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Musical criticism

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Jazz Week: Marian McPartland's Career in Jazz.

Jazz pianist Marian McPartland. Though British-born, white and a woman, McPartland has had a forty-year career in a profession that is largely male and black. She is heard on many National Public Radio stations in her popular series with leading jazz artists. (REBROADCAST from 9/8/87)


Rock History with Robert Palmer.

Rock writer and critic Robert Palmer. He was the New York Times's first full-time rock writer and chief pop critic, and he's a contributing editor at Rolling Stones. He's written several books on blues and rock and roll, and was the writer and music director for the award-winning documentary films, "The World According to John Coltrane," and "Deep Blues." His latest work is chief advisor to the ten-part PBS documentary, "Rock & Roll: An Unruly History," currently airing on PBS. He's also a companion book (Harmony Books).


The Rock Legends Responsible for the Worst of Rock and Roll

Rock critic Jimmy Guterman and editor Owen O'Donnell have a new book called "The Worst Rock 'n' Roll Records of All Time." Many of their selections are recordings made by some of the most popular artists, including the Doors, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, and the Moody Blues.


The Evolution of Swing

Critic and composer Gunther Schuller's new book, The Swing Era, examines the history of big band music. Though he is already a jazz enthusiast, Schuller says he researched his book as if he had no prior knowledge of the genre, hoping to craft a more comprehensive and objective account of that its development.


Jazz Critic Kevin Whitehead

Terry Gross interviews Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead. He's worked as a rock and restaurant critic. He believes he distinguishes himself by actively featuring artists outside the insular New York jazz scene. Whitehead is also a former seminarian, and a bassist who plays free improvised music.


Putting Rock Music in Its Social Context

Simon Frith is a rock critic and sociologist. He believes the genre has been emptied of its rebellious spirit, and is often sanitized or commercialized by the corporations that distribute it. Yet recent developments in rock have some benefits: its globlalization has allowed for the participation of lesser known, international artists; music videos have the untapped potential for further artistic expression.


Ken Tucker: The Interview.

Rock Critic Ken Tucker. It's another in the continuing series of interviews with Fresh Air's contributors. Ken tells us how a frustrated college poet found himself in crowded clubs listening to punk bands and being paid for it.

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