NPR Music

The Thistle & Shamrock: Alan Reid

Dec 19, 2014

Three decades after her journey into national radio started, host Fiona Ritchie meets up with the man who was her very first interview: Alan Reid, known for his long career with the legendary Battlefield Band.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

George Shearing's Holiday Set On Piano Jazz

Dec 19, 2014

British jazz pianist George Shearing was a friend and frequent guest on Piano Jazz. On this special edition of the program from 2001, Shearing joins host Marian McPartland to celebrate the holidays in a jazzy way.

The two reminisce about seasons gone by and perform traditional and contemporary holiday tunes, including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Away In A Manger."

Could anyone have predicted that Steve Lehman and Wadada Leo Smith would place first and second in this year's NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, among a field including previous winners Sonny Rollins, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran, plus 2011 runner-up (and favorite going in) Ambrose Akinmusire? Not me, and I even had Lehman and Smith on my ballot, along with Rollins and Akinmusire.

Playlist: What Music Means

Dec 19, 2014

In this playlist, TED speakers share stories about composing songs after years of writer's block, the culture of sampling, and a glimpse inside a jazz musician's brain.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Latin Roots Essentials: Latin Alternative

Dec 18, 2014

Another segment in our new Latin Roots series on the Essentials, the songs you need to know in each genre. We have a pretty good guide for our Latin alternative segment today. It is Josh Norek, who is the co-founder of the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference, and former head of Nacional Records.

He discusses the evolution from the original term "Rock En Espanol" and shows the variety of music under the name alternative.

Parquet Courts On World Cafe

Dec 18, 2014

It has been a prolific year for our guests today, the punk band Parquet Courts. They have released two albums this year: Sunbathing Animal under their own name and Content Nausea as Parkay Quarts. We will talk with two founders of the band, Andrew Savage and Austin Brown, and hear performances from the stage of World Cafe Live. We also find out that the new songs are inspired by influences as diverse as Russian history and Louisiana prison songs.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In contrast to many of her peers, Portland-based musician Lori Henriques' music for kids is rooted in jazz. Her latest album is How Great Can This Day Be.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Pinkprint is just a record, as far as hip-hop is concerned. Nothing more, nothing less. But for Nicki Minaj, it's a career-defining moment. Even after she weathered a storm of rap critic scolds unhappy with her for completely crossing over the line she once straddled so well, the dance-pop successes of her last album, Roman Reloaded, overshadowed her artistic credibility. How would she bounce back? As Nicki well knows, hip-hop will only take it so far.

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