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.
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:31 am
"Loudly and wildly the music played, always pointing to the light, to the way out, or the way in, to individualism, and to the remarkable if unsettling notion that life could possibly be lived as you might wish it to be lived."
Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 9:41 am
Mike "IX" Williams has had a rough year. Williams (best known as the vocalist and wild-eyed wordsmith behind revered sludge metal gods Eyehategod) has had a rough life, one stained by addiction, poverty, incarceration, depression and Katrina's flood waters, but 2013 brought with it an unexpected, nearly crippling blow. In September Eyehategod's original drummer — and Williams' lifelong friend — Joey LaCaze died at the age of 42, leaving behind a wife, a daughter and friends. Suddenly, the future of this hitherto unshakable band hung in the balance.