1. “I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in … because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow—you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego… You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.”
-Charlie Haden, jazz bass player 1937 - 2014 

In remembrance of Haden we put together some of his best interview moments. He spoke to Terry five times, beginning in 1983. You can listen to the show and read more quotes here. 




Photo: Charlie Haden, bass, performs at the BIM Huis on May 18, 1989 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. by Frans Schellekens/Redferns View in High-Res

    I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in … because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow—you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego… You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.

    -Charlie Haden, jazz bass player 1937 - 2014 

    In remembrance of Haden we put together some of his best interview moments. He spoke to Terry five times, beginning in 1983. You can listen to the show and read more quotes here

    Photo: Charlie Haden, bass, performs at the BIM Huis on May 18, 1989 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. by Frans Schellekens/Redferns

  2. music

    jazz

    charlie haden

    fresh air

    interview

    terry gross

  1. For the Fourth of July we are replaying our interview with Dave and Phil Alvin, two brothers whose new new album, Common Ground, is a tribute to one of their early influences, bluesman Big Bill Broonzy: 

Phil Alvin: When I first discovered Big Bill Broozy, his voice and his songwriting, his humor, his guitar playing, his persona was so big to me. I became a Little Bill Broonzy guy; started singing the songs that I heard on the first album that I got almost immediately, and I’ve always had him in the back of my mind whenever I would sing and play.
View in High-Res

    For the Fourth of July we are replaying our interview with Dave and Phil Alvin, two brothers whose new new album, Common Ground, is a tribute to one of their early influences, bluesman Big Bill Broonzy

    Phil Alvin: When I first discovered Big Bill Broozy, his voice and his songwriting, his humor, his guitar playing, his persona was so big to me. I became a Little Bill Broonzy guy; started singing the songs that I heard on the first album that I got almost immediately, and I’ve always had him in the back of my mind whenever I would sing and play.

  2. blues

    music

    big bill broonzy

    4th of july

    fresh air

    interview

  1. Mary Gauthier started gathering material for her songs early in life. She ran away from home at 15 and entered her first stint in rehab. But it wasn’t until she was in her mid-30s that she became a singer and songwriter. Once she got started, songs poured out that told the story of her life as a drunk and addict, a chef and restaurant owner, an androgynous lesbian, and as an adoptee who spent the first year of her life in an orphanage. She joined Terry Gross in the studio to play songs from her new album Trouble & Love. 

"I finally get it—that connection is something much deeper and broader than the material that most pop songs are made of.  Popular radio is about the first six months of love, right? Or the first 90 days. I long for real and true connection. It has been the theme of all the songs in my whole life…


I feel like I’ve been running around most of my life with a plug trying to find the socket to plug it into and I’m tired now. I’m going to do it differently… I have de-romanticized romantic love, I think it’s that simple and that complicated.”
View in High-Res

    Mary Gauthier started gathering material for her songs early in life. She ran away from home at 15 and entered her first stint in rehab. But it wasn’t until she was in her mid-30s that she became a singer and songwriter. Once she got started, songs poured out that told the story of her life as a drunk and addict, a chef and restaurant owner, an androgynous lesbian, and as an adoptee who spent the first year of her life in an orphanage. She joined Terry Gross in the studio to play songs from her new album Trouble & Love

    "I finally get it—that connection is something much deeper and broader than the material that most pop songs are made of.  Popular radio is about the first six months of love, right? Or the first 90 days. I long for real and true connection. It has been the theme of all the songs in my whole life…

    I feel like I’ve been running around most of my life with a plug trying to find the socket to plug it into and I’m tired now. I’m going to do it differently… I have de-romanticized romantic love, I think it’s that simple and that complicated.”

  2. mary gauthier

    interview

    fresh air

    music

  1. Fresh Air’s jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two albums from Ronald Shannon Jackson & The Decoding Society that are now available for download, having been out of print for ages: 

Ronald Shannon Jackson like other ’80s composers abstracted looping structures from West Africa’s intersecting rhythm cycles. His tune “Iola” is built in layers: the basses play different lines, one twice as long as the other, as a horn melody moves in slow motion over the top. Vernon Reid plays banjo, African American instrument rarely heard in creative music, because of uncool associations with minstrelsy and dixieland. But its thin percussive snap cuts through and helps keep the texture transparent. 


Listen to the full review
image via Jazz Forum  View in High-Res

    Fresh Air’s jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two albums from Ronald Shannon Jackson & The Decoding Society that are now available for download, having been out of print for ages: 

    Ronald Shannon Jackson like other ’80s composers abstracted looping structures from West Africa’s intersecting rhythm cycles. His tune “Iola” is built in layers: the basses play different lines, one twice as long as the other, as a horn melody moves in slow motion over the top. Vernon Reid plays banjo, African American instrument rarely heard in creative music, because of uncool associations with minstrelsy and dixieland. But its thin percussive snap cuts through and helps keep the texture transparent. 

