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Beyonce's New Album Is Entertainment's October Surprise

The sudden release of Beyonce's new album felt like a gift, but it was also a remarkably deft orchestration of the recording industry at the tail end of 2013.

When Donny Hathaway, Thelonious Monk And Neil Young Hit A Turning Point

NPR's Melissa Block talks with music critic Tom Moon about three recently released live recordings, all from around 1970, that each capture an artist at a distinct point of change in his career.

Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Guitarist Jim Hall

The guitarist, composer and arranger died in his sleep Tuesday at 83. Hall was known for a subtle, lyrical playing style, a gift for innovation and collaborations with a host of talented musicians in a career that stretched more than seven decades. Hear an interview from 1989.

'Wallace' Grew Up, So What's He Listening To?

Actor Michael B. Jordan has literally grown up on screen — from his role in the hit series 'The Wire' to the critically acclaimed film 'Fruitvale Station.' For Tell Me More's series called "In Your Ear," he talks about some of the tracks that push him to keep working harder.

For The Bloodiest Tales In American Music, A Revenge-Themed Sequel

Murder ballads — dark, brutal story-songs that tend to claim the lives of women — occupy a significant place in American roots music. A new song by Jim Lauderdale gives a few of those women a second act.
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Rob Kapilow: Music Traditions And The Holidays (Rebroadcast)

"What Makes It Great" creator Rob Kapilow joins Kojo to explore how tradition shapes how composers write holiday music, and how we hear it.


Original 'Dreamgirl' Jennifer Holliday: 'I'm Not Going Nowhere'

Jennifer Holliday sprang to stardom in the 1980s for her Tony Award-winning performance in Dreamgirls and went on to a recording career after Broadway. But her life wasn't always glamorous: She suffered from depression and obesity, and once attempted suicide. She talks about the message she's trying to send with her forthcoming album, The Song is You.

Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set

"This is it," Webb said of Fitzgerald. "I have a real singer now. That's what the public wants."

Venezuelan Hip-Hop Takes On Police Corruption

The song by Venezuelan rappers Apache y Canserbero tackles the rampant police corruption plaguing their country — but with a light touch.

Remembering Jim Hall, A Different Sort Of Guitar God

The guitarist said he didn't "really have all that much technique anyway," but it was clearly enough to influence half a century of jazz musicians. Peers and proteges like Sonny Rollins, Julian Lage and John Scofield reflect on one of the finest ever on his instrument.