WUIS Xponential

Song Travels
12:13 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Johnny Mandel On 'Song Travels'

Johnny Mandel speaks onstage during the 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Ceremony.
Jemal Countess WireImage

Legendary composer and arranger Johnny Mandel started in the big bands of Joe Venuti, Buddy Rich and Jimmy Dorsey. Mandel's resume includes film and television classics such as "Suicide Is Painless" (the M*A*S*H theme) and "The Shadow of Your Smile" from The Sandpiper.

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A Blog Supreme
10:14 am
Fri January 17, 2014

5 Donny Hathaway Covers By Jazz Musicians

Donny Hathaway remains widely admired in jazz, but much of his repertoire has yet to be tapped by improvisers.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Donny Hathaway's repertoire occupies a peculiar space in jazz. Though not a jazz artist, he has influenced a variety of jazz musicians through his work as a singer, keyboardist and composer. Still, jazz musicians have only skimmed the surface of his small but remarkable catalog.

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NPR Story
10:13 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Marian McPartland's Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

  • Listen: Hickory House Trio On Piano Jazz

With this episode of Piano Jazz, we remember drummer Joe Morello in a special reunion session with the Hickory House Trio recorded in 1990. He died on March 12, 2011, but during the 1950s, Marian McPartland, Morello, and bassist Bill Crow performed together at the Hickory House, one of the last jazz clubs on 52nd Street in Manhattan. In this session, guest host Crow shares music and memories from his days playing bass in the trio.

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Music Reviews
3:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Is Capable Of 'Mild Diversion'

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The late Tom Clancy was hero of American espionage writing, and the hero of his spy novels was Jack Ryan. On the big screen, Ryan has been played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck.

Now, there's a new Ryan in town. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has our review.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" is serviceable, but not compelling, something that could pass for the real thing if you're not looking too hard.

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The Record
11:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Courtesy of Get On Down Publishing

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:06 pm

About 10 years ago, a disgruntled pianist in Los Angeles named John Wood began a popular bumper sticker campaign with the slogan, "Drum Machines Have No Soul." Not everyone was convinced, including producer Eric Sadler.

"Drum machines don't run themselves," Sadler says. "It's the people who put into the drum machines that give the drum machines soul, to me. I've definitely given some drum machines some soul."

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globalFEST
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Makes globalFEST So Interesting?

Devo meets Davy Crockett: a member of the furry-hatted Ukrainian "folk-punk" band DakhaBrakha onstage Sunday during globalFEST at New York's Webster Hall.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:40 am

Every January, there's a one-night music festival in New York that showcases artists from around the world. It's called globalFEST, and it's been happening for more than a decade. Over the years, it's become a place for American tastemakers to find new talent from Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.

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Music Reviews
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Troubadour Radio: 'Jam Band' Releases A New Album For Kids

Lucky Diaz and Alisha Gaddis, the brains behind Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, won the Latin Grammy for Best Latin Children's Album in 2013.
Matt Harbicht Courtesy of Sugar Mountain

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Los Angeles duo, Lucky Diaz and the Family Jazz Band, is a kids' music act with a prestigious reputation. They've won plenty of praise from the critics and they were the first Americans to win a Latin Grammy in the Children's Album category. Our kids' music reviewer Stefan Shepherd says their latest album comes in the form of a radio variety show.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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World Cafe
3:28 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Travis On World Cafe

Travis.
Courtesy of the artist

The Scottish band Travis formed in Glasgow in 1990 and had major worldwide success with 1999's The Man Who. Its success helped lay the groundwork for other soaring and smooth pop-rock groups — including Coldplay and Keane, which achieved stardom shortly after Travis' breakthrough.

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All Songs Considered
1:13 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Good Listener: How Do You Know If You'll Love A Song Forever?

