With her huge voice and an assist from talented trombonist Daniel Walter Eaton, Zola Jesus presented a curious combination at the Tiny Desk — a combination I hardly ever encounter. Having seen her mostly with a big and powerful band, I wondered if this configuration would work. But it was magic, with the trombone poignantly complementing her mellifluous voice and stark personal words.
Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 9:04 pm
Christian McBride remembers very well the first time he heard A Love Supreme, the John Coltrane classic that turns 50 this month. The bassist, composer and host of NPR's Jazz Night in America was in high school in Philadelphia, and had grown friendly with the staff at record store he passed on his daily commute.
Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 12:36 pm
13 min 37 sec
The beauty of the Tiny Desk lies, at least partially, in the limitations of size and technology. We rarely amplify voices, for example, so for a band like Until The Ribbon Breaks, the challenge becomes how to take a loud electronic sound down to a volume where singer Pete Lawrie-Winfield can be heard. In this case, the solution involved a spaghetti strainer, a paint bucket and an acoustic guitar.
Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 8:17 pm
More than 15 years ago, Roebuck "Pops" Staples started recording his final album with his daughters, Mavis, Cleotha and Yvonne of the gospel-R&B family act The Staple Singers. Pops was ailing, but his voice was strong.