Music

David Bowie's website announced Thursday a limited-edition release of two rarities from the rock icon's vault: Cracked Actor, a three-LP live record of a Los Angeles show from 1974 mixed by longtime Bowie studio collaborator Tony Visconti, as well as a reissue of a small-pressing EP of Bowpromo from 1971, which contained alternate mixes of songs from Hunky Dory.

Earl Johnson II didn't grow up dreaming about becoming a famous singer: For a long time, he didn't even know he could sing. He discovered his talent almost by accident one night, at the recording studio he was working in as a producer.

Marty Stuart is a walking, talking, singing, guitar-slinging repository of American popular music. The multiple-Grammy winner has had a long and storied career rooted in country music, but spanning everything from honky-tonk to "hillbilly rock" and from Southern gospel and blues to Native American balladry.

Yesterday, on International Women's Day, most of my friends were in full empowerment mode. They were sporting red clothes, naming their top five women artists, and posting photos of mothers and daughters. But over in the jazz world, International Women's Day was a little more ... awkward. We were busy attending to some much less celebratory women's business, a series of online events that we'll call the Saga of Musical Clitoris.

Stephin Merritt is a great storyteller with a really analytical perspective — except, maybe, when it comes to his own feelings.

As the driving force behind The Magnetic Fields, Merritt has written hundreds of songs. Almost none of them are autobiographical; it's just not his style. And yet, for his 50th birthday, he decided he was going to write 50 songs, one for each year of his life.

Dave Valentin became one of the pre-eminent flutists in Latin jazz. He was known for his creative combination of fusion, pop and R&B.

He won a Grammy in 2003 for best Latin jazz album for "The Gathering," by the Caribbean Jazz Project. Vibraphonist Dave Samuels was also featured on that record.

Manager Richie Bonilla told news agencies that Valentin, 64, who had suffered multiple strokes over the last several years, died Wednesday from stroke complications and Parkinson's disease.

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