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.
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.
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.
Martin Williams, producer of the new six-record set for the Smithsonian Jazz Collection featuring singers and soloists from the Swing era. The set includes performances by Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson, Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Hodges.
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.
An anthology of the self-published comic book series has just been released by Doubleday. Pekar's joins Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about writing, jazz criticism, and the changing landscape of comic books.
Jazz legend BILLY TAYLOR is a pianist who has worked with his own trio as well as musicians such as Billie Holliday, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Charlie Mingus, Art Tatum, and Miles Davis. Taylor is also a composer whose song "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free" became a civil rights anthem. Taylor is also known for being the guiding force between the public radio programs "Jazz Alive" and "Billy Taylor's Piano Jazz." Currently, Taylor is the editor for the arts on the CBS Sunday morning program.