The Hammond electronic organ was developed with churches in mind, as a lower-cost alternative to pipe organs. But in Philadelphia, a keyboard player named Jimmy Smith was inspired by early jazz experiments on the instrument, and found a devastating way to adapt the new bebop style to the Hammond B-3. It seeded a new tradition of organ players in Philadelphia — major figures like "Groove" Holmes, Jimmy McGriff, Papa John and Joey DeFrancesco, and Trudy Pitts — and kickstarted a new sound in jazz at large.

It's not as if there were ever clear paths for cello players beyond the European classical tradition, but Akua Dixon made one for herself. The New York City native found work in the pit band of the Apollo Theater, the multi-racial Symphony of the New World, and the bands of many jazz musicians — including drummer Max Roach's Double Quartet. As she developed her jazz chops, she also started her own string quartet, featured prominently on her new self-titled album. Akua Dixon also features her crafty arranging for strings over jazz standards and Afro-Latin grooves.

For decades, David Murray was known as one of New York's most monstrously talented and astoundingly prolific artists — a tenor saxophonist who played and wrote for just about every imaginable context. He's still these things, but he lives in Europe now. So this year's Winter Jazzfest — already jam-packed with over 100 acts in two nights — saw fit to give New York audiences a proper saturation of what they'd been missing, presenting David Murray in three completely different sets.

How Many Roads: Bob Dylan’s Back Pages Volume II

Jan 2, 2018

In this second edition of "How Many Roads?" Bob Dylan's Back Pages, we'll rejoin the great American wordsmith by listening to his work from the last 25 years. We won't forget the historic and ancient roots of his modern sounds, from the Old Testament to the Civil Rights movement. We'll hear from collaborators and friends, Mavis Staples and Joan Baez, and from Kris Kristofferson who overheard Dylan's recording sessions while working as a custodian in Nashville.

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And I'm Rachel Martin with some historic music firsts on this first day of the new year.


Music this week brought to you by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Rory Gallagher!

This week on "The Juke Joint" broadcast the Duke of Juke, Robert Barclay, featured the work of guitarist, singer and songwriter Bill Kirchen. During the interview Bill spoke about his roots in Ann Arbor and forming the band Commander Cody & the Last Planet Airmen. He now lives in Austin, Texas as the "King of Diesel-billy" with his twangy guitar and truck driving tunes. You'll hear a classic 8-minute version of "Hot Rod Lincoln" and some music by some of his favorites like Bob Dylan, Mike Bloomfield and Red Simpson.

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We'll hear music of the Gibson Brothers, Michael Cleveland, and Tim O'Brien, as well as  Molskey's Mountain Drifters, Rodney Crowell, Alison Krauss and Lizz Wright.

Toast Of The Nation 2018

Dec 31, 2017

NPR's New Year's Eve tradition returns in this year's Toast of the Nation jazz party. Spirited and swinging, each hour of our annual all-night broadcast features a different live performance sure to get you ready for 2018.

Right now, you can enjoy all six hours of music any time of day or night — complete with festive Happy New Year messages throughout. Hosted by Christian McBride, it's the perfect complement to your holiday festivities.

To close out 2017, one last spin of Organissimo's live disc from this year, plus classic '57 Village Vanguard music from Sonny Rollins and classic '72 live material from Rock HOFers Yes!