March 26, 2000 Clarinetist Don Byron loves to marry the traditional to the unorthodox. Forays into funk and Klezmer have brightened his unique take on jazz music. Korva speaks with Byron about his new CD, Romance With the Unseen. Romance With the Unseen is available through Blue Note Records, catalog #99545.
Composer Irving Berlin, circa 1918.
Henry Guttmann/Getty Images
March 20, 2000 "Alexander's Ragtime Band" was the revolutionary tune that launched the phenomenon known as American popular song. Called "the musical sensation of the decade" and a "public menace," Irving Berlin's hit was also, as Berlin's daughter notes, the "theme song of a generation."
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March 19, 2000 Julian Crandall Hollick remembers Indian music teacher Santidev Ghose, who died last year at the age of 90. Ghose was one of the last living links to one of the great cultural icons of the 20th century - Rabindranath Tagore.
March 18, 2000 Jazz singer Kurt Elling is only 32-years-old but he's already causing quite a stir in the jazz world. Elling has been called one of the most innovative jazz vocalists of the country. He has collaborated with jazz masters Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy. His new CD is called Live in Chicago and was recorded at Chicago's Green Mill Lounge on Blue Note (1999). (15:30) Check out Kurt Elling's website at www.kurtelling.com
G. Schrimer Archives
March 13, 2000 Composer Samuel Barber's best-known work was first performed as an orchestral work in 1938.
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March 8, 2000 Noah talks with Krishna Das about his new double CD Live on Earth: For a Limited Time Only. Krishna Das is originally from Long Island, but went to India, seeking enlightenment, back in the late 60s. He became deeply involved in the tradition of "kirtan", which is devotional chanting. He brings a somewhat modern touch to this ancient music form, admitting that the soul and doowop that he grew up with can't help but be part of his musical expression. The result has caught on, especialy in American yoga centers. (6:45) (Listeners interested in purchasing Live on Earth, For a Limited Time Only by Krishna Das can contact Triloka Records at 310- 265-7969. The CD's ASIN number is 092 410
March 4, 2000 Burnett: NPR's John Burnett has a profile of Dr. John, a.k.a. Mac Rebennack, doctor of the boogie woogie. The city of New Orleans recently honored the hometown legend.
March 2, 2000 NPR's Rick Karr profiles guitarist, band-leader and composer Bill Frisell who has three new recordings out this year, in addition to playing on several others. His music encompasses mainstream and avant garde jazz, country, and rock. Hist most recent collaboration was writing jazz improv for Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.
February 28, 2000 Thursday, March 2nd, is the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Kurt Weill. A century after his birth and half a century after his death, Weill remains as controversial a composer as he was in the 1920s when he abandoned a promising career in "serious music;" fled the Nazis; and landed on Broadway, where he wrote such standards as, September Song, and Speak Low. This week, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is staging a long-lost Weill opera. NPR's Rick Karr reports.
February 26, 2000 Gwen speaks to opera diva Jessye Norman about her passion for Girl Scout cookies. Last year, she sold some 2000 boxes.
February 23, 2000 Rolando Arrieta profiles Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria. After arriving from Havana in 1949, Santamaria quickly made his mark on the New York mambo scene. He soon moved on to jazz, writing such standards as Afro Blue. Now retired, Santamaria still lives in New York City, and has been credited with helping to pave the way for today's Cuban musicians.
February 22, 2000 Linda speaks with Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, of the rock band Steely Dan, about their first new album since 1979: "Two Against Nature." They discuss why they took such a long break, and talk about their website, www.steelydan.com.
February 22, 2000 David D'Arcy (f) profiles Pierre Boulez, a classical conductor and composer who has been nominated for six Grammies. According to Boulez, classical music is intimidating to some audiences and is trying to make it more attractive to different audiences.
American singer, pianist and songwriter Ray Charles performs in concert.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
February 21, 2000 Long after he first improvised it on stage, Ray Charles still used his trademark song as an encore.
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February 15, 2000 Fifty-five-year-old guitarist John Abercrombie has been "on the scene" since he graduated from Berklee in Boston. In the late 1960s and early '70s, he was something of a star playing jazz-rock fusion. In the decades since, he's played very electric and very acoustic but he's always been recognizable for a legato style that numerous younger players have imitated. He's recorded 13 albums as a leader. His latest is called Open Land. Tom Vitale has a profile. (7:45) Open Land by John Abercrombie is on the ECM label (ECM 1683).
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