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Malian Bandleader Bassekou Kouyate Merges Rock And Soul In 'Ba Power'

The new album by the veteran musician and his band Ngoni Ba conveys the restless march of time and the transience of all human conditions. Milo Miles calls it "the most satisfying sort of catchy."
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The Gary Peacock Trio Balances Introspection And Drive In 'Now This'

Bassist Gary Peacock, pianist Marc Copland and drummer Joey Baron bring an airy, elastic swing to their new album, Now This. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the players pull the melodies together well.
NPR

Chris Joyner's Journey From Sideman To Spotlight

Long a studio musician, the pianist is now moving center stage with a new album. "I'd always been writing songs, keeping them to myself," he says. "I just let go. I figured, what have I got to lose?"
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On Algiers' Debut Album, Southern Boys Find A Common Cause

The band's music is a blend of punk and gospel traditions and a reaction to the suburban upbringing its three members share.
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When Nora Jane Struthers' Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

The former English teacher may never have become a singer-songwriter if her identity hadn't been taken. "I was just ready for a brand new start," she says. And soon she was on the road to Nashville.
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'Like An Avalanche': Otis Redding's Unstoppable Crossover

"He had an underground kind of appeal that built on itself," says author Mark Ribowsky, whose book Dreams to Remember traces Redding's unlikely pivot into national stardom.
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A Band Of Their Own

As men went off to combat in World War II, a group of Southern college women took to the bandstand. Meet the Darlinettes — hear their music and stories from their leader and their drummer.
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For Jack DeJohnette, A Chicago Homecoming Brought A Reunion With Old Friends

The drummer is an NEA Jazz Master who's played with everybody, including Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett. But for his new live album, DeJohnette called in some hometown pals.
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Before Berry Gordy's Motown, There Was John Dolphin's Recorded In Hollywood

The black entrepreneur who opened a record store called Dolphin's Of Hollywood — in South Central Los Angeles — is the subject of a new musical about his business success and untimely death.
NPR

Joanna Gruesome's 'Peanut Butter' Rises Above The Band's Gimmicky Name

The Welsh band's name is a play on that of singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom. Ken Tucker likens the group's second album to a high-wire act accompanied by "furiously strummed punk-rock guitar chords."

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