Ambrose Akinmusire's latest album is the imagined savior is far easier to paint. Autumn DeWilde/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ambrose Akinmusire: 'Music Can Tell You What It Wants To Be'

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"The beauty was in the rawness," Regina Carter says of the field recordings that inspired her new album, Southern Comfort. David Katzenstein/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Regina Carter's Jazz Genealogy

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On the new album Panama 500, pianist Danilo Pérez considers five centuries of his home country's history. Raj Naik and Luke Severn/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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A Man, A Plan, A Concept Album About Panama

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Shamie Royston (left) and Rudy Royston, married for nearly two decades, have recently issued their own debut albums as bandleaders. Mike Molaire/John Rogers for NPR hide caption

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Camille Thurman (left), Mimi Jones (center) and Shirazette Tinnin all released new albums this week on Hot Tone Music, Jones' record imprint. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Electronic music producer Dave Liang and jazz singer Zhang Le collaborated on a new album of Shanghai jazz standards from the 1930s and 1940s. Zhuang Yan/Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Remaking All That Jazz From Shanghai's Lost Era

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Pianist Marcus Roberts, who is blind, hadn't worked with Wynton Marsalis for two decades before his latest slate of recordings. John Douglas/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Together Again' With Wynton Marsalis, 20 Years Later

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Duke Ellington signs his biography in London in 1958, with Billy Strayhorn in the background. Ellington and Strayhorn collaborated to create 1960's The Nutcracker Suite. Reg Davis/Getty Images hide caption

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From Duke's 'Nutcracker' To A Cynical Carol, Jazz For Christmas

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Jimmy Amadie. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Pianist Jimmy Amadie

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Jim Hall performs at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

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Fresh Air Remembers Jazz Guitarist Jim Hall

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Brian (left) and Brady Blade. Megan Holmes/Mary Ellen Matthews/Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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The Stars Look Very Different Today, the new album from bassist and composer Ben Allison (far right) and his band, comes out Dec. 3. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Ben Allison: Leading A Stellar Band Far Beyond The World

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Jon Batiste (second from left) and the Stay Human band. Peter Lueders/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Bringing Jazz On Walkabout: Jon Batiste And Stay Human

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Grammy Award-winner Esperanza Spalding in her video 'We Are America." ESPLLC hide caption

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Esperanza Spalding: Guantanamo Doesn't Represent 'Our America'

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Anthony Strong. Thibault Stipal/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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A Young Brit Takes On The American Songbook

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Ted Nash's new album, Chakra, is out now. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Something That Is Very Real For Me': Ted Nash Completes His 'Chakra'

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Dr. Lonnie Smith's In the Beginning, a new album that reimagines the artist's older, out-of-print work, is out now. Susan Stocker/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Can I Kick It? Organ Master Lonnie Smith Can

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Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Abbot Genser/HBO hide caption

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Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

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Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis performs his Abyssinian Mass in 2008. Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

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Wynton Marsalis Goes Back To Church For 'Abyssinian Mass'

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Ravi Coltrane's favorite tune off his most recent album, Spirit Fiction, was written by longtime collaborator Ralph Alessi. Deborah Feingold/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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For three years, jazz musician Vijay Iyer has worked with poet and performer Mike Ladd to set the words of war veterans to music. The resulting album, released earlier this month, is called Holding It Down: The Veterans' Dreams Project. Jimmy Katz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Vijay Iyer On Learning From War

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Gregory Porter's latest album is entitled Liquid Spirit. Shawn Peters /Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Singing Just To Me': Gregory Porter On Musical Inheritance

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