Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 4:00 pm
Clarence Penn is one of those jazz-trained drummers who prove too versatile, too accomplished, too good to have too much free time. He joined Ellis Marsalis' band when he was still in college; he's another graduate of Betty Carter finishing school. Since then, he's stayed busy touring with anyone and everyone — perhaps too busy to have put out a record of his own since 2002. That hopefully changes this year with the release of Dalí In Cobble Hill, an album of original music for quartet; we'll get a preview at the 92Y Tribeca.
Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:24 am
After moving from Mexico City to the U.S. to study jazz, it didn't take drummer Antonio Sánchez long to find himself in the bands of international stars — folks like Pat Metheny, or Michael Brecker, or Chick Corea. It's easy to see why he's so busy; five minutes of watching him layer on polyrhythms will suffice. But he's got more than one talent: He also has a degree in classical piano, and has made a few records which show off his composing, starting with 2007's Migration.
This April, roots-rock singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt released her first album in seven years, Slipstream. It's classic Raitt, mixing bluesy slide-guitar riffs with her soulful voice and a pop-friendly sensibility.
The delivery system, however, is brand-new. After years of working with the majors, Raitt decided to start her own label, Redwing Records. Raitt runs Redwing with the help of a tiny staff; Slipstream is the first release in its catalog.
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 5:01 pm
A few days before my internship at All Songs Considered started, Bob Boilen posted an article titled "I Just Deleted All My Music" on this blog. The post is about entrusting his huge personal music library to the cloud. Though this seemed like a bold step to many people who responded to the article, to me, it didn't seem so bold at all.
Monday is the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812. Americans may not know much about that war, but they do know a song the war inspired: "The Star-Spangled Banner." The first scratches of those phrases are on display at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.
The original quill-and-ink manuscript was written by Francis Scott Key. He wrote the lyrics while being held aboard a British ship. Trying to work out a prisoner release, he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry — the rocket's red glare, bombs bursting in air.
NPR Music has already put together a list of 50 of our favorite songs to help you celebrate the summer. On it, you'll find cheery synth-pop singles, smooth R&B ballads, thumping club bangers and fist-pumping rock anthems.
Missing, however, are those "deep cuts" that lend themselves to a detached, ironic, slightly campy appreciation — the songs that are so bad they're good.
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, under the new leadership of chief exec Gene Sobczak has pulled off "a kind of short-term miracle." Less than a year ago, the orchestra was "so toxic that 20 trustees made an angry and abrupt exit," and they've been looking for a new artistic director for about four years.