Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead pays tribute to bandleader and arranger Gil Evans, who died on March 20. A reissue of Evans' music from the early 60s has just been released, and Whitehead uses that record to comment on Evans' varied contribution over the course of his 40-year career.
Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead profiles trombonist and composer Rod Levitt. Levitt, who wrote for marching bands and played in the pit at Radio City Music Hall, drew from every musical style available in the 50s.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead tells us about a milestone in jazz history -- the 50th anniversary of tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins' recording of "Body and Soul." He says Hawkins was the best tenor saxophonist ever...and "Body and Soul" was his greatest masterpiece.
On the 25th anniversary of the death of Nat King Cole, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has an appreciation of the well-known singer, and he takes a look at Cole's often overlooked skills as a jazz pianist. (By the way, Nat King Cole actually died on February 15th, but we're running the piece today, a couple of days early).
Jazz tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon was one of the creators of bop and one of the most influential players of the 1940s and 1950s. Gordon received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1986 film Round Midnight. He died this morning of kidney failure. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead joins the show to remember Gordon.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says some of the best parts of classic songs like "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and "A Foggy Day" are the half-sung, almost-spoken introductions. But many singers skip them, opting to begin with the chorus. Whitehead remembers some of these forgotten intros.