Tom Moon

Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.

He is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing), and a contributor to other books including The Final Four of Everything.

A saxophonist whose professional credits include stints on cruise ships and several tours with the Maynard Ferguson orchestra, Moon served as music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1988 until 2004. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender, Spin, Vibe, Harp and other publications, and has won several awards, including two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Music Journalism awards. He has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered since 1996.

When we first meet the Street Angel, three tracks into Paul Simon's new Stranger To Stranger, he uses a bebop riff to describe what he does. "I make my verse for the universe ... I write my rhymes for the universities, and I give it away for the hoot of it ... A tree is bare, but the root of it goes deeper than logical reasoning." No one talks to this person, so Simon, longtime champion of underdogs, lends a sympathetic ear.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.


Two albums into the most unlikely soul career of the millennium, Charles Bradley has neatly pivoted away from the hard-luck life story told in the documentary Soul of America, and toward a comparatively ordinary task: Creating a book of believable songs that showcase his unique vocal style.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Here's a music collaboration you might not expect.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JESUS LAY DOWN BESIDE ME")

MAVIS STAPLES: (Singing) Jesus, lay down beside me. Lay down and rest your troubled mind.

How long has it been since a snarling singer and a supercharged electric guitar grabbed you by the throat and wouldn't let go?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Charles Lloyd is a jazz elder with a wide-angle view of the world. The 77-year-old tenor saxophonist begins his new album with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War."

(SOUNDBITE OF CHARLES LLOYD AND THE MARVELS SONG, "MASTERS OF WAR")

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