Oh, Carly Rae Jepsen. We knew it couldn't last.
Courtesy of the artist

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All Songs Considered
11:58 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Discoveries From globalFEST 2014

Ebru Yildiz For NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:28 pm

This past Sunday was a frenzied and unforgettable night in New York City: A dozen bands from as far away as Australia and the Congo (and as close as Mississippi), left it all on the stage for globalFEST, one of the most important world music events in North America, held each January at Webster Hall.

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Alt.Latino
11:41 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Tequila And The Theremin: A Day In The Life Of Alt.Latino

Zuzuka Poderosa.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:11 pm

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All Songs Considered
8:42 am
Thu January 16, 2014

A World Of Live Music, Captured With Pen And Paper

The Wu Force, captured in an illustration by Michael Arthur.
Michael Arthur/NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 9:31 am

While photographers click and shoot their way through live concerts, capturing the best moments in fractions of seconds, illustrator Michael Arthur prefers to preserve the highlights at what some might consider glacial speed, using pen and ink.

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Favorite Sessions
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

KCRW Presents: Jamestown Revival

Jamestown Revival performed live on KCRW.
Rob LaFond KCRW

Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance met when they were 14 in Magnolia, Texas, but started out as solo musicians. For their U.S. radio debut on Morning Becomes Eclectic, Jamestown Revival — the duo plus a talented supporting cast — played songs from its first EP, like the destined-to-be-a-hit "California (Cast Iron Soul)," a folk- and roots-inspired ballad about duo's pilgrimage west.

Watch KCRW's entire session with Jamestown Revival on KCRW.com.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Fanfare Ciocarlia: globalFEST 2014

Members of Romania's Fanfare Ciocarlia perform a blazing set during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

If any band has figured out how to marry breakneck speed with astonishing chops, it's Fanfare Ciocarlia (pronounced "fan-FAR-eh cho-car-LEE-ah"). With a playlist that veers from traditional Romani (Gypsy) tunes to covers of "Born to Be Wild" and Duke Ellington's "Caravan," this brass band from northwestern Romania has set the pace, literally, for close to two decades.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

DakhaBrakha: globalFEST 2014

The Ukrainian "punk-folk" band DakhaBrakha brought its singular style to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:11 pm

It's hard to know what to make of Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha when it first arrives on stage — but, oh, those tall, furry hats! But from the first moment the group starts performing, it's hard not to get caught up in the magic it weaves.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Brushy One String: globalFEST 2014

Playing a single-stringed guitar, the Jamaican artist Brushy One String held court in the intimate Studio space at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

A YouTube sensation whose song "Chicken in the Corn" has received more than four million views, Jamaica's Brushy One String has captured listeners' imaginations with his stripped-down style, as he uses his rich baritone to accompany a beat-up, single-stringed acoustic guitar.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Bombay Royale: globalFEST 2014

Vocalists Shourov Bhattacharya and Parvyn Singh from The Bombay Royale, performing live Sunday during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:37 am

It's not often that a band composed of stock characters can be a successful live act, so one that boasts "The Mysterious Lady," "The Tiger" and "The Skipper" — all, of course, in costume — might make a newcomer think the shtick is more enjoyable than the music.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Baloji: globalFEST 2014

Congolese-Belgian artist Baloji started his globalFEST set at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 12, 2014 in high fashion — but by the end, he was working hard in rolled-up shirtsleeves.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:14 pm

What happens when an artist mixes the suavity of Congolese rumba, the sweat and funk of James Brown, lilting soukous guitar, the visual flair of the sapeurs and the sensibilities of 21st-century hip-hop? The charismatic Congolese-Belgian singer Baloji has one answer.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Yasmine Hamdan: globalFEST 2014

Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan brought her cool, underground electro-pop to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:13 pm

Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan is an eminently cool addition to the indie-pop landscape. She was the co-founder of the groundbreaking duo Soapkills, which might have been the very first electronic band in postwar Beirut. Now a solo artist and based in Europe after a childhood split between Lebanon, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Greece, Hamdan blends new material with reworked traditional songs in a smoky-cool electro-pop setting.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Wu-Force: globalFEST 2014

