Top Picks: Mose Allison, Saturday Night Live, inaugural celebrations, and other recommendations

Mose Allison's latest CD 'The Way of the World,' 10 years of 'SNL' on NBC in 'Saturday Night Live in the 2000s,' 'The Official Inaugural Celebration' on DVD, and more top picks.

Anti Records
At 82 years old, Mose Allison's voice is still hipster smooth. His latest album, 'The Way of the World,' has his signature jazzy piano and bluesy vibe.
HBO presents the only inaugural package approved by the Obama campaign.
Paulo Segad Ães/World Village
Portuguese singer Ana Moura’s latest album, “Leva-me Aos Fados” (Take Me to a Fado House), finds new expression for the traditioanl blues-style fado.

Sage songs

Mose Allison hasn't lost his jazzy piano chops, bluesy vibe, and Beat poet demeanor on "The Way of the World," his latest CD. At 82 years old, his voice is still hipster smooth. The tune "Crush" showcases his piano virtuosity, sampling boogie blues, swing, and bebop in a three-minute aural joy ride. On "Ask Me Nice," Allison sings, "I'm just tryin' to swing my way through life." Yeah. Cool.

Hidden history

As part of the annual, week-long Days of Remembrance, PBS airs "Among the Righteous: Lost Stories From the Holocaust in Arab Lands" on April 12 at 9 p.m. – a history of the half-million Arab Jews in North Africa under Nazi rule. The show addresses lingering Holocaust denial by asking the question, did any Arabs help Jews during World War II – and finds the affirmative answer to be as difficult to unearth as it is rewarding to document.

Inaugural bash

HBO presents the only inaugural package approved by the Obama campaign. In the two-disc set "The Official Inaugural Celebration": HBO's own "We Are One" preinaugural concert, which includes performances by Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Jon Bon Jovi, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and Stevie Wonder, as well as the actual swearing-in, the full ceremony, plus speeches, and the ball.

Serious laughs

NBC explores the past 10 years of one of its most iconic shows in "Saturday Night Live in the 2000s: Time and Again." More than simply a clip show, though not exactly a documentary, it is nonetheless an entertaining, highlight-packed journey through some of the show's most memorable moments of the past decade. Airing April 15, the show interviews some of its quirkiest hosts and replays moments that might actually appear in real history books, most notably Tina Fey's wide-eyed impression of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin ("I can see Russia from my house").

America's family tree

On the heels of his PBS series documenting African-American lives, historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. unravels the complex ancestry of the nation through a series of personal stories. He taps a wide array of celebrities for the project, including actress Meryl Streep, comedian Stephen Colbert, Dr. Mehmet Oz, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, poet Elizabeth Alexander, and author Malcolm Gladwell. The DVD arrives from on April 13.

Fresh take on fado

The melancholy melodies of traditional fado, Portugal's answer to the blues, find haunting new expression in Ana Moura's latest album, "Leva-me Aos Fados" (Take Me to a Fado House), released by World Village. The young fadista's deep voice is backed by a simple trio of guitars – a 12-stringed Portuguese, an acoustic, and a bass – as she spins new lyrics for old songs.

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