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Take Five: A Jazz Sampler

Get to know jazz, five songs at a time.

Recent Take Five: A Jazz Sampler

Donny Hathaway remains widely admired in jazz, but much of his repertoire has yet to be tapped by improvisers.

January 17, 2014 The singer remains influential in jazz, but improvisers have yet to fully mine his repertoire.

Lionel Loueke (left) and Miguel Zenon (right) join Jeff Ballard in the drummer's rhythm-oriented trio.

January 8, 2014 In 2014, the New York music marathon includes new works from Jeff Ballard, Tillery and Aruán Ortiz.

The gospel/folk singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe was accompanied by a jazz orchestra on her debut recording.

December 5, 2013 The African-American folk songs, a byproduct of slavery, were later embraced by many improvisers.

Keyboardist and producer Bob James' 1970s work helped to establish the sound of smooth jazz — and lives on in hip-hop samples galore.

October 17, 2013 Bob James' proto-smooth jazz featured infectious melodies and riffs — as rap producers know well.

In a conversation aired on WBGO, Jessye Norman credits the study of jazz with her understanding of song interpretation.

September 20, 2013 The soprano tells WBGO that studying jazz vocalists influenced the way she interprets songs.

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