The trumpeter and educator Donald Byrd, a top jazz practitioner in the '50s and '60s whose later work shaped black pop music through multiple generations, died Feb. 4 in Dover, Del. Haley Funeral Directors near Detroit confirmed the news, which was first circulated online last week. He was 80.
The Grammy Awards are fun to complain about. That's fair. If you watched the telecast Sunday night, you probably care about music. People who care about music tend to have strong opinions about what's good and what's not. Strong opinions often lead to disappointment, especially since the pop-music sphere is increasingly consensus-free.
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 2:41 pm
John Murry's first album, The Graceless Age, makes its U.S. debut on March 5. An active musician since 2006, Murry moved from his hometown of Tupelo, Miss., to Oakland, Calif., a couple years ago to work alongside musician Bob Frank.
A descendent of Nobel Prize in Literature recipient William Faulkner, Murry visits his family's literary past and channels it into his music. His dark, deep rock 'n' roll is alluring, emotional and infectious.
Hear two tracks from The Graceless Age in this installment of World Café: Next.
It's easy to think of The xx as a fashionable band: Its members have a sleek all-in-black look, its typography and cover art is coolly and distinctively styled, and the group itself has been showered with validation, including Britain's 2010 Mercury Prize. But beneath all that tightly controlled image-making lays music that's raw and vulnerable; shy, worried tentativeness is wired into a sound that shimmers powerfully, but remains as fragile and delicate as a soap bubble.
The Grammys were last night. Millions tuned in to see who won and who didn't and, of course, the most important thing, who wore what. This year, CBS sent out a memo outlining the expected dress code banning - and, forgive me, but I'm quoting here, "bare, fleshy under-curves of the buttocks and butt crack and puffy, bare-skinned exposure," among other things.