Playlist: Music Station Picks for Feb. '10
Compiled By: PRX Curators
Here are February picks for music stations from PRX Music Format Curator David Srebnik of Virtuoso Voices.
Suggestions from David:
"Are you on Twitter? PRX is on Twitter — I've found it to be an invaluable programming resource, providing information and updates on new program that are available on PRX. It's like getting an instant update from PRX without having to go to the PRX site.
"One PRX Twitter feed contains a link to each new PRX piece.
"The second PRX feed tells you which programs have been bought in real time."
My Funny Valentine , A Valentine's Day Special; Jazz and Pop A Cappella sung by The Western Wind with love poetry read by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
From William Zukof | 57:59
For Valentine's Day, or most any day when love is in the air, here are some swinging, close-harmony renditions of the Great American Song Book with The Western Wind. It’s sophisticated singing in the mostly wonderful sense. There are some '70s-'90s pop songs included as well.
Tunes are interspersed with the (love) poetry of Langston Hughes, e.e.cummings, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Nikki Giovanni read by and Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis. Ms. Dee is especially present in Hughes' Miss "Blues'es Child."
Although a few of the renditions are a bit hit and miss, I think there's plenty of groove, edge and swoon. Besides, it's always good to hear the curious, clever and often masterful use of language and syntax in the introductory verses, as is the case with "I Got Rhythm" and "My Funny Valentine."
A musical celebration for Valentine's Day featuring sophisticated close-harmony arrangements of classic American love songs by jazz and pop songwriters from the 1930's - 1990's. The music includes songs by Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, Rogers and Hart, George Gershwin, John Denver, and Bonnie Raitt. The musical selections are woven together with selections of American love poetry by Langston Hughes, e.e.cummings, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Nikki Giovanni read by and Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis. Song and Poetry List: 1. I'm Beginning To See The Light 2:03 Duke Ellington arr. Warren Kellerhouse 2. Sunday by the Combination/ Midnight Dancer 00:30 Langston Hughes 3. Don't Get Around Much Anymore 2:07 Duke Ellington, arr. Warren Kellerhouse 4. Miss Blues'es Child 00:53 Langston Hughes 5. Mood Indigo 3:25 Duke Ellington, Irving Mills, Barney Bigard , arr. Warren Kellerhouse 6. my love is building a building around you 0:58 e.e.cummings 7. My Funny Valentine 5:49 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, arr. Mark Johnson 8. O Distinct Lady of my unkempt adoration 1:25 e.e.cummings 9. O Lady Be Good 3:02 George and Ira Gershwin, arr. Dick Hyman 10.there are so many tictoc 0:44 e.e.cummings 11.I Got Rhythm 4:54 George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, arr. Neil Farrell 12. Dream 0:26 Langston Hughes 13. 'Round Midnight 3:14 Thelonious Monk, arr. Neil Farrell 14. Boogie 1:00AM/Lady's Boogie/Chord 0:35 Langston Hughes 15. Well You Needn't 1:47 Thelonious Monk, arr. Neil Farrell 16.Song for Billie Holiday 0:51 Langston Hughes 17. Ruby My Dear 5:37 Thelonious Monk , arr. Mark Johnson 18. And Don?t Think I Won't Waiting 0:43 Audre Lourde 19. Leaving on A Jet Plane 4:19 John Denver, Arr.: Steve Freedman 20. Walker 0:23 Alice Walker 21. I Can't Make You Love Me 4:13 Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin, Arr.: Mark Johnson 22. What Lips My Lips Have Kissed 1:00 Edna St. Vincent Millay 23. In My Room 2:15 Brian Wilson and Gary Usher, Arr.: Steve Freedman 24. Things That Go Together/And I Have You 1:09 Nikki Giovanni 25. Sh'boom, Life Could Be a Dream 2:31 James Keyes, Claude and Carl Feaster, Floyd F. McRae, and James Edward, Arr. James Bassi
From Ben Shapiro | 53:59
Producer Ben Shapiro gives us the history, context, personality and innovations behind one of music's top players and thinkers, without sacrificing a strong musical presence.
