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Kevin Whitehead

Critic Kevin Whitehead says Abrams, who died last week, was “steeped in jazz, but eager to take on a wider world.” Abrams was a co-founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians.
Paul Steinbeck’s new book chronicles the antics, both on and off stage, of the storied jazz ensemble. Critic Kevin Whitehead says Message to Our Folks celebrates the band’s success on their own terms.
Critic Kevin Whitehead remembers the jazz notables who died this year, including singers Ernestine Anderson and Kay Starr, saxophonist Gato Barbieri and pianist Connie Crothers, among others.
As one of the very first bebop tenor saxophonists, Teddy Edwards mixed awesome technique with irresistibly slinky phrases. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two reissues, Inimitable and Feelin’s.
Born in 1916, Christian died when he was just 25 years old. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead calls him “the single greatest influence on a signature 20th-century instrument.”
Much of the music on Cray’s new album stems from a year he spent teaching at the University of Nevada in Reno. Critic Kevin Whitehead says Outside In is a reminder of the power of open spaces.
The New Orleans-based musician completed recording his final album a month before he died last November. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead calls American Tunes a “fond last look” at Toussaint’s talent.
Music from Thad Jones and Mel Lewis’ first and seventh Mondays at the Village Vanguard is out on a new two-CD set. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says All My Yesterdays explodes with creative energy.
Johnson was one of the greatest pianists of his time. Critic Kevin Whitehead says the Classic James P. Johnson Sessions (1921-1943) “paints a portrait of a working virtuoso.”
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s first recording in Feb. 1917 is often cited as the first jazz record ever, but critic Kevin Whitehead says that the roots of jazz stretch a little further back.
Cellist Tomeka Reid was headed toward a career as a classical musician, but was drawn to jazz. Critic Kevin Whitehead says her band’s new album, The Tomeka Reid Quartet, has good chemistry all around.