Tomorrow, Oct. 9, would have been John Lennon's 75th birthday. So for this week's Throwback Thursday we're sharing a live webcast we did about The Beatles back in February of 2003. At the time, police in Amsterdam had just discovered a bunch of incredibly rare tapes that were stolen from The Beatles and had been missing for 30 years. So we had author Bruce Spizer in to talk about the newly recovered recordings. Bruce wrote The Beatles On Apple Records, and his conversation with host Bob Boilen dug deep into the Beatles' legacy and explained the history of the lost tapes.

"Thelonious Monk is the most important musician, period," Jason Moran says. He laughs out loud. "In all the world. Period!"

Moran is in a dressing room deep within the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., where he's the artistic director for jazz. He's not really wearing that hat at the moment, though. He's talking as a musician himself — and very personally, at that.

Son Little's self-titled debut album is nu-soul, not neo-soul, and the distinction is drastic. Little doesn't strive to reproduce his influences; he recombines them into something new. The record opens with "I'm Gone," on which an overdubbed choir of multiple Son Littles delivers an existential message from what sounds like the bottom of a well, with backwards guitar lines snaking around the electronically processed voices.

First Listen: Chris Walla, 'Tape Loops'

Oct 7, 2015

Chris Walla spent 17 years as a songwriter, guitarist and producer for Death Cab For Cutie, and Tape Loops is his first solo album since leaving the band in 2014. But if you're inclined to resist a solo record by "the other guy" from Death Cab, know that Tape Loops couldn't be farther from the sound of his old band.

Deep into Gazing With Tranquility, tucked between smart and sometimes overly reverent reinterpretations of Donovan's hits, there's a small performance that illustrates the value of the tribute record.

First Listen: Small Black, 'Best Blues'

Oct 7, 2015

Josh Kolenik isn't trying to blow anyone away. If anything, the soft-spoken frontman of Small Black sings as if he barely wants to be noticed at all. Across the synth-pop band's previous releases, including 2013's Limits Of Desire, Kolenik exhales his words more than he belts them out, letting his gentle melodies and fragments of poetic imagery form a ghostly, echoing apparition. That hasn't changed on Best Blues, the Brooklyn group's third and latest full-length. But one thing has evolved: Kolenik's ability to use understatement as an emotional weapon.

On Josh Ritter's most recent album, 2013's The Beast In Its Tracks, the singer-songwriter dredged through the battered ruins of his own post-divorce psyche. As such, the record looked relentlessly inward — to forgiveness and spite, to recovery and despair — as Ritter labored to examine his failed relationship from every angle. The result was as acerbic ("New Lover") as it was generous of spirit ("Joy To You Baby"), but most of all, it felt personal, even diaristic.

Diane Coffee On World Cafe

Oct 7, 2015

Shaun Fleming is many things: He's the drummer for psych-pop band Foxygen, a former Disney voice actor and the irrepressible force behind Diane Coffee, which has just released its second album, Everybody's A Good Dog.