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.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Since he moved to New York from Arizona 20 years ago, saxophonist Tony Malaby has recorded in varied settings from trio to nonet, and he's led other bands he hasn't documented. Now he's combined two old groups into a new one. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead explains. (SOUNDBITE OF TUBACELLO SONG) KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Tony Malaby on soprano saxophone. Malaby has one trio with cello and...

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. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Jazz...

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 TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Our jazz critic, Kevin Whitehead, has a review of a new album by organist Chris Foreman. Kevin says Foreman is one of a few Chicago jazz...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVE DAVIES, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. The great jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman is now 80 and rarely makes records anymore. His last album, "Sound Grammar," won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 2007. Now, with no fanfare, comes a new indie release recorded in 2009 that finds Coleman in unfamiliar company. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has the story and review. (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BABY...

Lennie Tristano had a cool, egghead reputation — Time called him the "Schoenberg of Jazz" — but he could play pretty hot. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a newly released 1951 live recording by the pianist's sextet at Chicago's Blue Note club. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. A 1951 live nightclub recording by pianist Lenny Tristano's sextet at Chicago's Blue Note club has been released for the first...

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