Kevin Whitehead http://nhpr.org en The Westerlies Come On Home With Horvitz http://nhpr.org/post/westerlies-come-home-horvitz The Westerlies is a quartet of young New York brass players who know each other from school days in Seattle. Their debut album is a set of pieces by Seattle-based composer and improviser Wayne Horvitz. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Horvitz and the Westerlies are a perfect fit. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 17:20:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 51457 at http://nhpr.org Remembering Horace Silver, Hard Bop Pioneer http://nhpr.org/post/remembering-horace-silver-hard-bop-pioneer Jazz pianist, bandleader and composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404943/horace-silver">Horace Silver</a> died Wednesday at age 85. <em>Fresh Air</em> critic Kevin Whitehead says that Silver had been off the scene awhile, but his influence is as strong as ever. Hear an appreciation. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=Remembering+Horace+Silver%2C+Hard+Bop+Pioneer&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDEwNzk4NjQwMDEzNTkxNDE0MTg3ZGYxMA004)"/></div><p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 50586 at http://nhpr.org A Double Dose Of Ronald Shannon Jackson's Free-Funk http://nhpr.org/post/double-dose-ronald-shannon-jacksons-free-funk Two fine albums by drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society, <em>Man Dance</em> and its sequel <em>Barbeque Dog</em>, are now available again as downloads, after being out of print for ages. Fresh Air critic Kevin Whitehead says they're prime examples of the 1980s' so-called "free-funk" movement. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:06:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 50447 at http://nhpr.org Jazz Pianist Ted Rosenthal Has A Feel For Gershwin http://nhpr.org/post/jazz-pianist-ted-rosenthal-has-feel-gershwin Transcript <p>DAVE DAVIES, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. Ted Rosenthal an early winter of the Thelonious Monk Piano Competition has played George Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" solo and with symphonic and jazz orchestras. Now he's recorded a version for jazz trio as part of the problem. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Rosenthal has a real feel for the material.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RHAPSODY IN BLUE")<p>KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: As familiar as Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" is you can overlook how radical it sounded. Fri, 30 May 2014 15:47:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 49439 at http://nhpr.org In 1970, Miles Davis Played Four Sets For A New Audience http://nhpr.org/post/1970-miles-davis-played-four-sets-new-audience Transcript <p>DAVE DAVIES, HOST: <p>In June 1970, Miles Davis played four nights at New York's rock palace Fillmore East, following earlier appearances there and at San Francisco's Fillmore West. A complete recording of all four of those June sets are now available for the first time.<p>Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the jazz trumpeter had gone to the Fillmore in search of a new audience.<p>UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Good evening. With great pleasure, Mr. Fri, 16 May 2014 16:05:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 48623 at http://nhpr.org After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return http://nhpr.org/post/after-painful-year-bud-powells-triumpant-1953-return The great bebop pianist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404849/bud-powell">Bud Powell</a> played several engagements at the New York jazz club Birdland in 1953. Parts of his shows were broadcast on the radio, and one listener recorded some onto acetate discs. A new collection of those recordings is out now: <em>Birdland 1953</em> on three CDs from <a href="http://www.espdisk.com/official/catalog/4073.html" target="_blank">ESP-Disk'</a>. The sound quality isn't much, but the music is terrific. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:14:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 45538 at http://nhpr.org After A Painful Year, Bud Powell's Triumpant 1953 Return Box Set Illustrates Clifford Jordan's Impeccable Taste In Musicians http://nhpr.org/post/box-set-illustrates-clifford-jordans-impeccable-taste-musicians Transcript <p>TERRY GROSS, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. Starting in the late 1960s, jazz saxophonist Clifford Jordan produced a series of recordings mostly by other leaders that came out on the musician's own Strata-East label. Those seven albums are now collected in a box set. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says Jordan the producer had impeccable taste in musicians.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)<p>KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Clifford Jordan on tenor from a 1968 quartet date led by bassist Wilbur Ware with Edward Blackwell on drums. Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:45:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 44956 at http://nhpr.org Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later http://nhpr.org/post/still-out-lunch-50-years-later 1964 was a great year for cutting-edge jazz records like <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404711/albert-ayler">Albert Ayler</a>'s <em>Spiritual Unity</em>, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15394783/john-coltrane">John Coltrane</a>'s <em>A Love Supreme </em>and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15121790/andrew-hill">Andrew Hill</a>'s <em>Point of Departure</em>. But none sounds as far ahead of its time as <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404201/eric-dolphy">Eric Dolphy</a>'s masterpiece <em>Out to Lunch</em>, recorded for Blue Note on Feb. 25, 1964. