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Jazz legend Miles Davis playing the trumpet in a red shirt





A Veteran Pianist Blossoms

Jazz critic Francis Davis says that Steve Kuhn, who as a young man performed with John Coltrane's band, is only now finding his voice. Kuhn's new album is called Mostly Ballads.


Skirting the Line Between Pop and Jazz

Tony Bennett's newest album anthologizes several of the singer's recordings with prominent jazz musicians. Critic Francis Davis isn't sure if the music qualifies as jazz, but it's a pleasure nonetheless.


"Bebop Lives" and Endures

Alto saxophonist Frank Morgan is better known for kicking his heroin habit than for his music. Jazz critic Francis Davis says his new album of standards is worth a listen.


Two Albums by a Prolific Jazz Iconoclast

Sun Ra's recent releases reveal the pianists' enduring interest in free improvisation and spectacle. Jazz critic Francis Davis says one is a prime example of the musician's ensemble work; the other is unlistenable.


A Classical Musician's Take on Jazz

Jazz critic Francis Davis says Nigel Kennedy avoids the dilettantism of other classical musicians who want to get down and dirty in other genres. Kennedy's new album features interpretations of Duke Ellington and Bela Bartok.


A Masterpiece by Any Standard

The prolific Modern Jazz Quartet returns with a new album featuring orchestration written for the New York Chamber Symphony. Jazz critic Francis Davis says the music lives up the Olympian standard to which he holds the group.


Duke Ellington in Hi-Fi

Taking advantage of new recording technologies, Ellington's son Mercer leads his father's big band on a new CD. Jazz critic Francis Davis says the performances are excellent in their own right, but the album doesn't offer anything new or surprising.


Ornette Coleman Blends the Old and New

The free jazz saxophonist's new album features both his original 1950s-era quartet and his more recent electric ensemble, Prime Time. Jazz critic Francis Davis is occasionally frustrated by the production, but nonetheless says the record is one of the most significant releases of the year.


New "Viewpoints" on the Trombone

Only in his mid-thirties, Scott Turre is already a seasoned musician. Jazz critic Francis Davis says his latest album features Turre's newfound maturity as a soloist and arranger.


A Revision of a "Classic" Anthology

Jazz critic Francis Davis reviews a 7-LP box set, The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz, which was just reissued with additional tracks. He says the selections, curated by fellow critic Martin Williams, are essential but predictable, and often dismissive of more forward-looking artists.

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