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

Music Reviews
1:31 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

'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
Music Reviews
12:02 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

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
Music Reviews
1:16 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

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

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Read more
Music Reviews
2:10 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

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
Music Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

'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
Music
2:37 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

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
Music
3:07 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

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
Music
3:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

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
Music Reviews
2:16 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

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
Music
2:09 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

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

Pages