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In Your Ear: Jacques Schwarz-Bart And Stephanie Mckay
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In Your Ear: Jacques Schwarz-Bart And Stephanie Mckay

Music

In Your Ear: Jacques Schwarz-Bart And Stephanie Mckay

In Your Ear: Jacques Schwarz-Bart And Stephanie Mckay
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In this occasional "In Your Ear" feature, Saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart and his wife and vocalist Stepanie McKay tell listeners which music inspires them. Their new album "Rise Above" blends soul and funk with Caribbean rhythms.

MICHEL MARTIN, host: And now, some music to try to soothe us as we get over the loss of Oprah. It's our regular segment we call 'In Your Ear." That's where some of our guests share the music that inspires them. Today, we have contributions from a musical duo, saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart and vocalist Stephanie McKay. They are also husband and wife. We recently had them on the program to talk about the latest album from Schwarz-Bart titled "Rise Above." They told us what they listen to when they aren't on stage.

STEPHANIE MCKAY: Hi, I'm Stephanie McKay.

JACQUES SCHWARZ-BART: I'm Jacques Schwarz-Bart.

MCKAY: And this is what's playing in our ear.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REMEMBRANCE")

BOBBY MCFERRIN: (Singing) Ooh, la ooh la ooh. Ooh la ooh la ooh. Ooh la ooh la ooh da...

SCHWARZ-BART: I've been listening to this collaboration between Bobbie McFerrin and the Yellow Jackets and there is one tune that's absolutely stupendous that's called 'Remembrance."

MCFERRIN: (Singing) Ooh, la, ooh, la, me ya, ooh doo doo...

SCHWARZ-BART: It's a combination of cold and hot. It's so smooth in one way and organized in the structure at the same time. It has an air and light feeling to it. It's like hearing the wind blow, you know, somewhere far away and it just takes me for a trip every time.

MCFERRIN: (Singing) Bip bee dee do. Bip bee dee do...

MCKAY: Well, a lot of what I'm listening to right now are toddler songs, nursery rhymes.

JIM HENSON: (as Kermit the Frog) Greetings. Kermit the Frog here. And today I'd like to tell you a little bit about the color green. Do you know what's green?

MCKAY: Particularly 'Sesame Street" and Kermit the Frog's 'It's Not Easy Being Green."

HENSON: You see frogs are green and I'm a frog. And that means I'm green, you see?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "BEIN' GREEN")

HENSON: (Singing) It's not that easy being green, having to spend each day the color of the leaves. When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold or something much more colorful like that.

MCKAY: I would have to say that's what's in my ear and I'm not ashamed to say it because these are classic songs written by a great composer, Joe Rapposo.

HENSON: (Singing) It's not easy being green. It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCHWARZ-BART: A song by Branford Marsalis called 'In the Crease."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCHWARZ-BART: It's one of the best modern jazz compositions that I've heard in a long time. On one hand it's very abstract, but it's rooted in that historic tradition of jazz that the Marsalis brothers are known to embrace for all those extremes that it reconciles somehow. I just love it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LOVER MAN")

MCKAY: Julie London's 'Lover Man," her interpretation of that, her interpretation of any song she sings, really.

JULIE LONDON: (Singing) I don't know why, but I'm feeling so sad. I long to try something I've never had. Never had no kissing. Ooh, what I've been missing. Lover man, oh, where can you be?

MCKAY: I love listening to her because of her intimacy, how she can draw the listener in and you feel like she's singing just to you.

LONDON: (Singing) I'd give my soul, just to call you my own. Got a moon above me, but no man to love me. Lover man, oh, where can you be?

MARTIN: That was saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart and vocalist Stephanie McKay telling us what's playing in their ears. To hear more from them and our previous conversations about music, go to our website, npr.org, click on the Programs tab and then on TELL ME MORE.

And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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