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2009 Stories by Rick Mason

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  • Esperanza Spalding

    published March 4, 2009

    A prodigy on acoustic bass (which she only picked up after essentially teaching herself violin), and already an accomplished singer and songwriter... More >>

  • Sessions I

    published February 25, 2009

    This is the first in a periodic series of inspired collaborations among unlikely artists, promising a virtual nirvana for music junkies who... More >>

  • Joshua Redman

    published February 25, 2009

    Among the premier jazz artists of his generation (he turned 40 earlier this month), saxophonist Joshua Redman has enjoyed both critical and... More >>

  • 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's "Screen Tests"

    published February 25, 2009

    In the mid-'60s, pop art provocateur Andy Warhol filmed brief, silent portraits of many of the near-celebrities and hangers-on associated with his... More >>

  • Ashford & Simpson

    published February 18, 2009

    Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson have had an extraordinary 40-some-year run as acclaimed songwriters, performers, producers, and club operators... More >>

  • BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet

    published February 18, 2009

    It's no slur on legions of contemporary Cajun bands to call BeauSoleil, fresh from winning another Grammy, the greatest Cajun band of its... More >>

  • Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited

    published February 11, 2009

    A giant of African music, Thomas Mapfumo essentially wrote the soundtrack for the independence movement that transformed the white government of... More >>

  • Sophie Milman

    published February 11, 2009

    Born in Russia, raised mostly in Israel, finally settling in Canada in her teens, Sophie Milman burst on the jazz scene in her early 20s with a... More >>

  • Delta Spirit

    published February 11, 2009

    Emerging from the wreckage of the emo band Noise Ratchet, the San Diego quintet Delta Spirit headed rootsward, picking up few specifics of the... More >>

  • A Minneapolis Mardi Gras

    published February 11, 2009

    The event's title may be an oxymoron, the timing off by a week and a half, and the beads and doubloons in short supply, but inside Orchestra Hall... More >>

  • Jon Hassell

    published February 11, 2009

    Trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell has described his music as "drifting clouds" floating in billowy, atmospheric wafts that undulate in a languid,... More >>

  • North Mississippi All-Stars

    published February 4, 2009

    A wonderfully raw, gritty, and incendiary trio fueled by the dual fires of rock 'n' roll and the spectacularly rich blues heritage of Mississippi... More >>

  • James Cotton Blues Band

    published February 4, 2009

    James Cotton ranks among the few living legends of the harmonica. He learned from the legendary Sonny Boy Williamson, who took in Cotton as a... More >>

  • Rokia Traore

    published February 4, 2009

    Daughter of a Malian diplomat, Rokia Traoré spent parts of her childhood in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, and Africa. She's played... More >>

  • The Mighty Underdogs; Galactic

    published February 4, 2009

    Since its inception some 15 years ago as an instrumental outfit, New Orleans's Galactic has adeptly rolled with waves of fortune and misfortune,... More >>

  • Lenka

    published January 28, 2009

    Although coquettish Australian singer-songwriter Lenka Kripac has passed her 30th birthday, she pursues her inner naïf on her eponymous solo... More >>

  • Umphrey's McGee

    published January 28, 2009

    Reigning for the past decade, the present, and perhaps far into the future on the jam-band circuit, Chicago's Umphrey's McGee arrive for their... More >>

  • Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas

    published January 28, 2009

    The sublime intertwining of Alasdair Fraser's fiddle and Natalie Haas's cello is a wonder of nature. Fraser's lines dance with impish glee, soar... More >>

  • Catie Curtis

    published January 21, 2009

    At a time when virtually every songwriter with an ounce of sensitivity has been addressing the sorry state of affairs on the planet, Catie Curtis... More >>

  • Curumin

    published January 21, 2009

    Some 40 years after tropicalismo emerged in Brazil with its avant-garde melting pot philosophy that the rest of the world only started catching up... More >>

  • John Pizzarelli

    published January 21, 2009

    Besides being a notable jazz guitarist with a subtle, swinging style clearly influenced by his father Bucky, John Pizzarelli has established... More >>

  • Cedric Burnside; Steve Lightnin' Malcolm

    published January 21, 2009

    Riddled with raw intensity, matching gritty Mississippi hill country blues with potent doses of funk and psychedelia, the wild and wonderful sound... More >>

  • Adele

    published January 14, 2009

    It's tempting to call Adele Adkins this year's Amy Winehouse. After all, a serious buzz has blossomed into genuine phenom status with last... More >>

  • The Fray

    published January 7, 2009

    The Fray hit the big time with their 2005 major-label debut, How to Save a Life, with multimillion sales, several Grammy nominations, and a... More >>

  • James Moody

    published January 7, 2009

    Closely associated with bebop bedazzler Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he played for several lengthy stints, saxophonist/flautist James Moody also... More >>

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