January 18, 2000 Banning Eyre reviews the new CD Bilbao Zero Hour by Basque accordionist Kepa Junkera. Junkera has invited musicians from all around the world to join him on a recording that went gold in Spain. It's now become available in this country. (3:30) The CD is Bilbao Zero Hour by Kepa Junkera. It is on Alula Records. For more information call 1-800-932-5852 .
January 11, 2000 David Greenberger reviews the latest CD from the surf guitar band "Los Straitjackets". The band is from Nashville, and when they perform they like to wear Mexican wrestling masks, medallions, and matching black turtlenecks. But their music is distinctively surf music — with many original tunes, and some eclectic covers, like Louis Prima and the love theme from the film Titanic. The music is all about surprise, invention, and good taste. (3:30) Los Straitjackets latest disc is on the YepRoc Records label.
January 3, 2000 Tom Moon reviews pianist Keith Jarrett's new CD The Melody at Night, With You. Jarrett has had chronic fatigue syndrome for several years, and has not been able to play or perform in public much. But he's used this time to record lovely and contemplative solo versions of jazz standards. (4:00) The CD is The Melody at Night, With You by Keith Jarrett. It's on ECM Records, catalog number 1675.
November 16, 1999 Banning Eyre reviews the first international recording by a northern Indian band called Musafir. The group was one of the standouts on last year's "Gypsy Caravan Tour" in the US.
August 30, 1999 Music critic Tom Manoff listens to a new CD of Clarinet Quintets. The works are by Mozart and by Brahms performed by David Shifrin and the Emerson String Quartet. Manoff says he's heard these works many times, and was very pleased by the intimacy and passion in the performances. (5:15) The CD is called Mozart/Brahms Clarinet Quintets. Performed by David Shifrin and the Emerson String Quartet, on Deutsche Grammophon Records.
July 27, 1999 Banning Eyre reviews the first international release by Malian singer Kandia Kouyate. She is a "griot" singer, entrusted with the oral history of her people. On this wide-ranging recording, Kouyate sings some traditonal material, but also shows off her powerful voice in her first departure into dance and pop music.
July 15, 1999 Charles de Ledesma reviews the latest CD from the Chemical Brothers, called "Surrender". It's in the same vein as their previous two albums -- rich, multi-layered, electronic dance music, with many high-profile guest vocalists including Bernard Sumner from New Order and Noel Gallagher from Oasis. The Chemical Brothers are credited as the pioneers of "electronica," and Ledesma says this CD once again proves their talent for pushing electronic dance music in bold new directions.
June 29, 1999 Nick Spitzer reviews the latest CD by Steve Earle, a 25 year veteran of the Nashville country music scene. Earle got into drugs for a while, but says he's done with all that now. He's teamed up with one of this country's best bluegrass bands for a rollicking collaboration of country, rock and bluegrass called The Mountain.
May 3, 1999 Music Reviewer Will Hermes listens to music from energetic folk rocker Dan Bern. Hermes finds Smartie Mine, the new double-CD from Dan Bern, filled with rant and raves and lots of fun. The CD is self-released, something unexpected from someone with a contract with Sony Records.
March 15, 1999 Nick Spitzer reviews the CD "Blues After Sunset" by Henry Butler. Butler is a blind pianist, born and raised in New Orleans. Spitzer says Butler is the latest and perhaps greatest in a long line of Crescent City keyboard players known simply as "piano professors."
March 2, 1999 Tom Moon reviews the new CD Fuse by Joe Henry. He says that Henry's hip-hop influenced style is full of fragmented images — his favorite character in his lyrics is the dejected romantic who is endlessly rehashing messy exit scenes.
February 16, 1999 Music critic Tom Manoff reviews Lassus, the new recording from the Hilliard Ensemble, featuring music of 16th Century composer Orlando di Lasso. His music represents the appropriation of ancient pagan culture by Mediterranean Christianity. We hear the Hilliard Ensemble sing "Prohetiae Sibyllarum."
January 19, 1999 Banning Eyre reviews Fabrication Defect, a new CD from Brazilian singer/composer Tom Ze. Ze was part of a cultural and musical movement in the 60s in Brazil called "Tropicalia," but while others involved — like Caetano Veloso — went on to stardom, Ze drifted into obscurity. In the late 80s, David Byrne went out in search of Ze, and got him back into music. This is Ze's 2nd recording since Byrne "rediscovered" him. Eyre says Ze continues to shine as a fresh and inventive pop composer.
December 13, 1998 NPR's Tom Vitale presents a profile of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, a group known for its traditional and non-traditional guitar playing. After years of recording on small labels, the recently signed to Sony Classical and have a new CD called "L.A.G.Q." ("L.A.G.Q", Sony Classical, SK 60274.) 12:00 NOTE: Due to Internet rights issues, this segment has been modified from its original broadcast form.
December 3, 1998 Music critic Tom Moon has an overview of two boxed sets of compact discs: the much-anticipated "The Lennon Anthology," which compiles the work of John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen's "Tracks," a collection of songs that did not make it onto Springsteen's albums. Moon says that both provide insight into how these singers engaged in the songwriting process. "The Lennon Anthology" is available from Capitol Records: "Tracks" by Bruce Springsteen is available from Columbia Records.
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