For fans of the art of percussion: in this video, shot during SXSW in Austin this past spring by NPR Music, Brazilian rock band Apanhador Só makes rhythms and beats from found items, including a children's bicycle and a kazoo.
Stride piano pioneer William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith (1893-1973), a.k.a. Willie "The Lion" Smith, does a remarkable 6-song, 28 minute set on the BBC in 1965. If you're not sure what "stride" piano means, let Smith demonstrate and explain as he performs compositions ranging from Chopin to "St Louis Blues".
New Orleans jazz singer Sharon Martin performs "Take the A Train," one of Duke Ellington's signature numbers and composed by Billy Strayhorn. Sharon's version was recorded live by WWOZ last February, at the historic Basin St. Station in New Orleans.
"Queen of the Blues" and Blues Hall of Famer Koko Taylor (d. 2009) does Willie Dixon's "Wang Dang Doodle" in a 1967 studio performance. In 1966, Taylor's version reached #13 on the Billboard R&B chart and #58 on the pop chart.
For your hot summer holiday viewing pleasure, here's a 33-minute set of cool jazz from Dave Brubeck, recorded live in Germany in 1966. The tracks include "Take The ‘A’ Train," "Forty Days," "I’m In A Dancing Mood," "Koto Song," and "Take Five."
Legendary Texas country blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinare Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins (1912-1982) demonstrates his distinctive fingerstyle in this cover of the classic Ray Charles song "What'd I Say". Hopkins' New York Times obit called him "one of the great county blues" players, and "perhaps the greatest single influence on rock guitar players."
Jamaican vocal group the Heptones, backed by the Dutch musicans the High Notes, with their reggae cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released". The Heptones recorded this song twice, first in 1969 for Studio One and then in 1976 at Lee "Scratch" Perry's Black Ark studio for their Party Time album.
Wilson Anthony "Boozoo" Chavis (1930-2001) of Lake Charles, LA with a live version of "Johnny Billy Goat" (or "Johnny Ma Cabrille"). Chavis, nicknamed the "Creole Cowboy" for his signature C&W attire, was a force in zydeco from the mid-1950s until his death in 2001.
Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Roadshow do "Foot Of Canal Street" during a Threadheads benefit concert at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in Washington DC, June 3, 2010. With Big Sam, Alex McMurray, Debbie Davis, and a number of other familiar faces.