Host Kenny Washington is clearly a Max Roach fan, but hosts this program without fawn. Equally impressive, Mr. Washington (also a drummer) avoids drum-speak when introducing and exalting Roach's innovations.
I'd suggest running this program after your weekday news block at 7 or 8 p.m. It's perfect for the weekend afternoons and evenings, and would especially add hope to a Sunday evening in anticipation of a dreaded Monday morning.
Highly recommended (Black History Month or anytime).
There's a bleeped S-word at 58:03...FYI.
Imagine a musician single-handedly redefining what an instrument can do, elevating it to a whole other level. That's what the late Max Roach did for the drums. Whether its Jazz or rock or funk, there isn't a drummer today who isn't somehow influenced by what Roach played. But that's only a part of Max Roach's story, which spanned the Harlem Renaissance, the development of modern jazz, right up to hip hop and multi-media. Over a fifty-year career he blazed his way across genres as percussionist, bandleader and composer. Max Roach tells his story with frankness and a characteristic sharp wit, supported by "special guests" including Dizzy Gillespie, and noted drummers Paul Motion and Art Taylor. Max Roach--Drums Unlimited is narrated by Kenny Washington, a host of shows on public radio and Sirius, and himself a well-known jazz drummer. Washington brings his own drum-knowledge to the table, as well as a friendship with Max Roach. Max Roach passed away in August, 2007, and this original special pegs to either end-of-year "obit", or to his birth date, January 10. Despite its timeliness now with his recent passing, the show is evergreen for any future use.
From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 06:42
Meet the music lovers, fiddle players and lifelong amateur musicians from musical families pursuing music for its sheer joy and pleasure.
"Fiddle-icious" the radio piece, and the Fiddle-icious ensemble, preach and practice getting lost in the music, minimizing the nerves and music conservatory and performance gridlock — but they also make the case for reaching certain musical standards of excellence with the having-fun component.
Nice audio postcard, and as is often the case, the story is heard in the individual voices and their inflections.
A good fit during your arts magazine program, or as a tie-in to your local music and music education scene. Could also work during a local Americana music shift, with proper forward promotion and handling.
Producer Reese Erlich introduces Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes in this 3:35 feature from the Jazz Perspectives
Sweet story and storytelling -- short, sweet and to the point. Nice drop in during your local Jazz shift or arts magazine program.
I've had the honor of interviewing Chucho Valdes numerous times in both the US and Cuba. He could be living the high life in the US or Europe if he defected, but Chucho continues to live in Havana and draw inspiration from the people and fellow musicians there. This perspective features music from his CD New Conceptions.
From Dmae Roberts | 04:50
This is a wonderful introduction to the act and art of Pipa playing.
Pipa, the "pear-shaped lute kind of instrument with four strings," has a modern day champion named Wu Man. She became one of the stars of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road tour, and is now enjoying an international career on her own, and alongside the Silk Road Ensemble and other ensembles.
Superbly mixed by Dmae Roberts, "Wu Man - Pipa Player" has a place on your arts magazine program, can be linked to the world music scene in your market or serve as an enhanced Promo-PSA should Wu Man come to your town.
Wu Man is an internationally renowned pipa virtuoso and cited by the Los Angeles Times as 'the artist most responsible for bringing the pipa to the Western World.' Independent Producer Dmae Roberts produced this profile of Wu Man in her own words as she rehearses for a concert in Portland, OR. More Bio info: Born in Hangzhou, China, Wu Man studied with Lin, Shicheng, Kuang, Yuzhong, Chen, Zemin, and Liu, Dehai at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She currently lives in Boston where she was selected as a Bunting Fellow at Redcliffe Institute of Harvard University. Wu Man was selected by Yo-Yo Ma as the winner of the City of Toronto Glenn Gould Protege Prize in music and communication. She is also the first artist from China to have performed at the White House with the noted cellist with whom she now performs in the Silk Road Project. Since moving to the USA, she has continued to champion new works and have inspired pipa literature from composers Terry Riley, Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Tan Dun, Bright Sheng, Chen Yi, Zhou Long and many others.