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Sax Player Rudresh Mahanthappa Channels Charlie Parker's Super Powers

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.

Music

Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens Make New Jazz So Easy to Love on 'In Common 2'

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.

Music

John Scofield Renews the Jazz Guitar Trio on 'Swallow Tales'

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.

Music

Ambrose Akinmusire Muses 'on the tender spot of every calloused moment'

The most notable trumpet player in jazz today, Ambrose Akinmusire, creates a major recording focusing on his quartet leaping from mode to mode.

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Dave Douglas Pays Tribute to Jazz Legend Dizzy Gillespie on 'Dizzy Atmosphere'

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.

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The James Carney Sextet Remain Quietly Essential on 'Pure Heart'

Jazz pianist and composer James Carney returns with a session featuring sparkling collective improvisation and inventive composition.

Music

Jazz's Aaron Parks Explores on 'Little Big II: Dreams of a Mechanical Man'

Jazz pianist Aaron Parks' grooving but exploratory quartet returns for a second recording after being on the road, and it's stunning.

Music

Kurt Elling and Danilo Pérez Prove 'Secrets Are the Best Stories'

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.

Music

Matthew Shipp's 'The Piano Equation' Will Stand the Test of Time

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.

Music

Jazz Vocalist Luciana Souza Beguiles on 'Storytellers'

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.

Music

The Best Jazz Albums of 2010

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"?

Music

Liberty Ellman's 'Last Desert' Is Unafraid to Charm You and Challenge You

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.

Music

Reverso Fuse Jazz, Improvisation, and European Art Music on 'The Melodic Line'

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.

Music

Pat Metheny Adds Strings to His Quartet on 'From This Place'

On From This Place, Pat Metheny's recent and superb quartet is supplemented by orchestral arrangements on ten new Metheny originals.

Music

'Harmony' Is About As Bill Frisell As a Bill Frisell Recording Can Be

Bill Frisell's debut on Blue Note Records is a gentle recording featuring a few oddball gems, particularly when he digs into the standard repertoire with Petra Haden's voice out front.

Music

Bobby Previte / Jamie Saft / Nels Cline: Music from the Early 21st Century

A power-trio of electric guitar, keyboards, and drums takes on the challenge of free improvisation—but using primarily elements of rock and electronica as strongly as the usual creative music or jazz. The result is focused.

Music

Jazz's Kandace Springs Pays Tribute to 'The Women Who Raised Me'

Singer and pianist Kandace Springs tackles a dozen songs associated with her jazz vocal heroes, and the combination of simplicity and sincerity is winning.

Music

Gordon Grdina's Nomad Trio Create a Potent Mix on 'Nomad'

Vancouver guitarist and oud player Gordon Grdina joins forces with two stellar New York jazz players to create a snapping blend of free improvisation, sharp fusion, and jabbering polyrhythm.

Music

Joshua Redman and Brooklyn Rider: Sun on Sand

Composer and jazz collaborator Patrick Zimmerli has written a set of themes for string quartet and jazz saxophone trio—and some of the time it all takes off flying.

Music

Jazz Guitarist Miles Okazaki Returns with a Quartet for 'The Sky Below'

New Jazz guitarist Miles Okazaki brings back his brilliant quartet for a follow-up to and transformation of 2017's Trickster, daring some new challenges and sometimes coming through with answers on The Sky Below.

Music

Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science Play a 'Waiting Game'

Versatile drummer Terri Lyne Carrington leads a date that sums up the jazz of the decade, from hip-hop influenced political songs to freely improvised instrumental music supplemented by orchestral composition.

Music

Kris Davis' 'Diatom Ribbons' Is the Most Versatile and Bracing Jazz Recording of 2019

New Jazz pianist and composer Kris Davis makes a recording that presses with excitement into hip-hop and groove music without sacrificing any daring or compromising her vision.

Music

Steve Lehman Trio + Craig Taborn: The People I Love

Saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman merges jazz tradition with New Jazz exploration in a format that enjoys a connection to the past even as it pushes forward.

Music

The Best Jazz of 2019

Our jazz critics create four quartets of great creative music, demonstrating four trends that keep "jazz" relevant in a new century.

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