Remembrances
4:06 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

In His Own Words: Remembering Poet Robert Hayden

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:38 pm

Robert Hayden was born in Detroit 100 years ago Sunday. He became the first African-American to receive the honor now known as "poet laureate." Among his most famous works is the collection of short poems called Elegies for Paradise Valley. We hear an excerpt from the collection, as read by the author in 1976.

Author Interviews
3:38 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Charles Manson: Master Manipulator, Even As A Child

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 5:38 pm

In the summer of 1969, all eyes were on Los Angeles, where nine people had been murdered. Among the dead was Sharon Tate, a movie star and wife of movie director Roman Polanski. Police said a cult called "The Family" was responsible.

The leader of The Family was the charismatic, ruthless and manipulative Charles Manson. America was captivated by him, and by the young women who, under his spell, had snuck into two houses in Los Angeles to murder people they had never met. The trial was nationally broadcast, and Manson became a household name.

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Newport Jazz Festival
3:25 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Robert Glasper Experiment, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Robert Glasper Experiment performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:44 am

One gets the sense that pianist Robert Glasper feels completely at ease with his Experiment band, running his right hand in circles, cracking jokes and switching directions on the fly. Along the way, he's cracked the mold of how jazz might approach the hip-hop and R&B of today. The breakout success of last year's album Black Radio, with its real-time boom-bap and myriad vocal cameos, has already led to a sequel, due out near Halloween. Here's a freewheeling set of vamps and vocoder from Glasper and company.

Personnel

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A Blog Supreme
2:31 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Newport Jazz Festival 2013: Day One In Photos

Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:12 pm

It's almost like a joke now: Which Newport festival weekend is going to get more rain? Folk or Jazz? Because the Narragansett Bay doesn't play around.

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Newport Jazz Festival
2:22 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Rez Abbasi Trio, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Rez Abbasi Trio performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:43 am

Guitarist Rez Abbasi's new electronics-enhanced trio is driven by what its leader calls "textural surprise." As heard on the 2012 album Continuous Beat, the Pakistani-born guitarist's newest repertoire was inspired by the late drummer Paul Motian. On wax, that's a point of departure to explore material as diverse as tunes by Motian's contemporaries, Indian ragas and "The Star-Spangled Banner." Abbasi returns to Newport with a set of original compositions — and one Keith Jarrett tune.

Personnel

  • Rez Abbasi, guitar
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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Aaaannnd The 12th Doctor Who Is ...

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:50 am

The bookies called it; the 12th Doctor is Peter Capaldi.

The actor was introduced during a live broadcast on the BBC Sunday. He'll be the next in a long line of actors to play the quirky Doctor since the beloved British sci-fi show began back in the 60s.

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Newport Jazz Festival
1:34 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:33 am

Take a New-Orleans-style brass band, then cram it into a Volkswagen Golf: That's the general principle of how trombonist Ray Anderson's band makes a joyful noise with only four members. Matt Perrine is the sousaphonist of choice for many a New Orleans group; his bass line supports the trombone-trumpet free-for-all. The Pocket Brass Band presents music from his Sweet Chicago Suite, inspired by his hometown.

Personnel

  • Ray Anderson, trombone
  • Lew Soloff, trumpet
  • Matt Perrine, sousaphone
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Newport Jazz Festival
1:31 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Amir ElSaffar And Two Rivers, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

Amir ElSaffar and Two Rivers performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:37 am

Amir ElSaffar grew up around Chicago as something of a trumpet prodigy, in both jazz and classical. He was winning competitions and beginning to make a go of it in New York. Then he started investigating his Iraqi heritage in music, and studying the hammered dulcimer and the modes of various Middle Eastern musics. This band splits the difference, using microtonal techniques to investigate the blues. They'll have new tunes too, commissioned for Newport and supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Personnel

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The Two-Way
1:26 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Australian PM Calls September Elections

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addresses the media in Canberra after calling Sunday for a general election in September.
AFP/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called elections for Sept. 7, setting the stage for a parliamentary contest that he says will determine the future of the country's economy.

Rudd's challenge comes just six weeks after he wrested control of the Labor Party from Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He faces stiff competition from conservative opponent Tony Abbott.

But as The Associated Press reports:

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Newport Jazz Festival
1:24 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Ali Amr Experiment, Live In Concert: Newport Jazz 2013

The Ali Amr Experiment performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:33 am

Berklee College of Music graduate Ali Amr grew up in the Palestinian territories, where music was literally what kept him off the streets. He's translated that into a prepossessing command of the 72-string instrument called the qanun, and at Berklee, he's found a way to blend it into in a fluid, jazz-based improvising context. Like Robert Glasper, Amr calls his hybridized band the Experiment; that word has a different connotation in his hands.

Personnel

  • Ali Amr, qanun and vocals
  • Elisa Lomazzo, vocals
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