If you sample the first few notes of guitarist John Scofield's new album, Uberjam Deux, you might mistake it for something out of West Africa. But a spin through the tracks takes you to another hemisphere with a sound right out of Jamaica, then to American shores with a soulful homage to Al Green.
Taj Mahal has a degree in animal husbandry and agronomy, and planned to be a farmer. Music was just something he did.
"No matter what went down, music was always going to be a part of my life," the guitarist and singer says. "What ultimately happened is that, over a period of time, I just kind of looked around and when like, 'Wow! I'm actually making a living doing this.'"
This year marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision: Gideon v. Wainwright in which the justices ruled, unanimously, that defendants in criminal cases deserved legal representation in state courts. If defendants could not afford counsel, the state would have to provide it. Those lawyers are known as public defenders. A new HBO documentary, Gideon's Army, follows three black public defenders working in the Deep South. It airs on Monday.
It's been a graveyard for top seeds at Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova all ousted in the first week of the tournament. On Monday, it was defending champion Serena Williams' turn.
The record-breaking heat that has broiled the Southwest since Friday shows no signs of letting up. According to the National Weather Service, "triple-digit temperatures will be common across the Southwest" through at least Wednesday.
The temperature in Death Valley — where the temperature reached 134 degrees in 1913, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth — hit 128 degrees Sunday. That mark set a record high for the month of June in the U.S. The weather service says to expect similar heat today.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for a visit to the barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. We're here in Aspen for the Aspen Ideas Festival, and we couldn't get into the shop, so we brought the shop to us.
We are also hearing your thoughts about education on Twitter at #NPRAspen. I just want to read one more of the tweets that we got, it says treat teacher time and energy as valuable, finite resources, design schools to use them efficiently. That comes from Roxanna Eldin (ph) in Miami. Please stay with us as we continue our special broadcast from the Aspen Ideas Festival, we're broadcasting from the Hotel Jerome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.