    Listen to the full review

    image via Jazz Forum 

  2. ronald shannon jackson

    free funk

    music

    review

    kevin whitehead

  1. Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker reviews the latest album from Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal: 

Parquet Courts creates songs that dare you to be irritated by them. They stick with a riff like that one, a song called “Dear Ramona,” and shuffle into it lines such as “Whoever she might be goin’ to bed with, you can read about that in her moleskine.” There’s an undercurrent of sarcasm there, and I would be surprised if the Parquet Courts boys don’t own a few moleskine notebooks themselves. But making clever snark develop into something more emotional, more revelatory — that’s the challenge the band sets for itself. 


photo by Ben Rayner via Rolling Stone View in High-Res

    Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker reviews the latest album from Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal: 

    Parquet Courts creates songs that dare you to be irritated by them. They stick with a riff like that one, a song called “Dear Ramona,” and shuffle into it lines such as “Whoever she might be goin’ to bed with, you can read about that in her moleskine.” There’s an undercurrent of sarcasm there, and I would be surprised if the Parquet Courts boys don’t own a few moleskine notebooks themselves. But making clever snark develop into something more emotional, more revelatory — that’s the challenge the band sets for itself.

    photo by Ben Rayner via Rolling Stone

  2. parquet courts

    ken tucker

    music

    review

    sunbathing animal

  1. Today Fresh Air remembers jazz singer Jimmy Scott, who died Thursday at the age of 88.  He was popular in the 1950’s and influenced both  male and female singers, including Nancy Wilson and Frankie Lyman.   Early in his career, some of his listeners who knew him only from recordings, thought he was a woman.  That was a result of a rare genetic condition that prevented his body from undergoing the complete process of puberty. Contractual problems helped stall his career, and he didn’t make any records between 1975 and 1992.  But that 1992 album started a comeback, which included  singing at President Clinton’s 1993 inaugural ball and being named a Living Jazz Legend by the Kennedy Center.  When Terry spoke with him in 1992, they started with the title track from the album he’d just released, All the Way, which led to his comeback.   
Listen to the interview 

Photo via itvs  View in High-Res

    Today Fresh Air remembers jazz singer Jimmy Scott, who died Thursday at the age of 88.  He was popular in the 1950’s and influenced both  male and female singers, including Nancy Wilson and Frankie Lyman.   Early in his career, some of his listeners who knew him only from recordings, thought he was a woman.  That was a result of a rare genetic condition that prevented his body from undergoing the complete process of puberty. Contractual problems helped stall his career, and he didn’t make any records between 1975 and 1992.  But that 1992 album started a comeback, which included  singing at President Clinton’s 1993 inaugural ball and being named a Living Jazz Legend by the Kennedy Center.  When Terry spoke with him in 1992, they started with the title track from the album he’d just released, All the Way, which led to his comeback.   

    Listen to the interview 

    Photo via itvs 

  2. jazz

    jimmy scott

    nancy wilson

    frankie lyman

    music

    fresh air

    obit

  1. Brothers Dave and Phil Alvin joined us to play the music of Blues legend Big Bill Broonzy: 

Phil Alvin: When I first discovered Big Bill Broozy, his voice and his songwriting, his humor, his guitar playing, his persona was so big to me. I became a Little Bill Broonzy guy; started singing the songs that I heard on the first album that I got almost immediately, and I’ve always had him in the back of my mind whenever I would sing and play.

The Alvin brothers played for us in the studio. You can hear the interview and the music here. 
 

Big Bill Broonzy, U Chicago Press View in High-Res

    Brothers Dave and Phil Alvin joined us to play the music of Blues legend Big Bill Broonzy: 

    Phil Alvin: When I first discovered Big Bill Broozy, his voice and his songwriting, his humor, his guitar playing, his persona was so big to me. I became a Little Bill Broonzy guy; started singing the songs that I heard on the first album that I got almost immediately, and I’ve always had him in the back of my mind whenever I would sing and play.

    The Alvin brothers played for us in the studio. You can hear the interview and the music here

     

    Big Bill Broonzy, U Chicago Press

  2. blues

    big bill broonzy

    the blasters

    music

    dave and phil alvin

  1. Brothers Dave and Phil Alvin (of The Blasters) join Fresh Air to play songs from their Big Bill Broonzy tribute album. In this short video they play Broonzy’s guitar, an artifact of Chicago Blues history. 

  2. big bill broonzy

    blues

    chicago

    music

    history

    dave and phil alvin

  1. 
In the 1970s, when the American music market was fascinated by roots, the Eastern European mix of styles known as klezmer awoke from a 50-year sleep. Klezmer was meant to be party music, for dancing all night at Jewish weddings. But revival klezmer had a careful, preservationist atmosphere. And no matter how expertly done, a party designed by your grandparents can’t be all that exciting.



The New York band Golem have spent 14 years injecting punk attitude into the klezmer cadences. They are persistently funny, irreverent, varied in subject matter and at one moment heartbroken, the next deranged. Golem have pulled together their tightest program on their fourth album Tanz, with a title track that offers an irresistible command to dance. 

-Milo Miles, Fresh Air’s rock critic 


You can hear the full review HERE. 

