Kevin Whitehead

Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Currently he reviews for The Audio Beat and Point of Departure.

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 Play the Way You Feel: The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film (2020), 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.

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This is FRESH AIR. On cable this month, Turner Classic Movies is presenting a series of movies with jazz connections. As it happens, our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has a new book about movies that tell jazz stories. Here's his defense of a much maligned film genre - the jazz biopic, screened biographies of jazz musicians.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BENNY GOODMAN STORY")

STEVE ALLEN: (As Benny Goodman) All right. Let's get to work.

SHEP MENKEN: (As Harry Goodman) I got only one suggestion to make, Benny.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. On cable this month, Turner Classics is presenting a series of movies with jazz connections. As it happens, our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has a new book about movies that tell jazz stories. So we invited him to talk a little about the subject. In the first of two segments, he looks at what he calls the stock jazz movie ending - a basic plot element subject to many variations. Here's Kevin.

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