Dave Brubeck is the most-featured artist of all time at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Dave Brubeck is the most-featured artist of all time at the Newport Jazz Festival. Getty Images
When you present 30 acts at a jazz festival, you're bound to see spectacular moments. But at George Wein's CareFusion Jazz Festival 55 — the 2009 incarnation of live outdoor jazz at Newport, R.I. — those 30 groups, most of them world-class ensembles, all performed in the span of 32 hours. It made for a dizzying array of talent, densely packed one atop the other.
Luckily, as NPR Music recorded this year's festival (with WBGO and WGBH), we also listened closely to as much of it as we could. Here are our staff picks for five of the best songs — though certainly only a tiny sampling of the greatest moments — from our recordings: