Amir “Questlove” Thompson plays us Christmas recordings – some favorites and some unusual ones. He’s perhaps the most popular DJ in America, in addition to being the co-founder of The Roots, the houseband for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” This year he won an Oscar for his documentary “Summer of Soul.”
Helm, the longtime drummer of The Band who backed Bob Dylan and sang with Van Morrison, died Thursday. He was 71. Fresh Air remembers Helm with excerpts from his two appearances on the show in 1993 and 2007.
Han Bennink hears sonic possibilities in many objects beyond the typical drum set. The Dutch drum maestro, one of the leaders in European free jazz and free improvisation, joined Fresh Air for an in-studio interview and concert. Before he left, he drummed on virtually everything in the office.
Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead picks CDs, books and a DVD for the jazz lover on your list this holiday season. His selections include a book of Sonny Rollins photographs and music from the first season of the HBO series Treme.
Howard's new record, Drum Lore, was inspired by a question a workshop student once asked him: Why are you teaching a composition class when you're a drummer? So Howard devotes the new album to tunes written by jazz percussionists.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Like Before, Somewhat After, the new recording from drummer George Schuller and his quintet Circle Wide. The disc salutes the music of pianist Keith Jarrett's '70s-era quartet.