NPR Music

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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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:49 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Ruth Brown On Piano Jazz

Paul Bergen Redferns

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:51 am

Ruth Brown was one of the pioneers of R&B. The vocalist and actress also hosted a blues program on NPR called Blues Stage that helped bring wider attention to the genre.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1993, Brown's roots in blues, R&B and jazz are on display as she sings to host Marian McPartland's accompaniment in "Skylark" and "Fine And Mellow."

Originally recorded Feb. 8, 1993. Originally broadcast June 19, 1993.

Set List

  • "Fine And Mellow" (Holiday)
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