A few months after Miles Davis taped that material that would become Bitches Brew, he went on a two-week European tour with his quintet. Here's an illuminating video clip of the band in stylistic transition from Copenhagen, Denmark.
Tijoux is proof that hip-hop knows no boundaries. In this intimate performance at the Tiny Desk, the French-born Chilean rapper held a mid-afternoon crowd enthralled with her rhythmic flow and songs from her most recent album, 1977.
It's not quite right to suggest that Wilson transformed NPR Music's boisterous, slightly disheveled, certainly overcrowded office into a church on a Wednesday afternoon earlier this summer. It's more like he made us realize that church music can be played just about anywhere.
The witty songs of Lawrence Arabia singer James Milne are good for more than just singing along: They provide a few chuckles, too. Here, the New Zealand band performs four songs from Chant Darling, which showcases Milne's great gift for poppy melodies and rich vocal harmonies.
The duo exudes sentiment, but with a tinge of fury. The music comes straight from Peter Pisano's heart: He says five songs came to him in rapid fire after a long songwriting dry spell. How that happened remains a mystery to Pisano, but he found a voice he never knew he had. Watch Peter Wolf Crier perform songs from its debut album, Inter-Be.
It's been four years since fans have heard Frazey Ford's lilting, laid-back voice as part of The Be Good Tanyas. But now she's returned with a solo record called Obadiah. Ford came to NPR for this Tiny Desk Concert — just her guitar and a cheetah jumpsuit — and lulled the office with four beautiful tunes from the album.
Staples is a legend, but she's not stuck in the past. While most know her work with the Staple Singers in the '70s, with hits like "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There," Staples has kept active. Her latest album, You Are Not Alone, was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. The record doesn't come out until Sept. 14, but you can get a good idea of what a treat it is from this stripped-down but soulful Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices.