Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 12:13 pm
Trampled By Turtles makes its second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Grand Marais, Minn., in partnership with the North House Folk School. Born in the early 2000s as the duo of singer-songwriter Dave Simonett and mandolinist Erik Berry, the band has since grown into a quintet and released six albums.
As with food, as with fashion, as with film, there does seem to be a distinct French style when it comes to composition. The much-heralded English pianist Stephen Hough has been studying what makes a piece of music uniquely French. It's resulted in his latest collection: the French Album.
With works by Debussy, Faure, Poulenc and a number of lesser-known composers, Hough says he considers this new album "a sort of musical dessert trolley."
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 6:43 pm
"James Moody is the most beloved jazz musician in the world," reedman Paquito D'Rivera says.
These may be strong words, but D'Rivera is far from alone in his appreciation of the tenor saxophonist, who died in 2010. On the bandstand, Moody was universally admired for his musicality, his generosity — he gave away mouthpieces, saxophones and, once, even the coat off his back — and his ability to illuminate any room with his personal warmth.
Billed as "all-ages folk and children's music from East Asia," Rabbit Days and Dumplings collects mostly traditional songs from China, Tibet, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. The album is the creation of Elena Moon Park. She's spent six years playing family music with Dan Zanes, who has a fanatically devoted following among the smaller set. For this project, she brought in dozens of other musicians from around New York City.
Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 9:37 am
Contemporary folksinger Tracy Grammer began her journey in music with her partner Dave Carter in 1998. The duo made three albums before Carter died in 2002 — less than a year before this performance was recorded in April 2003. She has also released three Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer albums in the years since his death, one of which came out earlier this year.
Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 6:12 pm
The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.
This week, Piano Jazz digs deep into the archives with a session featuring James Herbert "Eubie" Blake. He was the last of the known living original ragtime pianists when he appeared on the program in 1980 with host Marian McPartland.
Saxophonist John Ellis (center) performs with Matt Perrine (left) on sousaphone at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.
Credit Erik Jacobs for NPR
Sharply dressed for the occasion, composer Darcy James Argue led his 18-piece big band, Secret Society, at the main Fort Stage on Saturday.
Credit Erik Jacobs for NPR
Song titles like "Three-Legged Tango In Jackson Square" and "Zydeco Clowns On The Lam" clue us into the Southern Gothic imagination of saxophonist John Ellis and his band, Double-Wide. New Orleans resident Matt Perrine played sousaphone bass during the festival's first main-stage show.
As we re-release these two sets from Newport, saxophonist John Ellis (leader of one, player in the other) is leading workshops in Portugal and Italy. Darcy James Argue has released a studio recording of Brooklyn Babylon, and his Secret Society tied with the Maria Schneider Orchestra for the Big Band of 2013 in the just-out DownBeat Critics Poll.