Russia: Red Hot

The sounds that reverberated through Moscow's Teatr Estrady last week seemed strangely out of place in the drab, disciplined Soviet capital: the salivating slur of a trombone, the mellow wail of a muted trumpet, the throaty murmur of a saxophone and the staccato thunder of drums. U.S. tourists even thought they could identify the nearly indistinguishable melody: Lullaby of Birdland. They were right. At picnics and Komsomol dances, in cabarets and conservatories, the Soviet Union is swinging to the sound of jazz.

Jazz is no newcomer to the U.S.S.R. It has just been...

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