Tom Moon

Tom Moon has been writing about pop, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop and the music of the world since 1983.

He is the author of the New York Times bestseller 1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die (Workman Publishing), and a contributor to other books including The Final Four of Everything.

A saxophonist whose professional credits include stints on cruise ships and several tours with the Maynard Ferguson orchestra, Moon served as music critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1988 until 2004. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, GQ, Blender, Spin, Vibe, Harp and other publications, and has won several awards, including two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Music Journalism awards. He has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered since 1996.

There's a song on My Morning Jacket's sixth studio album, Circuital, that will probably make aging rockers smile. It's called "Outta My System," and in it, songwriter Jim James sings with great Buddha warmth about aging out of the Friday-night indulgences of youth.

Singer Gretchen Parlato is probably best known for her work with the Grammy-winning jazz star Esperanza Spalding. In between recording and touring with Spalding last year, Parlato found time to record her third album.

For a while now, Paul Simon has been shuffling and reshuffling the basic ingredients of his 1986 masterwork Graceland, trying new combinations of exotic, often African rhythms with elements of American blues and roots music. It's a rich area that has led him to some amazing songs, and also some retreads.

During the slow, tortured decline of the English rock group Oasis, there were constant reports of conflict between Noel Gallagher, the band's guitarist and principal songwriter, and his younger brother Liam, who sang lead vocals. Noel watched Liam's drinking jeopardize countless performances; Liam rebelled against his controlling older sibling.