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Late Night with The Roots (and Jimmy Fallon)

The Roots are busy: They are a very successful hip-hop group and, at the same time, the house band for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” I am not aware of any similar arrangement, though Ed Shaughnessy, the drummer for “The Tonight Show” band, had the distinction of playing with Jimi Hendrix when he appeared on the show in 1969. The word is that The Roots will move with Fallon when he takes over “The Tonight Show” from Jay Leno this spring.

Here is the start of Wikipedia’s profile of the band:

The Roots are an American Grammy Award-winning hip hop/neo soul band, formed in 1987 by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The Roots are known for their jazzy, eclectic approach to hip hop which includes live instruments.[1] Malik B., Leonard “Hub”, and Josh Abrams were added to the band, originally called the Square Roots.

Since their first independent album release, the band has released 10 studio albums, two EPs, and two collaboration albums, and has collaborated with a wide range of artists from different genres. The Roots have served as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon since its premiere in 2009. The Roots’ work has been repeatedly met with critical acclaim. About.com ranked the band #7 on its list of the 25 Best Hip Hop Groups of All-Time, describing them as “Hip hop’s first legitimate band.”[2] (Continue Reading…)

The highest profile member of the group is drummer Questlove. He has a lot of monikers:

Ahmir Khalib Thompson (born January 20, 1971), known professionally as ?uestlove or Questlove (also known as BROther ?uestionQuestoBrother Question or Qlove), is an American drummerDJmusic journalist and record producer. He is best known as the drummer and joint frontman (with Black Thought) for the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, which is now the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. (Continue Reading…)

Here is a discography, including descriptions of each album. Above is “The Seed” and below is “Now or Never.”

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.