A Blog Supreme
8:57 am
Fri December 19, 2014

An Upset Either Way: Steve Lehman And Wadada Leo Smith Triumph

Wadada Leo Smith finished second in the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll, separated by only 12 points from surprise winner Steve Lehman.
Scott Groller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 5:17 pm

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.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:47 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Playlist: What Music Means

These TED Radio Hour stories get musical.

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

World Cafe
4:42 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Latin Roots Essentials: Latin Alternative

Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 1:20 pm

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.

World Cafe
4:42 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Parquet Courts On World Cafe

Parquet Courts.
Ben Rayner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:52 pm

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.