Ever since she helped form The Pretenders in the late 1970s, Chrissie Hynde has identified as part of the legendary British band. Recently, though, Hynde set out as a solo artist, releasing the album Stockholm in June.
Hynde tells World Cafe that the album is a product of collaboration; she even traveled to Sweden to work with Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John. That pairing led to others, including unlikely appearances by Neil Young and John McEnroe.
A phenomenal guitarist and pioneering audio engineer, Les Paul has been a major influence in 20th Century music, both as a performer and technical innovator. The guitar legend made a rare appearance on Piano Jazz, bringing with him his trio — Lou Paulo on guitar and Paul Nowinski on bass.
What is it with trumpeter Avishai Cohen and triples lately? He recently recorded a pair of albums with his band Triveni, a free-swinging trio which showcases his fervent imagination. He's also one of three Cohen siblings in jazz's top echelon; Avishai invited his big sister Anat, the celebrated clarinet specialist, to join him here.
For the past 15 years, Fink has been a solo project for Berlin-based songwriter Fin Greenall. But with his fifth album, Hard Believer, he enlisted the help of longtime friends Guy Whittaker and Tim Thornton to help him develop his new material. In part because each participant has a different musical background, the new songs sound especially varied and dynamic. As Greenall says, "They even taught me how to play live" — as you can see for yourself in this performance of "Looking Too Closely."
English electro-pop musician Dan Croll released his debut album earlier this year; it's titled Sweet Disarray, an apt name for such a stylistically rich record.
Croll went to school for music at the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, which was founded by Paul McCartney. Croll was even chosen by his classmates to meet Sir Paul; we'll hear that story and a live set in the studio today.