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 19:21:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 44128 at http://nhpr.org Still 'Out To Lunch' 50 Years Later In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson http://nhpr.org/post/session-frank-wess-magic-201-offers-one-last-lesson <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/18155899/frank-wess">Frank Wess</a>' new album, <em>Magic 201</em>, is a sequel to last year's similar helping of ballads and midtempo strollers, <em>Magic 101</em>. The new album is very nearly every bit as good, and made a little more poignant by Wess' death just before Halloween. On his last session as a leader in 2011, he was still sounding strong at 89.<p>When Wess was coming up, his hero was the dry and slippery saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15389052/lester-young">Lester Young</a>, who gave him a few pointers. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 20:42:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 43385 at http://nhpr.org In Session: Frank Wess' 'Magic 201' Offers One Last Lesson Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads http://nhpr.org/post/too-much-good-thing-jane-ira-blooms-beautiful-ballads When soprano saxophonist <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/87942215/jane-ira-bloom">Jane Ira Bloom</a> plays <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15235424/kurt-weill">Kurt Weill</a>'s "My Ship" on her new album <em>Sixteen Sunsets</em>, a pale glow around her notes comes from a simple special effect: pointing her horn under the hood of a piano whose strings are free to resonate. Bloom has always been preoccupied with sound, and has one of the prettiest, clearest tones around on soprano. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 21:08:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 42806 at http://nhpr.org Too Much Of A Good Thing? Jane Ira Bloom's Beautiful Ballads Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World http://nhpr.org/post/lafayette-gilchrist-old-soul-ease-modern-world For someone who came to piano rather late, at 17, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15675864/lafayette-gilchrist">Lafayette Gilchrist</a> has dug deep into its history. He loves the old piano professors who'd pack the punch of a dance band into two hands at the keyboard. Players like Eubie Blake, <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15404392/james-p-johnson">James P. Johnson</a> and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/91365105/willie-the-lion-smith">Willie "The Lion" Smith</a> could keep going for hours without exhausting their folkloric materials. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:02:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 42136 at http://nhpr.org Lafayette Gilchrist: An Old Soul, At Ease In A Modern World Kenny Clarke, Inventor Of Modern Jazz Drumming, At 100 http://nhpr.org/post/kenny-clarke-inventor-modern-jazz-drumming-100 Jan. 9 marks the 100th birthday of drummer Kenny Clarke. One of the founders of bebop, Clarke is less well-known than allies like <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15368367/dizzy-gillespie">Dizzy Gillespie</a> and <a href="http://www.npr.org/artists/15130415/thelonious-monk">Thelonious Monk</a>, but his influence is just as deep.<p>That thing that jazz drummers do — that ching-chinga-ching beat on the ride cymbal, like sleigh bells? It gives the music a light, airy, driving pulse. Thu, 09 Jan 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 41550 at http://nhpr.org Kenny Clarke, Inventor Of Modern Jazz Drumming, At 100 Michele Rosewoman Goes Back To Afro-Cuban Jazz's Future http://nhpr.org/post/michele-rosewoman-goes-back-afro-cuban-jazzs-future When Michele Rosewoman was growing up in the Bay Area, she played piano from childhood and congas from her teens. After moving to New York in the late 1970s, she began making music in two areas: modern jazz and traditional Cuban music. Before long, she started combining the two in her New Yor-Uba band.<br /> Wed, 18 Dec 2013 20:20:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 40400 at http://nhpr.org Michele Rosewoman Goes Back To Afro-Cuban Jazz's Future Holiday Music To Bring Folks Together http://nhpr.org/post/holiday-music-bring-folks-together Transcript <p>TERRY GROSS, HOST: <p>This is FRESH AIR. With so much contention in air around holiday get-togethers, jazz critic Ken Whitehead wonders if music might help bring together folks with opposing views. He has some listening and viewing recommendations for seasonal dinners.<p>(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TEEN TOWN")<p>KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Chris Biesterfeldt on mandolin, Playing Weather Report's "Teen Town," by Jaco Pastorius. Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:40:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 40230 at http://nhpr.org Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set http://nhpr.org/post/ella-fitzgeralds-early-years-collected-chick-webb-box-set Drummer Chick Webb's 1930s orchestra terrorized competitors in band battles and sent dancers into orbit at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. They could be similarly explosive on record, but only rarely. Wed, 11 Dec 2013 18:14:00 +0000 Kevin Whitehead 39954 at http://nhpr.org Ella Fitzgerald's Early Years Collected In A Chick Webb Box Set