Ranky Tanky

Chris Tobin / WBGO

The appeal of any art form is to take one to another place, perhaps a place never seen or heard before.

For Ranky Tanky, that transporting power comes from a mixture of ingredients: the Gullah culture of the Carolinas, griot stories, poems and children’s rhymes. Those elements further combine with an incendiary blend of gospel, folk and jazz that gives the group both youth and depth.

Sully Sullivan

Along with gripping new music by the avant-garde super trio Alcorn / McPhee / Vandermark, pianist Victor Gould, and the late alto saxophonist Art Pepper.

John Rogers / NPR

The Winter Jazzfest, which descends on New York City every year at this time, is more than a show of superabundance. While it's true that the festival's defining trait is a dizzying sprawl and variety of acts — and this year's edition, the 14th, is no exception — there are other reasons for its claim as the most important jazz event of the year.