On the Radio

Week of November 27, 2016

Getting Jazzed

November 27, 2016

There's a new kind of music packing nightclubs with young fans. It's jazz - but not the sound of your grandparents' supper club. Infused with hip hop and other popular musical forms, jazz is being remade. We talk with some of today's biggest and most innovative jazz stars, including Esperanza Spalding and Vijay Iyer, and explore the magic of improvisation.

Producer(s): 
  1. Ecstatic Rhythm

    Ted Gioia was in high school when he first visited a jazz club and he realized instantly, "This is it! This is what I've been looking for." The experience changed his life and since then he's become a noted jazz critic and historian. Gioia's new book is "How to Listen to Jazz." He tells Anne Strainchamps that new collaborations with rappers and rockers are revitalizing today's jazz.

    5
    Average: 5 (4 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  2. Leroi Jones' "Blues People"

    Alex Abramovich recommends "Blues People: Negro Music in White America" by Leroi Jones, who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka.

    5
    Average: 5 (3 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  3. Esperanza Spalding's "Good Lava"

    Esperanza Spalding is one of the brightest young stars in jazz - except she resists being labeled a "jazz musician." In fact, her new album "Emily's D+ Evolution" sounds more like rock than jazz. When she sat down in our studio with Steve Paulson, she talked about her childhood roots in classical music before her momentous discovery of jazz improvisation.

    5
    Average: 5 (3 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  4. Tord Gustavsen Recommends a Norwegian Jazz Classic

    Norway's acclaimed pianist Tord Gustavsen recommends another Norwegian classic, Masqualero's album "Bande a Part."

    5
    Average: 5 (2 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  5. What Is Music?

    Celebrated jazz pianist Vijay Iyer has a Ph.D in music cognition and a penchant for asking big questions - like, what is music? And what does it do for us? Steve Paulson caught up with Vijay backstage before a recent concert, where they talked about improvisation and the parallels between jazz and basketball.

    5
    Average: 5 (3 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.

Extinction (Update)

November 27, 2016
(was 10.18.2015)

Our planet is facing a mass extinction crisis. By the end of the century, we could lose up to half of all living species. But people are working hard to save endangered species and habitats, and a few scientists are even trying to bring lost species - like passenger pigeons and woolly mammoths - back to life.

Producer(s): 
  1. How To Clone a Mammoth - Beth Shapiro

    Could we actually clone a mammoth? Yes and no, says biologist Beth Shapiro--a pioneer in the new science of de-extinction. She takes us behind the scenes to examine the science and ethics of resurrecting extinct species.

    5
    Average: 5 (1 vote)
    Vote rating for this content.
  2. Are You Ready for the Next Mass Extinction?

    Coral reefs and many of the oceans' marvels may disappear before this century ends, according to a new scientific study. Science writer Elizabeth Kolbert says we're facing the sixth great extinction. She tells stories from the front lines of the fight against extinction, from Panama to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

    5
    Average: 5 (2 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  3. Recording America's Rarest Bird

    The story of finding and recording the rarest bird in America: the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.

    5
    Average: 5 (3 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  4. From the Sabertooth to the Grizzly

    Doug Peacock is a legend in wilderness circles. A friend of Edward Abbey, Peacock was a Vietnam vet so traumatized by the war that he escaped into the wilderness once he returned to America. He says grizzlies saved his life.

    5
    Average: 5 (3 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.
  5. Dangerous Idea: Tax Water Use

    As water becomes a scare resource, how about taxing everyone for the water they use? That's Michal Charles Moore's dangerous idea.

    3
    Average: 3 (1 vote)
    Vote rating for this content.
  6. Writing the American West

    David Gessner discovered the American West as a young man, and the huge mountains and wide open spaces changed his life. He recently took a road trip through the West, following in the footsteps of two literary heroes, Edward Abbey and Wallace Stegner. Gessner says their books help us see the West in all its complexity.

    4.666665
    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
    Vote rating for this content.