Tom Moon

Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.

He is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing), and a contributor to other books including The Final Four of Everything.

A saxophonist whose professional credits include stints on cruise ships and several tours with the Maynard Ferguson orchestra, Moon served as music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1988 until 2004. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender, Spin, Vibe, Harp and other publications, and has won several awards, including two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Music Journalism awards. He has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered since 1996.

Music Reviews
5:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

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

Live at the Cellar Door, the new album from Neil Young, was recorded in 1970.
Gary Burden Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 7:29 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
4:41 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Steady And Swingin': Tootie Keeps The Tempo

From left: pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath and bassist Ben Street.
John Rogers Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Since playing on John Coltrane's first release in 1957, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath has participated in a number of landmark jazz records. Now 78, the musician is featured in a new trio session with players nearly half his age — pianist Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus and bassist Ben Street.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:43 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Pat Metheny And John Zorn: A Vivid Sound World

Best known for bright, accessible modern jazz, Pat Metheny takes on an experimental composer's work with the new Tap: John Zorn's Book of Angels, Vol. 20.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Guitarist Pat Metheny is revered for his bright, accessible modern jazz. Saxophonist and composer John Zorn is associated with much knottier, often dissonant experiments.

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CD Selections
3:27 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

A 1969 Bootleg Unearths Miles Davis' 'Lost' Quintet

Miles Davis' Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 is a compilation of previously unreleased material performed by a short-lived incarnation of his touring band.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 6:18 pm

After a slew of multidisc sets devoted to key points in the career of Miles Davis, you'd think Columbia Records would have unearthed every speck of consequential music by now. But not quite.

This week, Columbia brings out Live in Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2 — a three-CD, one-DVD set devoted to the jazz maverick's "lost" quintet, his touring band from 1969.

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Music Reviews
3:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Elina Duni: Love, Lust And Albanian Folk Songs

On Matane Malit, the Elina Duni Quartet lays expansive instrumentation over traditional Albanian folk melodies.
Blerta Kambo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 7:12 pm

The spread of formal jazz education has created a new breed of global musician: one who uses improvisation, and other devices associated with jazz, to transform folk and traditional music. The Albanian singer Elina Duni is part of this rising class. Her latest release, Matane Malit ("Beyond the Mountain"), offers a transfixing balance of old and new.

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Music Reviews
4:10 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

A Posthumous Masterpiece Adds To E.S.T.'s Legacy

E.S.T. was Esbjorn Svensson, Dan Berglund and Magnus Ostrom.
Jim Rakete

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 10:51 am

When the pianist Esbjorn Svensson died in a scuba accident in 2008, many fans of his group, the Swedish trio known as E.S.T., wondered if there might be some unreleased experiments lurking in a studio vault. There were. Just out is a disc called 301, which was recorded in 2008 during sessions for the group's final album.

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Music Reviews from NPR
4:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Melody Gardot Aims For The Space Between Notes

Melody Gardot takes an understated approach to Brazilian music on her new album, The Absence.
Fabrizio Ferri

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 12:39 pm

The other day, I had a conversation with Melody Gardot about space. Not outer space, but the space between notes in her music. These days, there's lots of it.

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