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Jazz legend Miles Davis playing the trumpet in a red shirt





Francis Davis on Billie Holiday.

In his regular feature, "Interval," Fresh Air's jazz critic discusses the life and career of singer Billie Holiday. He takes a close look on how her personal life affected her music.


Contrition in the Music of Fats Waller

Jazz guitar player Marty Grosz talks about the songwriter's lyrics, which he says are at once remorseful and exuberant. Grosz performs two of Waller's songs for Fresh Air listeners.


Listening to the Rhythm Guitarist

Musician Marty Grosz returns to Fresh Air to discuss the role of the rhythm guitarist in jazz, particularly in the early days of big bands. He sings two songs to illustrate the technique.


The Surprising Roots of Rap.

Rock historian Ed Ward profiles Louis Jordan. Between 1930 and 1950, Jordan spearheaded the rhythm and blues sound. He was one of the very first crossover artists, appealing to both blacks and whites. Ed focuses on the Louis Jordan who pioneered rap music.

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