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Radiohead: The New Standard Bearers?

Radiohead’s grand artistic statements have attracted many jazz musicians. The English quintet’s groundbreaking 1997 CD, OK Computer, found the band moving beyond past alt-rock anthems in favor of music that jettisoned the verse-chorus-bridge paradigm. When OK Computer’s even more abstract follow-up, Kid A, arrived in 2000, it still debuted at No. 1.

“It’s just really well-thought out music,” says saxophonist Chris Potter, who has been working on a version of Kid A’s “Morning Bell.” “There is always some kind of wrinkle in it that takes it out of the ordinary pop song. The records have a sound that is this definite kind of thing, manipulation of electronic signals and the rest. There’s a lot of serious thought that goes into it: they are the kind of tunes that can be taken away from their original context and have something to offer, which is pretty unusual.”

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