Nate Chinen

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Esperanza Spalding — the vocalist, bassist and composer hailed by NPR Music, with just a touch of

John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, recorded near the close of 1964 and released early the following year, inhabits an exalted plane beyond the realm of most other albums, in any musical genre.

Joshua Redman, 'Facts'

Aug 12, 2021

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Facts, it can often seem nowadays, aren't what they used to be.

At the heart of any successful jazz enterprise is a spirit of resourcefulness. It's what leads an improviser to navigate a tricky passage, or a bandleader toward fresh ideas. And on the eastside of Portland, Ore. back in 2014, it's what led a few enterprising souls to create the Montavilla Jazz Festival — an event whose DIY mindset extends to the musicians on the bill.

There's a moment on "Oceans of Time," from a 2016 album by The Cookers, when alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. takes a solo full of swerving self-assurance. Swinging mightily behind him is the composer of the tune, master drummer Billy Hart.

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What does "Reclamation'' mean to Brandee Younger?

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Groove is foundational for Nate Smith, a brilliant drummer known for holding it down with everyone from Brittany Howard to Dave Holland to Van Hunt.

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Vibration is always critical for Melvin Gibbs, whose electric bass has motored everyone from Ronald Shannon Jackson to Rollins Band.

The saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton has been a galvanizing figure in American music for more than 50 years – and at 76, he's definitely not slowing down. Braxton has two new box sets out this month, totaling more than 20 hours of music.

Erroll Garner, the effervescent and boundlessly inventive jazz pianist and composer, died more than 40 years ago, at the age of 55. A household name and major concert attraction in his prime, he has recently regained a measure of cultural cachet thanks to the Erroll Garner Project, which made a splash five years ago with an expanded rerelease of Garner's landmark album, Concert By the Sea.

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