Producer Scott Billington remembers capturing New Orleans piano legend James Booker's final, troubled days as a performer."One night he might wander around the club, staring at the ceiling, or he might get up and imitate Woody Woodpecker."
Jazz guitarist Steve Cardenas' Blue Has a Range sports modern but vintage jazz guitar at the center of a gorgeously balanced group of composer and players.
Seattle-based jazz ensemble Duende Libre draw on warm sounds from Africa and its diaspora on The Dance She Spoke.
Joshua Redman's 1994 quartet of young jazz lions reunites as contemporary masters on RoundAgain.
The more any notions of preconceived musicality are flicked to the curb, the more absorbing Tatsuya Nakatani and Shane Parish's Interactivity gets.
Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.
Laura Nyro, a witchy, queer, ethnic Russian Jew, died young, but her non-conformist anthem, "Save the Country", carries forth to these troubled times.
On the release of his latest, Hero Trio, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa records his first session of covers, playing jazz standards and hip-pop with a fabulous trio featuring bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston.
Atonal free jazz trio Threadbare use unique instrumentation and a love of multiple musical styles on their fascinating new album, Silver Dollar.
Two of the top players in modern jazz make the second in a sequence of quintet recordings that presents jazz as unusually easy to love even as it maintains modern complexity.
The jazz guitar trio is a classic format, and John Scofield, Steve Swallow, and Bill Stewart are as well-equipped to venerate it and renew it a bit on Swallow Tales.
The most notable trumpet player in jazz today, Ambrose Akinmusire, creates a major recording focusing on his quartet leaping from mode to mode.
Jazz trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas has constructed a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie that gives his young band as much voice as possible, with two reinterpretations of Dizzy classics and seven originals.
Bassist Michael Olatuja and legend Angélique Kidjo celebrate life and culture on "Lagos Pepper Soup".
Jazz pianist and composer James Carney returns with a session featuring sparkling collective improvisation and inventive composition.
The history and geography of Djibouti come through richly in Groupe RTD's sound, a cosmopolitan blend of East Africa, the Arab world, ports along the Indian Ocean, and the current historical moment of increasing globalization.
Jazz pianist Aaron Parks' grooving but exploratory quartet returns for a second recording after being on the road, and it's stunning.
Raul Midón discusses the fate of the art in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is going to shake things up in ways that could be very positive. Especially for artists," he says.
New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.
Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.
Ocean Bridges is proof that genre crossovers can sound organic, and that the term "crossover" doesn't have to come loaded with gimmicky connotations. Maybe we're headed for a world in which genres are so fluid that the term is dropped altogether from the cultural lexicon.
Kurt Elling's collaboration with pianist Danilo Pérez features impressionistic and daring playing and poetic lyrics, making it one of the highlights of a brilliant jazz vocal career.
Cherry Red issues a gargantuan collection of anti-establishment music associated with the 1960s London counterculture, a movement which challenged the norms and conventions of mainstream society by drinking from the well of psychedelia, free jazz, Beat poetry, musique concrete, electronics, and minimalism.
Matthew Shipp's The Piano Equation is a fully improvised solo piano recital to stand the test of time, sitting in the realm where mathematics and magic collide.
The Uzbekistan-born, Chicago-raised NIIKA combines art-pop and exotic jazz stylings to create a deeply rewarding listening experience on Close But Not Too Close.
Featuring several originals paired with timeless covers, Live at the Paramount finds the Ruthie Foster Big Band bringing the house down.
In arranger Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band, singer Luciana Souza has partners who understand that it's important she beguile rather than batter.
Jazz was working all the angles in 2010. Is there any other genre that has as much range -- from solo instruments to big bands, from instrumental to vocal, from European musicians to both North and South Americans, from truly pretty music to raucously avant-garde "noise"?
Brooklyn-based jazz ensemble AJOYO's "Better Love" is a resonant example of how the collective comes together to spread positivity.
Guitarist Liberty Ellman's compositions for this brilliant sextet on Last Desert demand that you pay careful attention, but not that you tolerate harsh tonalities.
Colin Stetson discusses his process for scoring film and artistic satisfaction it gives him. "I get to invent a new array of solutions with novelty and identity. I hope the music has not existed in the particular guise and aesthetic before that."
This long-delayed collaboration by two African master musicians is an occasion for jubilation. Rejoice is a posthumous reminder of what Hugh Masekela at his best could deliver and of the now 80-year-old Tony Allen's amazing vitality.
Avishai Cohen's Big Vicious offers a stunning take on Massive Attack's "Teardrop" among other highlights on an album that feels like a jazz version of post-rock.
An unlikely trio of trombone, cello, and piano fuses jazz, creative improvised music, and European art music without sounding cobbled together. Reverso are Vincent Courtois, Ryan Keberle, and Frank Woeste.