Tom Moon

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(SOUNDBITE OF THE BAD PLUS' "LAYIN' A STRIP FOR THE HIGHER-SELF STATE LINE")

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Jazz drummer Brian Blade is best known for this kind of sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF WAYNE SHORTER'S "ORBITS")

The last time most of us saw Beck, he was onstage at the Grammy awards accepting the Album of the Year honor for his 2014 work Morning Phase and almost being interrupted by Kanye West.

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When they set out to make new music, rock icons who have visited – or resided – at the pinnacle of success face unexpected challenges of scale.

Don't look for Walter Becker on those endless (ridiculous) listicles ranking the "Guitar Gods of the 1970s." He's rarely mentioned in the same breath as major dudes like Eric Clapton, or Jimmy Page, or Duane Allman, or Carlos Santana, or Billy Gibbons, or Frank Zappa.

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After a six-year hiatus, Canadian singer Feist is back. She's out with her fifth album. It's called "Pleasure," but that's a bit of a misdirection. Reviewer Tom Moon says the album explores the quest for inner-strength in the painful aftermath of romance.

Stephen Bruner is a bass player, singer and songwriter who's as well known for his own music as for his collaborations. But when he released his latest solo single as Thundercat few weeks ago, those who know his work with Kendrick Lamar were scratching their heads. Here was a fiery visionary collaborating with two icons of easygoing '70s pop: Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald.

Over the years, music fans have slowly filled in details about a hard-working, mostly anonymous collective of Detroit studio musicians known as The Funk Brothers, who were the backing band for many of Motown's hit songs. Less documented is what these musicians did when they were not in the studio.

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