August 11, 2009
Emerson Brown, NPR
FROM JAZZ AND FOLK ARTISTS FOR "EXCLUSIVE FIRST LISTEN"
NEW ALBUMS FROM TERENCE BLANCHARD AND JOE HENRY,
AND CLASSICS FROM TIM BUCKLEY AND NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS,
ALL AVAILABLE IN AUGUST AT NPR.ORG/MUSIC
Available now through August 18 at NPR Music is Choices, the new album from jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard. Having decided to stay in his hurricane-devastated home of New Orleans, the Grammy-winning musician now celebrates its survival with this album, which was recorded at the citys Ogden Museum of Southern Art both for its outstanding acoustics and historical importance to the city. Writer and activist Dr. Cornel West and singer Bilal also contribute vocals on several tracks. Both the video and audio webcast of the live concert premiere of Choices from New Orleans are also available at NPR Music.
Singer-songwriter Joe Henry gives in to the dark side on his new album Blood from Stars, available now through August 18 at NPR Music. Henry departs from the urbane sound of his recent work for an album that is rawer, marrying blues song form with jazz liberation. He is backed by a handpicked collection of players, including Marc Ribot, jazz pianist Jason Moran and his saxophonist son, Levon Henry.
A previously unreleased recording from the late influential singer-songwriter Tim Buckley surfaces with Live at the Folklore Center, NYC March 6, 1967. Recorded at the New York City venue that hosted many up-and-coming musicians during the late-'60s folk boom, the album presents a 16-song concert by Buckley in front of an intimate audience of about 35 people. Not only does the solo acoustic performance offer a rare glimpse of Buckley's early work, it features six compositions that have never appeared on any other studio or live album. Hear the entire record beginning August 18 at NPR Music.
Also available for streaming as of August 18 is the first disc from 50 Years: Where Do You Come From? Where Do you Go?, a box set celebrating The New Lost City Ramblers' 50th anniversary and their landmark field recordings. The Ramblers were at the vanguard of the folk revivalist movement of the late 1950s; this box set combines two albums previously released by Smithsonian Folkways with a newly compiled disc of the traditional southern and Appalachian music. With the recent passing of Ramblers member Mike Seeger, 50 Years also serves as a fitting tribute to his life and legacy spent preserving and furthering the American folk music tradition.
Complete track listings and album information are available at NPR Music, where there are also extensive archives of concerts, interviews and reviews with artists of all genres. NPR Music introduced its "Exclusive First Listen" series last year with Bob Dylan's 2-CD set Tell Tale Signs. The series is now one of the site's most popular features, and has offered pre-release streams of albums from artists such as Wilco, Bjork, Bill Frisell and the Dead Weather. Other albums currently available in the series include, Brendan Benson's My Old, Familiar Friend, Mount Eerie's Wind Poem and Choir of Young Beliver's This Is For The White In Your Eyes.
The "Exclusive First Listen" series is one feature of NPR Music, a free, multimedia music discovery Web site at www.npr.org/music The site offers content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, including live performances, studio sessions, first listens to new albums, interviews, reviews and blogs. The site's continuously expanding sections are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. NPR Music culls from NPR's and the stations' extensive music archives to present thousands of features; more than 250 new features are added to the site every month.