Nate Chinen

There's a moment on "Oceans of Time," from a 2016 album by The Cookers, when alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. takes a solo full of swerving self-assurance. Swinging mightily behind him is the composer of the tune, master drummer Billy Hart.

If you know of Endea Owens, there's a good chance you know her as house bassist for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Her role in that setting is foundational, laying the groove that gives bandleader Jon Batiste room to soar.

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What does "Reclamation'' mean to Brandee Younger?

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Groove is foundational for Nate Smith, a brilliant drummer known for holding it down with everyone from Brittany Howard to Dave Holland to Van Hunt.

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Vibration is always critical for Melvin Gibbs, whose electric bass has motored everyone from Ronald Shannon Jackson to Rollins Band.

As an aspiring young saxophonist, Julian Lee would often get introduced as "Mike's kid." His father, Mike Lee, has a sterling reputation as a jazz educator, and as a saxophonist in bands led by heavyweights like Jimmy Heath and Oliver Lake.

The saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton has been a galvanizing figure in American music for more than 50 years – and at 76, he's definitely not slowing down. Braxton has two new box sets out this month, totaling more than 20 hours of music.

Erroll Garner, the effervescent and boundlessly inventive jazz pianist and composer, died more than 40 years ago, at the age of 55. A household name and major concert attraction in his prime, he has recently regained a measure of cultural cachet thanks to the Erroll Garner Project, which made a splash five years ago with an expanded rerelease of Garner's landmark album, Concert By the Sea.

Last year, the International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert affixed a hopeful coda to the cruelest of months. And for pandemic precautionary reasons, the event was fully virtual, with a carefully produced montage of performances and salutations from around the world. This year's International Jazz Day arrives at quite a different moment, in some respects — though still a good distance from a post-COVID reality.

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