May 13, 2011 The Impulse jazz label, famous for its fold-out black and orange album covers, turns 50 this year. To celebrate, the label has released a box set featuring its early releases. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the set showcases the diversity and talent of the musicians Impulse recorded.
April 20, 2011 Saxophonist Tim Berne came up on New York's so-called "downtown scene" 30 years ago. That scene is known for postmodern jump-cutters like John Zorn, who'd leap from one style to another in the space of a beat. But Berne went another way; he's fascinated by gradual transitions.
March 18, 2011 Before he was famous for popularizing bossa nova with "The Girl from Ipanema" in the early 1960s, saxophonist Stan Getz recorded with small jazz groups all through the '50s. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says a new reissue shows Getz was one of the best at playing pretty.
March 8, 2011 Marcus Printup isn't the first trumpeter to combine the trumpet and the harp. It's long been an instrument where jazz women could make their mark. A Time for Love is a quiet and cozy album with Printup's wife, harpist Riza Hequibal, but it's never dull.
February 23, 2011 In the 1940s, Charlie Parker, nicknamed "Bird," was a prime mover behind the new style of bebop, with its refined harmonies, offbeat rhythms and abstract melodies played at breakneck speed. On Bird Songs, Joe Lovano looks for new ways into Parker's material.
January 4, 2011 Air was a flagship of the 1970s avant-garde, but saxophonist Henry Threadgill, bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall first came together to play Scott Joplin's piano music. That and more are documented on a massive eight-CD box set of Threadgill's music.