Banjo master Abigail Washburn, part of an Appalachian-Chinese mash-up called The Wu Force, performs at New York City's Webster Hall as a part of globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:10 pm

If you've encountered banjo phenomenon Abigail Washburn before, you might know that she's loved China for a long time. In fact, it was her plan to study law at Beijing University that led her to her chosen instrument a little more than a decade ago: She'd wanted to bring "something American" with her to China and started to learn old-time music — and found her destiny.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta: globalFEST 2014

Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran's rich baritone was at the front and center of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on January 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Imagine the 1950s big-band mambo sound of Perez Prado refracted through the lens of the 21st-century Latino experience in the U.S. That gives just a tiny clue to what's in store during a set with this Arizona band, led by keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Mendoza. The group also features the rich baritone of Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran, framed by guitar, keyboard, percussion, drums and, of course, brass.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Noura Mint Seymali: globalFEST 2014

Mauritanian artist Noura Mint Seymali performs at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Touareg guitar rock, desert blues: Whatever you call it, it's shorthand for a certain style from the Sahara that has triumphed at festivals and venues across Europe and North America, thanks to acts like Tinariwen and Bombino.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

KiT: globalFEST 2014

Roël Calister and Diamanta von Lieschdeck from Amsterdam's KiT, blending music from Curaçao with house and hip-hop, perform onstage during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

The Amsterdam quintet KiT twists Afro-Caribbean tradition into an accessible, club-ready style. KiT, or Kuenta i Tambu — "Stories and Drums" — takes music from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, merges it with European dance-floor music and kicks it all into high, sweaty gear.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Hassan Hakmoun: globalFEST 2014

Moroccan gnawa singer and instrumentalist Hassan Hakmoun, performing live at globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on January 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

For decades, Hassan Hakmoun has been the foremost ambassador of the Gnawa people and their incredible musical and spiritual traditions. A native of Marrakech, Hakmoun grew up in a Gnawa family, whose ancestors were brought from West Africa to North Africa as slaves in the 15th and 16th centuries. At the center of their spiritual practice is music and dance that fuses Islamic mysticism with sub-Saharan African traditions, particularly in all-night trance rituals meant to praise God and heal bodies and minds.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:31 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Minnesota Orchestra's Labor Dispute Is Over. What's Next?

The Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management have finally bridged their long and bitter labor dispute.
Ann Marsden Minnesota Orchestra

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

After 15 months of acrimony, the longest labor dispute at a major American symphony orchestra has ended. The Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians reached an agreement last night and players will return to work on February 1. While all sides are relieved, most admit the hard work of rebuilding some seriously damaged bridges is just about to begin.

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World Cafe
3:39 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Bear's Den On World Cafe

Bear's Den.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist

The British folk trio Bear's Den (Joey Haynes, Andrew Davie and Kev Jones) has put out a string of EPs in the U.K., the latest being Agape, for the label owned by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett. Hear the rich harmonies and warm vibe of Bear's Den in this session for World Cafe.

The Record
2:06 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

A Long Road To 'High Hopes': An Interview With Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen performing in November at Madison Square Garden.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 3:48 pm

  • Listen To Ann Powers Interview Bruce Springsteen

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Music Reviews
10:54 am
Wed January 15, 2014

The Soul Singer Who Never Quite Made It

James Govan (left) with producer and engineer Mickey Buckins in the studio.
Courtesy of Ace Records

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 2:46 pm

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The Two-Way
9:55 am
Wed January 15, 2014

VIDEO: Springsteen, Fallon Do 'Gov. Christie Traffic Jam'

Bruce Springsteen (left) and Jimmy Fallon doing their "Gov. Christie Traffic Jam."
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon blog

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:39 pm

Being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam is no joke.

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Microphone Check
7:40 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Starlito And Don Trip: Writers First, Rappers Second

Starlito (left) and Don Trip, in their video for "Caesar & Brutus."
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 1:04 pm

  • Starlito And Don Trip With Ali Shaheed Muhammad And Frannie Kelley

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