A Washington, D.C., indie-rock band that formed in 1993, The Dismemberment Plan released four widely beloved albums before going quiet for more than a decade — save for a brief reunion to perform a small handful of sold-out benefit concerts in 2007.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. This is the time of year when we've been talking a lot about resolutions and goals and what it takes to see them through. I think most people would agree that one of the traits successful people seem to share is the willingness to press on, even when success is not assured. Well, that could be the story of Maysa. After more than 20 years in the music business, she has been nominated for a Grammy this year in the category of Best Traditional R&B Performance.
Jan. 9 marks the 100th birthday of drummer Kenny Clarke. One of the founders of bebop, Clarke is less well-known than allies like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, but his influence is just as deep.
That thing that jazz drummers do — that ching-chinga-ching beat on the ride cymbal, like sleigh bells? It gives the music a light, airy, driving pulse. Clarke came up with that, and that springy shimmer came to epitomize swinging itself.
When Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traore stopped by KCRW's studio, she was in the middle of a cross-country tour and bound for Northern California. The travel-ready artist is the daughter of a diplomat who has been all over the world and cites her rich cultural experiences as her source of inspiration. Singing in both English and her native language, songs like "Mama" function as a tapestry of her life.
It doesn't take an expert to identify this sound as a jazz rhythm:
Musicians call it "spang-a-lang," for obvious phonetic reasons, and it's so synonymous with jazz, it no longer occurs to us that someone had to invent it. But someone did: a drummer named Kenny Clarke, who would have turned 100 today.