Jazz

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Pianist Robert Glasper is rightly known for setting a groove, but he's just as adept at set

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For more than 25 years, Tony Malaby has been one of the most riveting saxophonists in jazz — a dauntless explorer who's also at home with direct emotional expression. His ability to toggle between traditional and experimental modes has been a trademark since he released an auspicious debut album, Sabino, at the turn of the century.

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"Tell Him," the latest single from L.A.-based alternative R&B trio Moonchild, is a bittersweet re-tel

James Mtume, a percussionist who reoriented Miles Davis' later rhythms and whose 1983 hit, "Juicy Fruit," returned to the charts a decade later as the driving force of the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy," died on Jan. 9. He was 76. His death was confirmed by his publicist, Angelo Ellerbee.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

A preview of 2 albums debuting in 2022

Jan 4, 2022

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A MARTINEZ, HOST:

There's plenty of great new music coming in 2022, so we asked one of the people behind the show Jazz Night In America what he's heard so far. And he played us something quite stunning.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GHOST SONG")

'Tis the season for spending time with the ones we love. It's a time for creating special memories, expressing gratitude and fondly remembering those we have lost or who are unable to gather with us. It is a time of celebration — but what's a celebration without music? While the very mention of holiday music is often met with smirks and eye rolls, the members of Team Jazz Night (admittedly, some much more than others) are suckers for the magical feelings conjured by the season's festive musical offerings.

Jamael Dean, Immanuel Wilkins invoked jazz's ancestors

Dec 20, 2021

Catastrophic eras often inspire descents into an unkempt decadence that the music of those eras can't help but insinuate – however, sometimes even Dionysus refuses to emerge from the ruins, and our only option in the aftermath of disorienting upheaval is spiritual awakening and optimism, sans hedonism. That's our best bet now. I'm witnessing this, a refusal to be jaded or maudlin, in some of my favorite jazz albums and performances of 2021.

More than most, 2021 was a year of mixed results — an endless scroll of gains and losses, halting progress and hard retrenchment. For jazz musicians and the community of listeners around them, it brought confirmation that improvisation is a life strategy. Peering in the rearview, my mind flickers to a moment from midyear: At a community arts space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, bassist, composer and singer esperanza spalding has taken up a residency with the musicians and scholars who constitute her Songwrights Apothecary Lab.

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