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Big Band Spirituals, Drums Not Drums And '70s Italy: New Jazz Releases

February and Black History Month are nearly here, and bassist Marcus Shelby knows it. His new album, Soul of the Movement, is a big-band meditation on the civil rights movement. So it makes sense that he's timed the record's release date right between Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the second month of the year.

But plenty of other jazz musicians have also put out records early in 2011, including an unusual trio from New Orleans and a string quartet with two guitars (playing music written by a drummer). And recently, we got a blast from the past when highlights from a great and forgotten Italian record label were compiled on one CD.

Guy Raz, the weekend host of All Things Considered, recently invited me back to the program to share some releases. You can hear our conversation above, and songs from these albums below.

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