Photo by Pascal Perich View in High-Res

    In the 1970s, when the American music market was fascinated by roots, the Eastern European mix of styles known as klezmer awoke from a 50-year sleep. Klezmer was meant to be party music, for dancing all night at Jewish weddings. But revival klezmer had a careful, preservationist atmosphere. And no matter how expertly done, a party designed by your grandparents can’t be all that exciting.

    The New York band Golem have spent 14 years injecting punk attitude into the klezmer cadences. They are persistently funny, irreverent, varied in subject matter and at one moment heartbroken, the next deranged. Golem have pulled together their tightest program on their fourth album Tanz, with a title track that offers an irresistible command to dance. 

    -Milo Miles, Fresh Air’s rock critic 

    You can hear the full review HERE. 

    Photo by Pascal Perich

  2. music

    review

    golem

    klezmer

    milo miles

  1. Color-coded vinyl collection
via LAEM View in High-Res

    Color-coded vinyl collection

    via LAEM

  2. records

    vinyl

    organization

    music

  1. Fresh Air Weekend: Sam Baker & Roz Chast 

  2. fresh air weekend

    roz chast

    sam baker

    healing

    music

    cartoons

  1. In 1986 Sam Baker was on a train to Machu Picchu in Peru when a bomb went off, killing several people around him and leaving him deaf with a cut artery and collapsed lungs. After 15 reconstructive surgeries Baker has his hearing back, and found music as a way to heal. In today’s interview you can hear him play the songs that helped him get through. Baker tells Fresh Air how the experience changed him:

"I went through so many surgeries and I was around so many people who were in such terrible pain and in worse shape than I was. Yeah, something changed. One thing that changed was the sense that all suffering is universal. That we suffer, you suffer, that we all do … me, especially what I learned was empathy and the faith that I got was the faith in us as a group, as humans."
View in High-Res

    In 1986 Sam Baker was on a train to Machu Picchu in Peru when a bomb went off, killing several people around him and leaving him deaf with a cut artery and collapsed lungs. After 15 reconstructive surgeries Baker has his hearing back, and found music as a way to heal. In today’s interview you can hear him play the songs that helped him get through. Baker tells Fresh Air how the experience changed him:

    "I went through so many surgeries and I was around so many people who were in such terrible pain and in worse shape than I was. Yeah, something changed. One thing that changed was the sense that all suffering is universal. That we suffer, you suffer, that we all do … me, especially what I learned was empathy and the faith that I got was the faith in us as a group, as humans."

  2. music

    sam baker

    interview

    trauma

    healing

  1. Texas singer, songwriter and guitarist Sam Baker joins us tomorrow.  He didn’t start writing songs until after he was nearly killed in a train explosion in Peru in 1986. We’ll hear the songs that helped him heal.  View in High-Res

    Texas singer, songwriter and guitarist Sam Baker joins us tomorrow.  He didn’t start writing songs until after he was nearly killed in a train explosion in Peru in 1986. We’ll hear the songs that helped him heal. 

  2. sam baker

    music

    interview

    texas

    healing

  1. 
In 2012, Bruce Sprinsteen gave the keynote speech at SXSW, and surprised a lot of his listeners by declaring that although he grew up admiring The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the group that really made him want to form a band was The Animals, a rough-and-tumble quintet from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne who are largely ignored today, although they did pretty well during the British Invasion. A box of their four classic album has been released titled The Mickie Most Years & More.


Check out rock historian Ed Ward’s piece on The Animals

Photo courtesy of ABKCO records View in High-Res

    In 2012, Bruce Sprinsteen gave the keynote speech at SXSW, and surprised a lot of his listeners by declaring that although he grew up admiring The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the group that really made him want to form a band was The Animals, a rough-and-tumble quintet from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne who are largely ignored today, although they did pretty well during the British Invasion. A box of their four classic album has been released titled The Mickie Most Years & More.

    Check out rock historian Ed Ward’s piece on The Animals

    Photo courtesy of ABKCO records

  2. the animals

    rock

    music

    bruce springsteen

    classic rock

    british invasion

  1. Metropolitan Opera singer Dolora Zajick spoke to Terry Gross about how performers must develop a ‘kinesthetic awareness’ to connect with their audience:

"The audience hears something entirely different than what you feel. Well, the singer is listening for focus. You’re being expressive. There are sensations that you’re feeling physically that the audience isn’t feeling. There is a kinesthetic, sympathetic awareness that audience has if you are really using your body when you sing that they are feeling at the same time. A lot of the times the audience doesn’t realize that’s what’s happening. Some of them do. It’s a very visceral thing."


photo of Zajick in Aida by lynn lane via operafresh View in High-Res

    Metropolitan Opera singer Dolora Zajick spoke to Terry Gross about how performers must develop a ‘kinesthetic awareness’ to connect with their audience:

    "The audience hears something entirely different than what you feel. Well, the singer is listening for focus. You’re being expressive. There are sensations that you’re feeling physically that the audience isn’t feeling. There is a kinesthetic, sympathetic awareness that audience has if you are really using your body when you sing that they are feeling at the same time. A lot of the times the audience doesn’t realize that’s what’s happening. Some of them do. It’s a very visceral thing."

    photo of Zajick in Aida by lynn lane via operafresh

  2. opera

    metropolitan opera

    delora zajick

    music