Wynton blows his own trumpet

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Jazz trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis may not be very cool in some circles - he has famously alienated his sax-touting brother, Branford, along with a large section of the global jazz community, for insisting that modern jazz is rubbish, that the genre needs to go back to the swing era, and that players should have nothing to do with bastard forms like jazz-funk.

What is not in doubt is Wynton's brilliance on his horn. He straddles the classical repertoire easily and is generally thought to be the most technically accomplished player on his instrument, ever. And, for all his reputation, he comes across as a really very nice guy, in tonight's Marsalis on Music (7.30pm BBC2). This is the first of four programmes showing over the Easter weekend, in which Marsalis displays his charming and totally unpatronising brand of pedagoguery to students at the Tanglewood Music Center in Boston.

Tonight's class is called "Marsalis on Form", and on form he certainly is, whizzing through sonata, song and 12-bar blues structures with wacky but somehow appropriate models, like a story about catching a hamster in a shopping mall, or a wobbly model of a skyscraper. When TV tries to be instructive, it too often oversimplifies and renders the subject insufferably banal, or smothers it with flashy video techniques, leaving the viewer none the wiser. Marsalis on Music does none of these things - hallelujah.

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