Music

First Listen
10:06 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

First Listen: 'When I Reach That Heavenly Shore: Unearthly Black Gospel 1926-1936'

African-Americans on their way to church.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:43 am

In the history of American popular music, gospel is the great conveyor. People could hear it everywhere as the 20th century grew from infancy to adolescence: in churches, of course, but also on street corners, sung by wanderers whose guitar work and moaning vocals arose in dialogue with the blues; in factories and mines, where harmonizing quartets provided balm to frustrated workers; on the radio, where preachers and singers performed live to thousands of listeners; and through the new medium of recordings, which turned regional styles into national trends.

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First Listen
10:05 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

First Listen: PRhyme, 'PRhyme'

PRhyme is Royce Da 5'9" (left) and DJ Premier.
Courtesy of The Chamber Group

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:42 am

PRhyme, rapper Royce Da 5' 9" and producer DJ Premier's collaborative project, is in actual fact a hardcore rap fan's fantasy realized; it's also one of those mythical instances of a good-looking tracklist exceeding all expectations. PRyhme is a nine-song testament to its creators' perseverance in changing times and proof positive that — even in an era when novelty supplants quality more often than not — the "dope rhymes, dope beats" formula can still yield something remarkable.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

First Listen: Ghostface Killah, '36 Seasons'

Ghostface Killah's new album, 36 Seasons, comes out Dec. 9.
Stan Oh Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:42 am

It's fair to wonder why anybody would make an album today, much less a group of musicians who've proven themselves several times over. There isn't much money to be had, and what little there is can be got by other, less exhausting methods than touring to break new songs. Kool G Rap doesn't need to do this – everybody you respect wishes they could be like him when they grow up. Pharoahe Monch dropped an album this year that leveled whole tiers of his competition. AZ, when he cares to, rhymes circles around 99.99 % of the rapping population.

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Music Interviews
5:16 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

At 86, A 'Jazz Child' Looks Back On A Life Of Sunshine, Sorrow

Jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan doesn't mind that, despite her critical acclaim, she's not a household name. "The people that respect what I do and hire me, that's all I need, you know?" she says. "I just need to keep doing this music as long as I live. "
Richard Laird Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 5:43 pm

Many fans first encountered one of the great voices in jazz as a whisper: Sheila Jordan made a quiet but lasting impression as a guest singer on pianist George Russell's 1962 arrangement of "You Are My Sunshine."

Since then, Jordan's career has taken her all over the world, and in 2012, she received one of the highest honors in jazz: she became an National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. Her music has soared, but her story starts with pain.

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Favorite Sessions
2:18 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

KCRW Presents: Caribou

Caribou performs on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Alex Pieros KCRW

Dan Snaith, a.k.a. Caribou, has moved freely between musical aesthetics on each of his previous records, but on his fifth studio release, Our Love, he's fine-tuned and settled into a warmer, more personal approach.

On his third visit to KCRW, Snaith performed songs off his newest and perhaps best album to date, including the captivating title track.

SET LIST

  • "Our Love"
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