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Jazz News

We all knew vocalist Rubén Blades knew his way around the clave, the rhythmic pattern that propels the Afro-Cuban dance music he's known for.

But I bet you didn't know he could swing a big band jazz tune with an easy flair that recalls past masters like Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra.

Our list of the best new albums out this week includes the comical and moving synth pop of John Grant, enchanting harmonies from The Watson Twins, an audacious jazz album from trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, the first new music from Elvis Costello & The Imposers in a decade and more. Host Robin Hilton returns to breakdown this week's essential releases with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson, and Nate Chinen from WBGO.

Featured Albums

  1. Elvis Costello & The Imposters: Look Now
    Featured Song: "Under Lime"

What makes a first-tier jazz legacy? A signature instrumental style, recognizable within a phrase or two. A body of exceptional recordings, in the studio and in concert. A legion of imitators, great and small. A sense of broad cultural relevance. Maybe even a hit song or two.

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NPR News

The Supreme Court has temporarily shielded Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to sit for questioning under oath in the lawsuits over a controversial citizenship question the Trump administration added to the 2020 census.

They've come a long way since "Lyin' Ted."

There they stood on stage before tens of thousands, President Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, embracing each other, hands on shoulders, pats on the back here at the Toyota Center in Houston.

"In just 15 days, the people of Texas are going to re-elect a man who has become a really good friend of mine," Trump said of Cruz after their extended embrace.

A new portrait that is vaguely reminiscent of something painted by an old master is headed to Christie's New York auction block later this week, making it the first computer-generated artwork up for sale at a prestigious art house.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHER'S "BELIEVE")

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Those are the opening notes of Cher's hit song "Believe." Believe it or not, the dance anthem has just turned 20 years old.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELIEVE")

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHER'S "BELIEVE")

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Those are the opening notes of Cher's hit song "Believe." Believe it or not, the dance anthem has just turned 20 years old.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BELIEVE")

More News