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12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.

Music

'Rejoice' with Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela

This long-delayed collaboration by two African master musicians is an occasion for jubilation. Rejoice is a posthumous reminder of what Hugh Masekela at his best could deliver and of the now 80-year-old Tony Allen's amazing vitality.

Music

​​​Where Are the Good Souls, the Better Angels?​​ Asks Lucinda Williams

On her new searing album, Good Souls Better Angels, Lucinda Williams rages against the darkness of our era and seeks the strength to get through it.

Books

The Rolling Stones Go to College

The Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones, the first book of academic essays about the band, considers not only what the band accomplished, but why, 60 years since they formed, the Rolling Stones still matter.

Books

The "Unrequited Love" of An Accidental (Gay) Activist

In the '70s Dennis Altman was a founding figure of gay liberation. Now more restrained than radical, the Australian author and activist recounts the past and present of sexual politics in his new book, Unrequited Love.

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The Two Louis: "Pops" and "The Wildest"

New Orleans' two great Louis, Armstrong and Prima, were formed by their hometown and its culture; though both left the city, it never left them or their music. They were both artists and entertainers, gifted musicians, and unabashed crowd-pleasers.

Books

Farewell to the "Father of Montalbano", Sicilian Novelist Andrea Camilleri

The beloved character Salvo Montalbano, like its author, the late Sicilian novelist Andrea Camilleri ("il padre di Montalbano"), can be brusque and ornery, but he has a strong ethical code and passionate commitment to justice.

Books

'Which Side Are You On?: 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs' Doth Protest Too Little

Ironically, James Sullivan's liberalism is fundamental to what's wrong with Which Side Are You On?: 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs.

Music

Delgres Offers Up Blues As World Music on 'Mo Jodi'

The Paris-based trio Delgres connects the Mississippi Delta, the Caribbean, and New Orleans on their debut album, Mo Jodi.

Music

Rolling Stones, Covered in Blues

On Chicago Plays the Stones, ten Chicago-based blues artists remake a dozen Rolling Stones compositions, with mixed results.

Music

Ry Cooder Seeks Comfort in Gospel Music on 'The Prodigal Son'

Ry Cooder's first album in six years exchanges pointed political commentary for spiritual songs of comfort and consolation.

Books

Camp, Satire, and Serious Artistry in Carnival Krewsing

Gay carnival culture in New Orleans offers an interesting parallel to African American culture. This and other observations are offered in Unveiling the Muse: The Lost History of Gay Carnival in New Orleans.

Books

100 Years Ago, Revolutionaries Overthrew a Corrupt, Repressive Monarchy

China Miéville's October is a gripping, novelistic account of the Russian Revolution that offers the pleasures and rewards of a great novel.

Music

Lucinda Williams: This Sweet Old World

Redoing an entire album is a surprising and bold move, but on This Sweet Old World the gambit pays off. It's anything but a retread.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Highway 20 / Thirty Tigers

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Highway 20/Thirty Tigers

Music

Contrary to Popular Belief, the Blues Were Not Born on the Mississippi Delta

Historians Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff debunk myths about the origins of blues music, locating them not in the Mississippi Delta but in southern black vaudeville.

Reviews

Pickett Was Wicked Good and Wicked Bad: 'In the Midnight Hour'

Tony Fletcher's biography of the great soul singer is a vivid, detailed, and insightful portrait of a complex, talented, and often deplorable man.

Music

The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome

On their new album, the Stones return to their origins -- but now with greater authority and skill

Music

La Notte della Taranta: Celebration and Solidarity

The "big concert" of Italy's biggest folk festival was almost canceled after a devastating earthquake. But the show went on -- as a benefit for relief and reconstruction.

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