Music

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
10:25 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Mel Torme On Piano Jazz

Mel Torme.
David Redfern Redferns

Described by film critic Rex Reed as "America's greatest male singer," Mel Tormé (1925-99) was one of the most versatile performers of his day.

On this episode of Piano Jazz from 1992, Tormé shares how his classic "The Christmas Song" inspired him to put out his own holiday album. He also sings and plays "Too Late Now" and "Walking My Baby Home," with host Marian McPartland joining in.

Originally recorded Jan. 21, 1992. Originally broadcast May 9, 1992.

Set List

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The Record
9:46 am
Fri December 12, 2014

In 2014, Pop Followed Beyonce's Lead

Beyonce's performance during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards in August included clips of a speech about feminism by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Kevin Winter/MTV1415 Getty Images for MTV

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:12 pm

2014 was a divisive time in popular music, with no single album or song seeming to capture the year's mood and no trend pointing clearly toward the future. But most music lovers could agree on one thing: Beyoncé was flawless. The 33-year-old powerhouse set every standard by which pop music and celebrity are judged.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:05 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Best Classical Albums Of 2014

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean by John Luther Adams is one of NPR Classical's favorite albums of 2014.
Cantaloupe

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:59 am

Most years, Tom Huizenga and I spend a lot of time after Thanksgiving and well into December battling over — or, more truthfully, having many friendly but spirited discussions about — which recordings should comprise our 10 favorites of the year. We each come up with a list of 10, and then we start hammering things out in some amount of exquisite music-nerd agony. Some albums we agree upon, some are our individual picks.

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Microphone Check
11:29 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

J. Cole: 'Ain't Enough Of Us Trying'

J Cole, whose mother supported him as a postal worker when he was a kid.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:03 am

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World Cafe
3:06 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Elephant Stone On World Cafe

Elephant Stone.
Bowen Stead & Daniel Barkley Courtesy of the artist

Montreal's Elephant Stone combines the sounds of Indian classical music and '60s psychedelic rock — the two loves of frontman, bassist and sitar player Rishi Dhir.

"It's music I was brought up on," Dihr says. "The idea of fusing pop music with Eastern instrumentation was never a foreign thing. It was just something that seemed natural to me. You listen to this music, you absorb all these influences. What comes out is what you can do."

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