The death toll from this week's tornadoes has topped 340 — and 28 of them came from one small Alabama town. Very little of Rainsville, population 5,000, remains. And yet, survivors continue the difficult task of picking up the pieces. One family, the Hamiltons, struggles to figure out what to do next.
There are reports of heavy gunfire in Daraa, the southern Syrian city that has become a symbol of the uprisings against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Residents there say the Syrian army stormed a mosque that was a rallying point for anti-regime demonstrators. Kelly McEvers, who is following the story from Beirut, discusses the latest developments with host Guy Raz.
Gretchen Parlato has been called the most important jazz singer since Cassandra Wilson, and her delicate vocals won over the judges at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2004. Since then, Parlato has appeared on more than 50 recordings, and continues to build a following with tours throughout the U.S. and overseas. Her third album, The Lost and Found, was recently released.
From time to time, I get invited to talk up new jazz releases with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. This go-round, I set out to pick some records which hadn't already been featured as NPR Music First Listens or elsewhere on the website. Luckily, April has been a busy month for new music, and that didn't prove difficult at all.