In this episode: Duke Ellington is one of the towering figures in American music, but there's more to his story than hits like "Take The A Train." Cultural critic and writer Terry Teachout discusses his new comprehensive biography about the iconic jazz composer and bandleader.
Then, Bryce Dessner, one of the twin guitarists in The National, is also a classically trained composer, who has now written a number of string quartet pieces for the renowned Kronos Quartet.
And the Northhampton, Mass. noise pop band Speedy Ortiz performs songs from its debut record Major Arcana, and a brand new, still untitled song in the Soundcheck studio.