Gil Evans, born a century ago this year, was a leading jazz arranger and composer starting in the 1940s, when he wrote for big bands. He helped organize Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, then arranged Davis' celebrated orchestra albums like Sketches of Spain. Evans, who had his own big bands that went electric in the 1970s and '80s, died in 1991, but some of his rare music has been newly recorded.
Even people who wouldn't know Yo-Yo Ma from Yanni know Carnegie Hall is where the world's greats play. So how do unknown students and amateurs get to perform at one of the world's most celebrated venues?
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 2:46 pm
Singer-songwriter Langhorne Slim (real name: Sean Scolnick) took his stage name from his hometown of Langhorne in Bucks County, Pa. After studying at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, Slim moved to Brooklyn and built a national following by touring with The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players. Eventually, he made his way to Portland, Ore., where he's lived since the 2009 release of Be Set Free.
Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:38 am
Seattle-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Hadreas got his start on MySpace and was ultimately discovered by Matador Records, which put out his debut album, Learning, in 2010. Playing songs from both that record and its follow-up, Put Your Back N 2 It, Hadreas was joined by a full-backing band — quite an adjustment, given that he was playing tiny stages just a couple years back.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 7:20 am
Singer-songwriter Justin Currie appears on this archival episode of Mountain Stage, recorded live in West Virginia in December 2007. Currie was a teenager when he founded the Scottish rock band Del Amitri in Glasgow in 1983. Soon eclipsing its DIY beginnings, Del Amitri went on to score several international hits in the '90s — including "Kiss This Thing Goodbye," "Roll to Me" and "The Last to Know" — and its videos became a mainstay on MTV and VH1.