musicians of the day assembled in Harlem at what was, for them, the ungodly hour of 10 a.m. Fifty-seven players came to East 126th Street to have their picture taken for Esquire magazine.
Even the strongest among us get the blues: You can't get out of bed, you don't want to talk to a single other humanoid, and you just want to close the curtains and turn on the music. The songs you choose for those miseries have to be just right.
Adam Brent Houghtaling is something of a connoisseur of the melancholy moment. Perhaps to cheer himself up, he's put that expertise to use by producing a kind of encyclopedia of the best soundtracks for lonely days and nights. It's called This Will End in Tears: The Miserablist Guide to Music.
Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:29 pm
Best Coast is known for simple, beachy pop songs, but the L.A. duo's new album The Only Place steps up the production quality significantly. Singer Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno are driven by shared appreciation: Crazy For You and the new record both showcase the pair's infectious love of California.
On the drive from his home in Charlottesville, Va., to the Manhattan studios of Piano Jazz, pianist Hod O'Brien was inspired to compose an original tune in honor of the occasion. By the time he'd arrived, he'd worked out a swinging little ditty in his head, so he kicked off this session with a tune he called "Clarion for Marian."
"His playing was wonderful," recalls host Marian McPartland. "And I really enjoyed playing on Charlie Parker ['Now's The Time'] with Hod. I thought it came off very well."
Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 11:19 am
This week's quiz comes from Sean Carey, the drummer for Bon Iver and a fantastic solo artist (who records and performs as S. Carey). We featured his stunningly beautiful debut album, All We Grow in our First Listen series back in 2010. Earlier this summer he released the EP Hoyas.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:11 am
The up-tempo string band Scythian makes its first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live on the campus of West Virginia University in Morgantown. Featuring twin fiddles and energy to spare, Scythian sets itself apart from other traditional bands by blending Celtic music and bluegrass with touches of French Canadian, zydeco and gypsy styles, a product of founder Alexander Fedoryka's Ukrainian ancestry.