Blue Note Records turns 75 this year, and to celebrate, Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosted a concert featuring some of the record label's living legends and rising stars. From the early years with co-founder Alfred Lion to the revitalization under Bruce Lundvall, Blue Note Records has become and remained one of the most iconic brands in jazz.
Inspired by the Taiga forests which fill much of the world's Northern Hemisphere, Zola Jesus' new album of the same name is as expansive as the area it covers. While writing Taiga, Nika Roza Danilova moved to a remote island in the Pacific Northwest and immersed herself in solitude to create one of her best works. Zola Jesus recently joined KCRW's Morning BecomesEclectic to perform some of her new songs — including this one, "Dangerous Days."
We welcome record producer Aaron Luis Levinson back to World Cafe's Latin Roots: Essentials series. This week, Levinson offers up his essential Latin jazz picks, starting with Duke Ellington's version of "Caravan." The song, written by Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol, is a classic of the genre — one of the most enduring melodies in jazz, Latin music and beyond.
Cardinal Sons' members make their first appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Augusta Heritage Center on the campus of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. The three brothers of Cardinal Sons — John, Joe and Dave Shirley — were raised in Mississippi and currently reside in New Orleans. The musical heritage of their homes forms a base for their more contemporary additions: bouncy synth lines, crunchy guitar and a rock beat.
Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 1:30 pm
You can be 10 feet from The Campbell Apartment, a bar tucked into the corner of New York's Grand Central Station, and not have any idea it's there. The office of a member of the New York Central Railroad's Board Of Directors in the 1920s (and later a storage closet and a jail), the room is intimate in spite of its 25-foot ceilings and the enormous leaded-glass window that faces Vanderbilt Avenue.
Making music in a band is always and experiment. The players throw different elements into the enzymatic mix, let it all bubble together, and come up with a new compound every time. Recording these interactions for something as self-promotional as a music video can feel intrusive, like freezing something volatile. But a creative team can have fun with this awkward encounter.
Robin Bacior's honeyed but vibrant voice hits gently, bestowing the listener with comfort and calm. The Portland singer-songwriter knows exactly what kind of arrangements suit her best: In "If It Does," from her forthcoming album Water Dreams, that gorgeous voice is laid atop a spare but shimmering bed of piano — and paired perfectly with Dan Bindschedler's cello.
This is subtle, nuanced music: Like the rest of Bacior's work, "If It Does" doesn't grab you audaciously. But it doesn't let go, either.
World Cafe's guest today is Hiss Golden Messenger, the North Carolina folk-rock duo of M.C. Taylor and Scott Hirsch. The pair, originally from California, relocated to the East Coast when Taylor decided to study folklore at the University of North Carolina.