Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 7:21 pm
Pianist Bill Charlap's trio is about as quintessentially "New York elegant" as it gets. At Newport, it's been drafted to accompany the reedman Bob Wilber, an esteemed elder who specializes in classic jazz styles. (You might specialize too if you were mentored by Sidney Bechet.) The presence of Newport favorite Anat Cohen makes this something of a clarinet summit: a refreshing little hint of traditional jazz at a festival that's become a lot about the modern lately.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 7:21 pm
As a whole, Terence Blanchard's high-functioning quintet reliably serves up sleek modernism in the form of post-bop jazz. Individually, its members are also becoming great composers: Blanchard's new album, Magnetic, features tunes from everyone in the band. The new repertoire sees Blanchard cop some electric feels for his trumpet. And a guest turn from guitarist Lionel Loueke, who also appears on the album, makes this band a rare six-person quintet.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 5:48 pm
Here's the next great male jazz singer. He's got a booming delivery straight from vintage soul. He writes original tunes packed with metaphor and delivers authoritative versions of standards. It's little wonder Blue Note Records signed him for a new album this fall. The forthcoming Liquid Spirit is great, but he's even better live, surrounded with a long-running band that knows what he's after and enables it splendidly. As he suggests on the title track: Clap your hands now.
HAL 9000 he's not. But Kirobo, the first-ever talking robot in space is heading to the International Space Station this week ahead of his human companion, Japanese astronaut Kochi Wakata, who takes over as ISS commander in November.
U.S.-Russia relations hit a new low this week, when Moscow ignored U.S. requests and gave temporary asylum to a man who leaked classified documents on U.S. government surveillance programs.
Many in Congress are complaining that the Edward Snowden case is just the latest example of how the Kremlin is thumbing its nose at the White House.
The Obama administration famously reset relations with Russia when Dmitry Medvedev was president. But now that Russian President Vladimir Putin is back in the Kremlin, it seems to be having a more difficult time.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 4:46 pm
Update At 4:40 p.m. ET:
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki says Sunday that the embassy and consulate closures will be extended:
In a statement, Psaki says the decision was taken "out of an abundance of caution" and the it was "not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution ... to protect our employees."
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 11:42 am
Hassan Rouhani, Iran's newly elected president, is being sworn-in on Sunday, succeeding the controversial Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose focus on the country's nuclear program proved a constant source of tension with the West.
Rouhani, 64, is viewed as a moderate and has pledged greater openness on the country's nuclear program. However, the former chief nuclear negotiator for Tehran appeared late Saturday to be reading from the same script as his predecessor:
The Department of State has issued a travel alert over the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. NPR's Dina Temple-Raston speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about the threat of more attacks.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you watched "Saturday Night Live" in the 1990s, you might remember this:
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As announcer) And now, deep thoughts by Jack Handey.
JACK HANDEY: Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself, mankind. Basically, it's made up of two separate words: mank and ind. What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
In Uganda, local activists have been fighting a bill that might be one of the most punitive and anti-gay measures in the world. It's actually called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and that's just one vote away from becoming law.
NPR's Gregory Warner is in Kampala. Welcome to the program, Greg.
GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: Thanks, Rachel.
MARTIN: So, it's Gay Pride Week in many countries around the world. How is it being marked in Uganda, especially in light of this pending legislation?
The former president will be charged with the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed at a rally in 2007. Host Rachel Martin talks to Hameed Gul, former director general of the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence service, about the political deterioration in Pakistan.
That music should instantly transport you to the realm of British sci-fi and the world of "Dr. Who." If it doesn't, then bear with us and listen closely. The cult BBC TV show, about a doctor who travels though time and space in a blue policeman's telephone booth, is 50 years old this year. Still with me?
Love is a burning thing that makes a fiery ring. That, my friends, is musical poetry. OK, maybe not, but it is the opening line to one of Johnny Cash's biggest hits. "Ring of Fire" turns 50 years old this year.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RING OF FIRE")
JOHNNY CASH: (Singing) Love is a burning thing, and it makes a fiery ring.
Comedy is something we tend to think of as universal. If a joke's funny, it's just funny, right? Not really. Turns out humor can be really culturally specific. And today, we're going to look at what happens when comedians try to cross over from one cultural to another. Our next guest has some experience with that. His name is Ryan Ha. He's a Chinese-American who lives in Beijing. And he is the CEO of something called Comedy Club China. He's joined us in our studios this morning. Hey, Ryan. Thanks for coming in.
When country violinist Amanda Shires goes on tour, she meets a lot of interesting people. Once after a show in Tampa, Florida, a fellow calling himself Tiger Bill handed her a mysterious bag — whose contents, he said, would make her "bulletproof."
"And I opened it and looked inside of it," Shires recalls. "And it was whiskers and claws and teeth and fur."
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's latest book is Oleander Girl.
I was about 12 when I first encountered The Moonstone — or a Classics Illustrated version of it — digging through an old trunk in my grandfather's house on a rainy Bengali afternoon. I loved the Classics Illustrated series (the graphic novels of my youth that simplified famous novels for children), presenting us with swashbuckling plotlines, and heroes and villains that were unmistakably, unashamedly, what they were supposed to be.
To be a folk musician these days, there's no requirement that you be some sort of rambling wanderer. But it can't hurt, right?
Gregory Alan Isakov was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He didn't stay there long: He moved to Philadelphia, then around the East Coast, switching schools every couple years. As an adult, he's found a more stable home: a remote part of Colorado. And in his music, he writes from the perspective quite happy to be away from any big cities.
On-air challenge:This week's puzzle is called "What's in a Name?" Every answer consists of the names of two famous people. The last name of the first person is an anagram of the first name of the last person. Given the non-anagram parts of the names, you identify the people. For example, given "Madeleine" and "Aaron," you would say "Kahn" and "Hank."
Last week's challenge: In three words, name a product sold mainly to women that has the initials N-P-R. The answer is a common phrase.
It's finally happening, folks. This year, the average time Americans spend with digital media each day will surpass traditional TV viewing time. That's according to eMarketer's latest estimate of media consumption among adults.
The average adult will spend more than five hours per day online and on non-voice mobile activities (read: texting, apps, games). That's compared to an average four hours and 31 minutes each day of TV watching.