Arts and Entertainment

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:48 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

John Dankworth On Piano Jazz

Piano Jazz remembers John Dankworth with a special session recorded before a live audience at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. A saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, arranger and bandleader, Dankworth and his wife and longtime musical partner, singer Cleo Laine, appeared on the program in 1998, along with host Marian McPartland and bassist Jeff Campbell. Dankworth enjoyed a long career as one of England's most celebrated jazz musicians.

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Kitchen Window
8:38 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Once Exotic, Now Ubiquitous, Bananas Deserve A Bunch More Respect

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

What's more American than apple pie? It's that familiar yellow-skinned fruit that, well, we all go bananas over.

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Music Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

A Man, A Plan, A Concept Album About Panama

On the new album Panama 500, pianist Danilo Pérez considers five centuries of his home country's history.
Raj Naik and Luke Severn Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 8:18 pm

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A Blog Supreme
4:15 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

After 18 Years Of Marriage And Two Children, A Couple Releases Their Debut Albums

Shamie Royston (left) and Rudy Royston, married for nearly two decades, have recently issued their own debut albums as bandleaders.
Mike Molaire/John Rogers for NPR

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:09 pm

The basic story behind drummer Rudy Royston's first album sounds like that of many sidemen in jazz. He moved to the New York area. His talent got him into bands led by higher-profile artists like Bill Frisell, JD Allen, Ben Allison and Dave Douglas. And when it came time to document his own composing and arranging, he could rely on the network he had tapped into. Douglas issued Royston's album 303 earlier this month on his own record label, Greenleaf Music.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:43 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Grace Kelly On Piano Jazz

Grace Kelly.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist
  • Listen: Grace Kelly On Piano Jazz

Alto saxophone phenom Grace Kelly has recorded with icons Lee Konitz and Phil Woods and is a seasoned road warrior with tour dates around the world. And she's till in her early 20s. She recently added vocalist to her resume.

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A Blog Supreme
8:21 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Because It's Never Too Soon To Survey The Year In Jazz, 5 Songs For 2014

James Brandon Lewis' second album, Divine Travels, came out in early February.
Ingrid Hertfelder Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:05 pm

From the outside looking in, it may seem as if jazz recordings have slowed to a flurry. But it's really more like a blizzard, with dozens already coming down in the new year — including new efforts from big names like Pat Metheny, Danilo Pérez and Brad Mehldau. Before we're snowed under, here are a few others worth hearing.

Kitchen Window
2:41 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Valentine Hearts That Are Meant To Be Broken

T. Susan Chang for NPR

In first grade, my heart was stolen by Mark, who sat next to me and had an advanced phonics book (which I also craved). Then there were Peter, Eddie, Raja and Michael. These serial crushes continued right on up through my early 20s, at a rate of approximately three a year. Boys. I fell for their incipient mustaches, their bad attitudes and foul mouths, their poor poetry and bass guitars, their careless humor. I saw their swagger for what it was, but I loved it anyway.

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Music Reviews
2:25 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson

Frank Wess.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 11:35 am

Frank Wess' new album, Magic 201, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, Magic 101. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.

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A Blog Supreme
5:02 am
Sun February 9, 2014

'When The Bus For The Record Label Comes By': Behind Hot Tone Music

Camille Thurman (left), Mimi Jones (center) and Shirazette Tinnin all released new albums this week on Hot Tone Music, Jones' record imprint.
Courtesy of the artist

This past week, the bassist and vocalist Mimi Jones released three albums at once. They weren't all her music, but they were her work: As the founder and producer of the record label Hot Tone Music, she brought all three albums to fruition.

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Music
4:45 am
Sun February 9, 2014

How A Stressful Night For Miles Davis Spawned Two Classic Albums

Detail from the cover of Miles Davis' Four & More. The album was one of two gleaned from a 1964 concert at Philharmonic Hall in New York.
Album cover

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 10:44 am

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 12, 1964, Miles Davis led a band through one of the most exciting gigs to ever take place at New York's Philharmonic Hall. The show was a cultural event: a benefit for voter registration in Louisiana and Mississippi at the high point of the the civil rights movement, and an unofficial homage to John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated a few months before.

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