Kevin Whitehead

Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Whitehead's articles on jazz and improvised music have appeared in such publications as Point of Departure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant.

He is the author of Why Jazz: A Concise Guide (2010), New Dutch Swing (1998), and (with photographer Ton Mijs) Instant Composers Pool Orchestra: You Have to See It (2011).

His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies including Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006, Discover Jazz and Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro-Black and Other Solar Myths.

Whitehead has taught at Towson University, the University of Kansas and Goucher College. He lives near Baltimore.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. Andrew Cyrille is a particularly versatile jazz drummer who came up swinging behind Coleman Hawkins and Mary Lou Williams and then played free jazz with Cecil Taylor. Cyrille has led his own bands and percussion ensembles and has explored the rhythms of Haiti and played in duos that blur the sound of drums and electronics. Andrew Cyrille has two new albums out. Our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has a...

At this point, there's nothing special about jazz musicians playing post- Beatles pop: It's just the new normal. But one of the trendsetters on that score was pianist Brad Mehldau and his versions of Radiohead and Nick Drake tunes. Now, Mehldau's trio has a new covers album out. Where Do You Start was recorded at the sessions for the all-originals album Ode , which came out this spring. Good as Ode was, I like the new one a bit more — most of it anyway ...