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Kevin Whitehead

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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
08:34

'Searching in Grenoble' showcases the unique style of jazz pianist Mal Waldron

Nobody sounds like Waldron, a fact proved by a new 2-CD recording the artist made during a 1978 solo concert. Searching in Grenoble is a good introduction to the pianist's compelling sound.

Review
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
05:54

Fresh Air remembers jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis

In 1965, Lewis' trio had a crossover hit with The 'In' Crowd, a jazz recording they made in a Washington, D.C. nightclub, which reached the pop charts. Lewis died Sept. 12.

Obituary
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
07:02

The Free Form Funky Freqs blend jazz, R&B, rock and a little space music

The Funky Freqs came up playing the post-Corea jazz-rock style known as free funk — music with fewer complicated melodies and more earthy grooving. Their new album is Hymn of the Third Galaxy.

Review
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
08:30

New quartet album by jazz drummer Billy Drummond is a treat

On Valse Sinistre, Drummond's ride-cymbal beat is lively, varied and full of passing cross-rhythms — the sound of a musician fully engaged and in the habit of attentive listening.

Review
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
07:40

Tyshawn Sorey's 'Mesmerism' celebrates the everyday miracle of the jazz rhythm trio

Each player in this trio addresses the beat in a spontaneous way, without constant chaos. A casual romp like this session makes for breezy listening.

Review
Exclusively on
Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
08:32

Jacob Garchik's boldly mixed 'Assembly' is quintessential COVID-era jazz

Garchik's album started as a socially-distanced session which was then mixed — sometimes seamlessly, sometimes brazenly. It's music for an era of frequent disruption — and prized moments of calm.

Review
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
09:15

Pianist David Virelles shows off the depth and breadth of what he can do on 'Nuna'

Though he's been a New Yorker for over a decade, Virelles remains preoccupied with the rich, rhythmically charged music of his native Cuba. His new album shows where he's been — and where he's going.

Review
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
09:57

Max Roach's 1960 landmark 'We Insist!' proves timeless in a reissue

Roach's album was recently named to the National Recording Registry, a roster of works deemed culturally, historically or aesthetically significant; We Insist! scores in all three categories.

Review
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Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
09:25

The Clarinet Trio's new album showcases the lovely sound of blended woodwinds

Transformations and Further Passages, a lively new album by Germany's The Clarinet Trio, revives tunes written by German jazz composers in the 1950s and '60s.

Review
Exclusively on
Due to the contractual nature of the Fresh Air Archive, segments must be at least 6 months old to be considered part of the archive. To listen to segments that aired within the last 6 months, please click the blue off-site button to visit the Fresh Air page on NPR.org.
10:47

'Fresh Air' marks the centennial of jazz great Charles Mingus

Critic Kevin Whitehead reflects on the legacy of the musician who would have been 100 on April 22, 2022. Mingus died in 1979, leaving behind a catalog of music that reflected his outsized personality.

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