WRTI Picks from NPR Music

WRTI Picks from NPR Music
3:43 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson

Frank Wess.
Hiroyuki Ito Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 12:35 pm

Frank Wess' new album, Magic 201, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, Magic 101. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:23 am
Sun February 9, 2014

Stolen Stradivarius Found By Milwaukee Police

A Stradivarius violin is pictured in December 2009 at the restoration and research laboratory of the Musee de la Musique in Paris.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:26 am

Police in Milwaukee have recovered "Lipinski" – a 300-year-old Stradivarius stolen last month from a concertmaster as he was walking to his car with the rare violin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, quoting law enforcement officials, says the instrument has been found:

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:09 pm
Sat February 8, 2014

'Philomena' And The Power Of A Quiet Film Score

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan in the film Philomena.
Alex Bailey Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:53 pm

In the 1950s, Philomena Lee was a naive Irish teenager who got pregnant, gave birth in a convent, and was forced by the nuns to sign away her parental rights. The 2013 film Philomena is based on what happened five decades later, when Lee went looking for her son with the help of a journalist. Directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena is up for several Academy Awards, including one in an unlikely category.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:25 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Valery Gergiev, The Powerful And Polarizing Maestro

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) presents the "Hero of Labour" award to conductor Valery Gergiev, head of the Mariinsky Theatre.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:10 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
6:42 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Duke Ellington's Lost Opera, Forever A Work In Progress

Karen Marie Richardson (right) plays the title role in the Long Beach Opera's staging of Queenie Pie, the jazz opera Duke Ellington left unfinished when he died in 1974.
Bryan Frank Long Beach Opera

Duke Ellington added more than 3,000 songs to the American music vault before his death in 1974. He also started composing what he hoped would be a great American street opera — which composers have spent 40 years adapting, trying to figure out what the Duke wanted for his unfinished opus.

But before you imagine soothing arias or boisterous trills and vibrato, let me stop you: Ellington's opera is very much a work of jazz.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
12:56 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads

Jane Ira Bloom.
Johnny Moreno Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 4:08 pm

When soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom plays Kurt Weill's "My Ship" on her new album Sixteen Sunsets, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
8:51 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Dave Brubeck Was The Macklemore Of 1954

Dave Brubeck received a posthumous tribute at the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
7:23 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:30 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Remaking All That Jazz From Shanghai's Lost Era

Electronic music producer Dave Liang and jazz singer Zhang Le collaborated on a new album of Shanghai jazz standards from the 1930s and 1940s.
Zhuang Yan Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:55 pm

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WRTI Picks from NPR Music
5:08 am
Sun January 26, 2014

94 Years After Her Death, Maud Powell Finally Wins A Grammy

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 9:20 am

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