Since 2006, Laurie Pepper, the widow of jazz saxophonist Art Pepper, has been releasing live recordings her husband made during the last years of his life. A new batch of these recordings from 1981 is out. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Art Pepper played like he was making up for lost time.
Divine: The Jazz Albums, 1954-1958 packs four CDs with Vaughan's music, recorded live or in the studio with bands big and small. Two live albums from Chicago nightclubs are standouts, partly when a performance threatens to slide off the rails.
Robin D.G. Kelley's new book, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original, focuses on the career of the eccentric jazz pianist and composer. It reveals new details about Monk's life, music and mental health problems, and provides a glimpse into the New York jazz scene of the mid-twentieth century.
Bebop drummer and composer Max Roach. He's been at the forefront of contemporary jazz for over 40 years. He played with a number of bop groups in New York during the 1940s with quintets led by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Later, a quintet led by him and Clifford Brown, came to epitomize the sound known as hard bop. During the Civil Rights movement, Roach was composing some of jazz' strongest political statements. (REBROADCAST from 6/25/87)