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Though a music professor at the University of California, Irvine with 13 albums under his belt, 54-year-old Kei Akagi is still best known for having played on Miles Davis’ last recorded works.

The Sendai-born, Cleveland- raised pianist and composer maintains the link on his latest album, recording Davis’ “Blue in Green,” which was performed by pianist Bill Evans on Davis’ 1959 modal landmark, “Kind of Blue.” Rather than rehashing a classic, Akagi’s arrangement of “Blue in Green” for his trio of piano, bass and drums eschews Davis’ trumpet lines to create a refreshing take driven by his own piano playing.

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