NPR Music

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8:03 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Woody Shaw: The Last Great Trumpet Innovator

Woody Shaw made his first recordings 50 years ago at age 18.
Tom Copi San Francisco

Woody Shaw, who made his first recordings 50 years ago this summer, might be the jazz trumpet's least appreciated giant. Not among musicians, mind you; they recognize his genius whether they're horn players or not. Yet even hardcore fans often know Shaw's name more than his music.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:09 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Why Are American Orchestras Afraid Of New Symphonies?

David Robertson, a passionate champion of new music, conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on tour in Berlin.
Dilip Vishwanat St. Louis Symphony

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:22 pm

  • The American Symphony: Music And Ideas With David Robertson

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The Record
12:03 am
Tue August 13, 2013

The White Mandingos: Music That Defies Definition

The White Mandingos are, from left, Sacha Jenkins, Murs and Darryl Jenifer.
Courtesy of Biz 3 Publicity

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:03 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Alpine: Tiny Desk Concert

Alpine performs at a Tiny Desk Concert in June 2013.
Chloe Coleman Chloe Coleman/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:17 pm

Alpine's music doesn't instantly present itself as Tiny Desk material: The Australian sextet crafts busily impeccable pop music with a danceable sway, prominent synths and the charming shared lead vocals of Phoebe Baker and Lou James. That's a lot of ingredients to strip down to a semi-acoustic set in the NPR Music offices; there's virtually no margin for error.

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Music Reviews
11:37 am
Mon August 12, 2013

'South Texas' Collects Producer's Checkered Career

Record producer Huey Meaux wound up in jail twice, but he sure had a knack for finding talent in unlikely places. Some of those songs are included on South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Revue.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 12:42 pm

Record producer Huey P. Meaux's career was, to put it mildly, a checkered one. It had two chapters, each of which ended with him in prison. But both times, he discovered some amazing Texas and Louisiana artists who made great music. Researchers are still piecing together the first half of the story, which saw hundreds of singles released on labels like Jet Stream, Tear Drop, Jet, Pacemaker and Eric. Now some of those songs have been collected on a compilation called South Texas Rhythm 'n' Soul Revue.

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The Record
4:41 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

Hip-Hop Turns 40

DJ Kool Herc hosted a party in the South Bronx in 1973 that is credited with kick-starting hip-hop.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 6:09 pm

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the day Clive "Kool Herc" Campbell threw his first party in the function room of 1520 Sedgwick Ave in the South Bronx. While that Kool Herc back-to-school party marks the official beginnings of the global culture we call hip-hop, what the mainstream media at large now calls "hip-hop" is a far cry from the creative culture that emerged following the gang truce between the warring tribes of the South Bronx. When most people say "hip-hop" what they're actually talking about is rap.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:02 am
Sat August 10, 2013

The American Symphonic Legacy: Not Just For White Guys

George Walker is considered the elder statesman of today's African-American composers.
Gregory Walker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:23 pm

This summer, NPR Classical has been looking for the great American symphony — or at least some idea of what it might sound like.

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The Record
8:58 am
Sat August 10, 2013

'Something Being Born': On Making A Classic Album With A Boombox

More than 10 years ago, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats made a career-defining record with the crudest possible tools.
D.L. Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 7:43 am

John Darnielle was a little lonely when he wrote the songs on All Hail West Texas, the 2002 album that became a highlight of his music career. His band, The Mountain Goats, is a trio now, but back then it was a one-man show. Darnielle would come home from the long, dragging hours of his healthcare job, alone in his house while his wife was away at hockey camp. He'd sit down on his couch with his guitar, cobble together some words and music, and hit record on his Panasonic boombox.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:42 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Jim Guthrie: Tiny Desk Concert

Musician Jim Guthrie performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 31, 2013.
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:17 pm

We've had bands from all over the world visit the Tiny Desk. Most recently, we published a set by Keaton Henson, who was in from London. Back in May, we had singer M.R. Shajarian from Iran.

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Music Interviews
4:51 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

Valerie June On Learning To Love 'Perfectly Imperfect' Voices

On her new album, Pushin' Against a Stone, Valerie June sings with a voice that's as powerful as it is unusual.
Matt Wignall Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:14 pm

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