Kevin Whitehead

Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Whitehead's articles on jazz and improvised music have appeared in such publications as Point of Departure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant.

He is the author of Why Jazz: A Concise Guide (2010), New Dutch Swing (1998), and (with photographer Ton Mijs) Instant Composers Pool Orchestra: You Have to See It (2011).

His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies including Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006, Discover Jazz and Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro-Black and Other Solar Myths.

Whitehead has taught at Towson University, the University of Kansas and Goucher College. He lives near Baltimore.

Pages

2:05pm

Mon July 27, 2015
Music Reviews

New Release Features Jazz Flutist Sam Most's 'Breathy, Punchy Sound'

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

1:29pm

Wed July 22, 2015
Music Reviews

Reissue Of Thelonious Monk's 'Riverside Recordings' Shows A Star On The Rise

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

1:39pm

Fri July 10, 2015
Music Reviews

Duke Ellington's 'Plank Session' Offers Snapshots Of A Jazz Master At Work

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 3:09 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Read more

1:31pm

Mon June 29, 2015
Music Reviews

'BrotherLee Love' Offers A Fearless, Fresh Tribute To Trumpeter Lee Morgan

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

12:02pm

Fri June 12, 2015
Music Reviews

Michael Gibbs And Bill Frisell Team Up On A New Big Band Record

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 1:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Read more

1:12pm

Tue June 2, 2015
Music Reviews

The Gary Peacock Trio Balances Introspection And Drive In 'Now This'

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 1:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

2:10pm

Mon May 18, 2015
Music Reviews

In 'Take Off,' Ramon Valle Makes The Piano Sing

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 5:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

3:00pm

Wed May 13, 2015
Music Reviews

'The In Crowd': An Audience-Fueled Jazz-Pop Crossover Hit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Fifty years ago today in a Washington nightclub, Chicago's Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded "The 'In' Crowd," the rare jazz single that landed on the pop charts. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the audience was half the show.

Read more

2:37pm

Thu April 30, 2015
Music

Two Takes On Billie Holiday

In honor of Billie Holiday's 100th birthday this month, several artists are releasing out Holiday tribute albums. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at a couple of these by other singers. One he rather likes; the other, not so much.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

3:07pm

Tue April 7, 2015
Music

Billie Holiday's Voice Was Always Her Own

Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago Tuesday in Philadelphia. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has some thoughts on Holiday's changing style, her influences, and singers she influenced.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

3:38pm

Mon March 30, 2015
Music

Art Pepper's Startling Intensity Captured On Live Recordings

Since 2006, Laurie Pepper, the widow of jazz saxophonist Art Pepper, has been releasing live recordings her husband made during the last years of his life. A new batch of these recordings from 1981 is out. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Art Pepper played like he was making up for lost time.

Read more

2:16pm

Wed March 18, 2015
Music Reviews

Saxophonist Tony Malaby's New Quartet Brings Out His Rowdy Side

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more

2:09pm

Thu March 5, 2015
Music

On 'Collective Portrait,' Eddie Henderson Is Still Taking Risks At 74

Jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player Eddie Henderson was in his 30s when he debuted on record with Herbie Hancock. Before that he'd become a medical doctor, who went on to specialize in psychiatry, because it left his nights free to play the horn. With Henderson's new album, Collective Portrait, Fresh Air jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead says that decision is still paying off for him.

Read more

1:20pm

Mon March 2, 2015
Music

'Now Is The Time' For Organist Chris Foreman

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 11:00 am

With guitarist Bobby Broom, organist Chris Foreman has recorded several albums with the Deep Blue Organ Trio. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Foreman is one of a few Chicago jazz heroes who should be better known outside the city limits.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Read more

1:34pm

Fri February 20, 2015
Music Reviews

Ornette Coleman Returns With His Unmistakable Sound

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 4:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Read more

Pages