Tom Moon

Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.

He is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing), and a contributor to other books including The Final Four of Everything.

A saxophonist whose professional credits include stints on cruise ships and several tours with the Maynard Ferguson orchestra, Moon served as music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1988 until 2004. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender, Spin, Vibe, Harp and other publications, and has won several awards, including two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Music Journalism awards. He has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered since 1996.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

First Listen: Dawes, 'All Your Favorite Bands'

Dawes' new album, All Your Favorite Bands, comes out June 2.
Courtesy of the artist

The young man sounds a bit shaken. His lover, perhaps the love of his life, has departed. He's surveying his options, talking to her even though she's not there, the way the jilted sometimes do. "I could wring out each memory until I get every drop."

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

First Listen: Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus, 'The Bad Plus Joshua Redman'

Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus' new album, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, comes out May 26.
Cameron Wittig Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 6:55 am

For the last two years, pianist Ethan Iverson has been at the center of what looks, in hindsight, like a serious creative whirlwind. He re-conceptualized Stravinsky's ballet The Rite Of Spring in its entirety (!) for his trio The Bad Plus, and then, for good measure, recorded an album of all-original Bad Plus music (Inevitable Western).

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Music
4:34 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

For The Word, Gospel Is More About A Feeling

On The Word's new album, Soul Food, the group tackles traditional gospel grooves and seriously funky backbeats.
Jay Adkins Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:23 pm

For some people, gospel music is all about the message — of faith and forbearance, sin and salvation. For the members of the mostly instrumental supergroup known as The Word, gospel is more about a feeling. The group's long-awaited second album, Soul Food, is a rousing, thoroughly modern take on gospel.

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Music
4:40 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

'Sound & Color' A Bold Leap Forward For Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes' new album, Sound & Color, is powered by more than just the vocals of Brittany Howard.
Brantley Gutierrez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 6:23 pm

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

Review: Calexico, 'Edge Of The Sun'

Calexico's new album, Edge Of The Sun, comes out April 14.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 11:53 am

Really, how much hoodoo can there be out in the desert?

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Review: 'Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith'

Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith comes out March 17.
Crackerfarm Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 10:42 am

Working as a music journalist means that some days you get to tell people, in breathless prose, about an incredible new record you've discovered. On other days, you have to tell people that an artist you've followed and respected for years is no longer living. That part is never any fun. Listening to the hushed, elegantly spare Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith, I found myself transported back to the period right after Smith died, of apparently self-inflicted stab wounds, in 2003.

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Music Reviews
4:10 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Music Review: 'Soyo' By Dom La Nena

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:25 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

First Listen: Dan Deacon, 'Gliss Riffer'

Dan Deacon's new album, Gliss Riffer, comes out Feb. 24.
Frank Hamilton Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 10:07 am

The glissando (gliss for short) is a musical term describing the sound of an instrument as it glides from one pitch to another. A favorite trick of jazz hornmen and slide guitarists, the gliss can be a woozy, gleeful sound or a mournful one. When executed by a virtuoso violinist, the notes between the start and the finish of the gliss blur together into a gorgeous, ribbonlike swoop of sound.

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First Listen
11:03 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

First Listen: José González, 'Vestiges & Claws'

José González's new album, Vestiges & Claws, comes out Feb. 17.
Malin Johansson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 9:42 am

He asks a lot of questions, this José González.

He opened his last album, 2013's band project Junip, with a thought experiment Nietzsche could love: "What would you do if it all came back to you?" The song, "Line Of Fire," dwells in a mood of idle 3 a.m. musing; González tosses out existential/metaphysical conundrums like he's feeding bread to ducks — casually, without worrying much about concrete answers.

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Music Reviews
5:26 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Dylan The Crooner

Detail from the cover art of Bob Dylan's new album-length Frank Sinatra tribute, Shadows in the Night.
Album cover

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 11:02 am

Bard. Voice of a generation. Bob Dylan has been called many things over the years. With his new album, Shadows in the Night, the 73-year-old aims for another title: crooner.

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