Jazz singer Sheila Jordan grew up in a Pennsylvania coal mining town. She says if she had never heard Charlie Parker, she would have become a country singer. She was recently laid off from her day job of 21 years; now she can perform full-time. Bassist Harvie Swartz joins her for an in-studio performance.
Sheila Jordan is a jazz singer. Rather than make music she doesn't agree with, Jordan has kept her "day job" as a typist for her entire career. That might be changing as more people become aware of her work. She joins the show to discuss her life and career.
Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews three jazz books out this holiday season—a singer's biography, a pianist's autobiography, and a fat coffee table book. Whitehead says they're all worth a look, though he has a couple of quibbles — and also a confession.