Culturetopia: But Can You Dance To It Edition : Monkey See This week: A pianist on the "jazz backbone," a drummer showing off the beat, and the tricky question of parsing works by Rihanna and Chris Brown.
NPR logo Culturetopia: But Can You Dance To It Edition

Culturetopia: But Can You Dance To It Edition

Culturetopia logo

"Everyone has a jazz backbone," says pianist Robert Glasper in an interview included in this week's podcast of NPR's best arts stories. He's a disciple of Miles Davis and John Coltrane and brings his rigor and sense of improvisation to recording sessions with some of the biggest names in soul, rap and rock, including Erykah Badu and Lupe Fiasco.

And Shannon Powell has jazz backbone to burn. He's New Orleans' go-to drummer, and in this piece, you'll hear him demonstrate its distinctive beat at his shotgun house in the Treme neighborhood, as well as during gigs with the Marsalis family and on your with Diana Krall. There's another nod to the city's recent Mardi Gras celebration with this profile of the New Orleans funk band Galactic.

Finally, how to parse Rihanna and Chris Brown's latest collaborations and a piece about the mysteries of natural rhythm.

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