NPR Music

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
11:34 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Kenny Drew Jr. On Piano Jazz

Kenny Drew Jr.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

The son of pianist Kenny Drew, who rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s, Kenny Drew Jr. made his own way with a virtuosic career in both jazz and classical music. He favored direct, single-note lines, but could also play in a full orchestral style.

In this 1992 session, Drew interprets Monk's "In Walked Bud" — and he and host Marian McPartland collaborate in a performance of "Falling In Love With You."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
8:38 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Sun Ra Arkestra: Tiny Desk Concert

Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra perform at the Tiny Desk.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 9:48 am

Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left us more than 20 years ago. But his spirit lives on, and so does his long-running band.

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Songs We Love
9:23 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Son Little, 'The River'

Son Little's new song "The River" is a favorite on WFUV in New York City.
Todd Cooper Courtesy of the artist

Son Little clearly studies, respects and loves the music that came before him. What happens next, though, is what makes him so appealing. Aaron Livingston made his name as a collaborator with The Roots and RJD2, each of whom helped him develop a sound that touches on soul, blues, hip-hop and reggae. Samples, fuzzy guitar and simple drums work together to create an undeniable groove, and as a songwriter, he can really tell a story.

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Jazz Night In America Videos
8:36 am
Wed October 29, 2014

The Funky Tune That Was Too Big For Miles Davis

NPR

When Miles Davis returned to performing in the early 1980s, he asked his former bandmate and master composer, Wayne Shorter, to write something for him. What came out was a large ensemble work too unwieldy for Davis, and Shorter put it back on his shelf. "I asked him for a tune, and he gives me a [expletive deleted] symphony," Davis reportedly said at the time.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
10:42 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Roy Hargrove On Piano Jazz

Courtesy of the artist

Grammy-winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove has played with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Mulgrew Miller and Bobby Watson.

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