Have you seen NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2013?
I spy some Fresh Air favorites on the list including:
Must watch: Valerie June's Tiny Desk Concert at NPR
Hear Ken Tucker's review of her album “Pushin’ Against a Stone" : Valerie June Wants To Be On Your Mind
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead on Orrin Evans' new album titled “…It was beauty:”
On Philadelphia pianist Orrin Evans’ trio version of Ornette Coleman’s “Blues Connotation,” drummer Donald Edwards and bassist Eric Revis set a New Orleans second line groove tinged with vintage hip-hop. A beat like that is catnip to Evans, who gets right down and rolls in it. He quotes from [Thelonious] Monk and Miles [Davis] tunes in his solo, keeping the mood light.
image via McKenna Group Productions LLC
NPR Music has a First Listen for Bob Dylan's album "Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)"part of his ongoing Bootleg series. The album will be released August 27th.
"If Bob Dylan’s long career as a genius of the American spirit has taught us anything, it’s that one fan’s trash is another one’s treasure. ‘I never looked at songs as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ only different kinds of good ones,’ he once said."
photo via RockCircus
Ken Tucker reviews Valerie June's debut LP “Pushin’ Against A Stone”:
Valerie June wants to be on your mind—to get inside your head. She writes or co-writes songs that mix blues, gospel, folk, and soul and which describe emotional isolation, financial deprivation, and an insecurity about her place in the world. She’s unafraid to proclaim her neediness. Perhaps because, possessed of a big, powerful voice, she knows that her vulnerability isn’t likely to come off as passive or self-pitying.
Word on the street is this album is really good.
It’s been a pretty consistent truth in the contemporary music field, starting about the mid-to-late ’80s: If you asked a young singer coming up, who did they love, who did they put on the turntable, so many people would say Nick Drake. He’s become a real musician’s musician.
—Joe Boyd, who produced Nick Drake’s first two albums back in 1969 and 1970. He talks with All Things Considered today about a new Nick Drake tribute album.
Here is a Fresh Air interview with Joe Boyd.
When Cuban musician Juan de Marcos González teamed up with Ry Cooder to create Buena Vista Social Club, he became internationally known almost overnight. The bandleader is still at it, as you can see in this three-song set, recorded live for Jazz24.
Heads up, you guys: new Jimi Hendrix is being released March 5 and NPR Music has a First Listen:
[T]he newest collection of Hendrixiana (titled People, Hell and Angels, out March 5) is a suitable addition to the guitar giant’s large posthumous output, drawn from recordings he’d made between 1968 and 1970 with a variety of co-conspirators.
Ken Tucker reviews the new Richard Thompson album on the show today. Above, Thompson’s Tiny Desk performance.
On his new album Gamak, Mahanthappa takes off from Indian rhythms, but also the gamakas: the specific ways classical virtuosos tailor individual notes or move between them. They might attack a pitch from just above or below, or sweep upward as it trails off, or oscillate between notes. In these original tunes, as in traditional Indian music, those deviations are essential to the feeling and not mere decoration. Mahanthappa, who’s worked with Indian classical saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath, can get inside that authentic South Indian sound while turning it to his own ends.
Above, Mahanthappa’s Tiny Desk Concert for NPR Music
Grizzly Bear’s fourth album rewards listeners with strange surprises and a few hooky, expansive ringers. Along the way, it showcases the considerable gifts of four guys willing to hover patiently through the detours, without sacrificing the beauty that makes the journey worthwhile.
Celebrate the Woody Guthrie centennial with a Folk Alley mix of Guthrie’s greatest songs, plus music from the musicians he inspired, like Joan Baez, Ani DiFranco and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Tomorrow Fresh Air celebrates Woody Guthrie!