Music

A Jazz Piano Christmas 2017

9 hours ago

What are the holidays without Charlie Brown?

Nowadays, the quietly elegant and celebratory recordings by pianist Vince Guaraldi have become as much a part of the holidays as the sound of unwrapping presents. And every year we are treated to at least one interpretation of that classic Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack by one of the pianists on NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas. This year is no exception.

Don Pullen On Piano Jazz

10 hours ago

Pianist Don Pullen (1941–1995) was known for his melodic brilliance, swirling chords and glissandos; his kinetic, cascading piano attack could ignite any band. He gained his first experiences playing African-American church music and R&B, and his career took off when he joined Charles Mingus' band in the 1970s. He went on to form his own quartet with saxophonist George Adams.

Michael McDonald's distinctive voice is woven right into the fabric of popular culture. You don't need to hear his name to know it's him singing in any one of his many different musical incarnations.

Watch Lo Moon Perform At KXT

11 hours ago

They've got a debut album in the works and a steadily growing buzz. Additionally, NPR Music and VuHaus member stations from around the country hand-picked them as one of our 2017 Slingshot artists. KXT welcomed rising indie trio Lo Moon into the studio for a performance of three tracks from the forthcoming release.

Hip-hop's embarrassment of riches borders on the ridiculous in 2017. So what better way to end the year in which the genre become the most streamed, according to Nielsen, than flooding the market with a Friday full of new releases? A comprehensive list would also include new projects from producers such as Zaytoven and Childish Major, plus a slew of mixtapes. But there's only so much time in a day. Here are quick takes on some of the most anticipated LPs released today.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

On December 1, we ran a story about "the best and worst charity of ads of 2017."

During one of my first visits to New York in the early '80s, I was invited to a "private party." I was told not tell anyone about it or even reveal where it would be. So — of course — I went, intrigued by the clandestine, members-only vibe.

It was held in a dinky basement somewhere on the Lower East Side, where some guy had set up his home stereo in a corner while drinks were sold in small plastic cups for five bucks (cash only). There was a killer mix of disco (the '80s, remember?) and tracks like Led Zepplin's "Kashmir."

There is possibly no other single musician who has defined the state of Latin Jazz more than Eddie Palmieri, who turns 81 years old today.

The Roots' Black Thought proved yesterday that eviscerating lyricism still matters in hip-hop when the rapper dropped a nonstop, awe-inspiring 10-minute freestyle on Funkmaster Flex's Hot 97 radio show.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This Is The Kit: Tiny Desk Concert

22 hours ago

Effortless storytelling is at the heart of This Is The Kit. And the stories the band's only permanent member, Kate Stables, weaves are profound but sweet with a tone that quietly reels you in.

During the Cold War, the U.S. State Department started sending jazz musicians overseas with the tactical aim of using their hot licks to thaw relations with Eastern Bloc countries. Jazz great Dave Brubeck recalls how Louis Armstrong, a.k.a. “Ambassador Satch,” won international hearts and minds with his trumpet. Band member Arvell Shaw saw Armstrong literally disarm Russian guards in East Berlin. Meanwhile, fear of nuclear war with the Soviets infiltrated American popular consciousness resulting in gospel, bluegrass and pop odes to and protests against atomic weapons.

In this session, we slip into the world of Emily Haines and The Soft Skeleton. Haines is the lead singer of the electro-tinged rock and roll band Metric, but in her solo work you won't find any wailing guitars or radical synths — the spotlight shines right on her voice and the work of art that is her songwriting.

Hear Emily Haines, solo on the piano, in the player above.

Earlier this year, SoundCloud was said to be in imminent danger of collapsing under the weight of its high overhead, low revenues and poor leadership. SoundCloud first launched in 2008 out of Berlin with a concept so simple — make audio easy to share — that it had to be brilliant. And it was, particularly in the elegance of its execution; clean, easily postable widgets that could be placed anywhere on the web and easy uploads with clever software integrations for artists.

Stephen Thompson's Top 10 Albums Of 2017

Dec 14, 2017

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Robin Hilton's Top 10 Albums Of 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Ann Powers' Top 10 Underheard Albums Of 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Bob Boilen's Top 10 Albums Of 2017

Dec 14, 2017

This story has been set to unpublished due to the NPR API updating this story earlier and now the NPR API is unavailable. If the NPR API has deleted or changed the access level of this story it will be deleted when the API becomes available. If the API has updated this story, the updated version will be made available when the NRP API becomes reachable again. There is no action required on your part. For more information contact Digital Services Client Support

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET Friday

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

After a brief security evacuation, U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

After weeks of heated controversy and protests, the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.

Alvvays, 'Dreams Tonite' (Live)

Dec 14, 2017

Toronto indie-pop band Alvvays has earned a devoted fan base over the years and took its songwriting to the next level on its sophomore release, Antisocialites. The romantic melancholy of "Dreams Tonite" was a highlight of the band's live in-studio performance.

SET LIST

  • "Dreams Tonite"

Photos: Jessica Hanley/KCRW.

This week’s Mountain Stage features an eclectic line-up, even by Mountain Stage standards. Robyn Hitchcock performs a career-spanning set, plus Cleveland’s alt-rock pioneers Pere Ubu, Songwriters Susan Werner and Joan Shelley, and the Chandler Travis Philharmonic.  

They’re all in live performance Saturday at noon on KRCB-FM Radio 91!

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