The Thistle & Shamrock
1:26 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: New Fall Sounds 2

Crooked Still.
Courtesy of the artist

Join Thistle & Shamrock host Fiona Ritchie as she explores the latest batch of releases, showcasing what's new from established artists and emerging talent alike.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:49 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Ruth Brown On Piano Jazz

Paul Bergen Redferns

Ruth Brown was one of the pioneers of R&B. The vocalist and actress also hosted a blues program on NPR called Blues Stage that helped bring wider attention to the genre.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1993, Brown's roots in blues, R&B and jazz are on display as she sings to host Marian McPartland's accompaniment in "Skylark" and "Fine And Mellow."

Originally recorded Feb. 8, 1993. Originally broadcast June 19, 1993.

Set List

  • "Fine And Mellow" (Holiday)
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Drum Fill Friday
7:45 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, With Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss

Sleater-Kinney (and Quasi and Wild Flag) drummer Janet Weiss at the kit.
Tim Bugbee Tinnitus Photography

Drummer Janet Weiss is a force. For the past 20 years, her distinctive punch, precision and signature head swing while at the kit has been a fierce anchor for the bands Quasi, Wild-Flag, Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks and most prominently Sleater-Kinney. Now that Sleater-Kinney is back together, following an eight-year hiatus, it seems like the perfect time to share some of Weiss' favorite fills (and a few intros) for this week's Drum Fill Friday.

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First Listen
5:59 am
Fri October 24, 2014

First Listen: Grouper, 'Ruins'

Grouper's new album, Ruins, comes out Oct. 31.
Jason Bokros Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 10:25 am

Nothing is more intimate than the human voice, and few human voices are as intimate as the one belonging to Liz Harris. The Portland ambient artist known as Grouper has recorded more than 10 albums in the past 10 years, but most of her fans likely know her from her crowning achievement, 2008's incongruously titled Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill.

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Movie Reviews
2:21 am
Fri October 24, 2014

An Admiring And Unflinching Look At 'Mr. Dynamite'

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 4:03 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Music News
1:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Who Sang It First? Mockingbirds And Musicians Cover Each Other In New Orleans

A short phrase New Orleans musicians use to communicate is identical to a common mockingbird call.
Sven Halling Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 4:47 pm

In certain New Orleans music scenes, there is a special sound — a signal — that lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band.

"It's a bugle call, or a band call, to assemble," trumpeter Leroy Jones says.

"It's like: C'mon, rally," musician Matt Bell adds. "Come to the bandstand and be ready to do it. Let's go."

The four-note phrase, however, doesn't belong to musicians alone. Another common New Orleans species, the mockingbird, also produces the call.

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Jazz Night In America: The Radio Program
1:13 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Blue Note

The Wayne Shorter Quartet performs at Blue Note at 75, The Concert.

Blue Note Records turns 75 this year, and to celebrate, Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosted a concert featuring some of the record label's living legends and rising stars. From the early years with co-founder Alfred Lion to the revitalization under Bruce Lundvall, Blue Note Records has become and remained one of the most iconic brands in jazz.

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Favorite Sessions
12:54 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

KCRW Presents: Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus performs on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Libby Pierson KCRW

Inspired by the Taiga forests which fill much of the world's Northern Hemisphere, Zola Jesus' new album of the same name is as expansive as the area it covers. While writing Taiga, Nika Roza Danilova moved to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest and immersed herself in solitude to create one of her best works. Zola Jesus recently joined KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic to perform some of her new songs — including this one, "Dangerous Days."


  • "Dangerous Days"
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World Cafe
12:43 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Latin Roots: Essential Latin Jazz

Machito, Jose Mangual and Carlos Vidal in 1947.
William Gottlieb Library Of Congress

We welcome record producer Aaron Luis Levinson back to World Cafe's Latin Roots: Essentials series. This week, Levinson offers up his essential Latin jazz picks, starting with Duke Ellington's version of "Caravan." The song, written by Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol, is a classic of the genre — one of the most enduring melodies in jazz, Latin music and beyond.

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Field Recordings
12:30 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Wild Beasts: A 'Beautiful Truth' In A Beautiful Bar

The members of Wild Beasts perform for a Field Recordings video shoot at The Campbell Apartment in New York City's Grand Central Station.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

You can be 10 feet from The Campbell Apartment, a bar tucked into the corner of New York's Grand Central Station, and not have any idea it's there. The office of a member of the New York Central Railroad's Board Of Directors in the 1920s (and later a storage closet and a jail), the room is intimate in spite of its 25-foot ceilings and the enormous leaded-glass window that faces Vanderbilt Avenue.

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