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  1. "Jazz Impressions of Brubeck"

    In the 1950s and 60s the Dave Brubeck Quartet became one of the most popular jazz acts in the world–one of the reasons why the group ended up doing a State Department tour in 1958 at the height of the Cold War that took them to countries such as India, Poland, and Iraq. The music inspired by this and other international forays came out on albums called Jazz Impressions of Eurasia, Jazz Impressions of Japan, and Bravo Brubeck. These tours also made Brubeck a spokesperson for values that for him were heartfelt: a love of jazz and liberty, and a belief that the two were intertwined. “No dictatorship can tolerate jazz,” he said at one performance. “It is the first sign of a return to freedom.” Brubeck, who recently was honored by the U.S. government for his long-running jazz ambassadorship, was a pupil of the classical-music composer Darius Milhaud, who told his young student “to travel the world and keep my ears open.” The pianist did just that, and his subsequent jazz-impressions albums contain some of the most interesting music in his jazz legacy. Jazz Impressions of Brubeck airs this evening at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU. Check "Carriage" on the links page for airtimes on other stations around the country. The program will be posted for online listening Monday morning in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "The Carla Bley Songbook."
  2. This week's Night Lights show offers a look at the prelude to Dave Brubeck's rise to fame with the Brubeck Quartet, focusing on his time on the West Coast in the late 1940s and the music of his early octet and trio: Playland At The Beach: Dave Brubeck's Early Octet And Trio Next week: "The Arrival of Victor Feldman."
  3. Louis Armstrong was a legendary innovative trumpeter, a vocalist who had a profound impact on jazz singing, and a dynamic entertainer--and he got a chance to showcase all these aspects of his talent in 28 full-length films and several short features in which he appeared between 1931 and 1969. We'll celebrate Armstrong's birthday this weekend with a program that includes music from the films New Orleans, High Society, A Man Called Adam, The Five Pennies, and more, including the outtake "Ain't It the Truth" from Cabin in the Sky. You can also watch movie clips of Armstrong and Billie Holiday doing "Farewell to Storyville" as well as the Paris Blues battle scene with Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman on the "shows" page of the new Night Lights website. "Satchmo, Take Two" airs this evening on Armstrong's birthday at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville. It will also air tomorrow evening at 10 p.m. EST on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio. The program will be available for online listening Monday morning on the new Night Lights "Shows" page. Next week: "The King at Midpoint: Benny Carter."
  4. "ECM: Birth Of A Label"

    A new Night Lights for the week just ending is now up for online listening: ECM: Birth Of A Label Much appreciation to the posters who commented in my previous thread about this era.
  5. In honor of Charles McPherson's 70th birthday today, here's this week's Night Lights program, devoted to his 1960s and early-1970s recordings (including one side with Mingus): Charles McPherson's Post-Bird Bop Next week: "Live at Cafe Bohemia."
  6. This week on Night Lights it's Teddy Charles: The Early Avant-Garde (with thanks to garthsj and Late). In the early 1950s vibraphonist Teddy Charles made a series of records with Shorty Rogers, Jimmy Giuffre, and others, that still escape easy definition today--were they Third Stream? Were they West Coast? Were they cool jazz? We'll hear selections from his albums New Directions and Collaboration: West, as well as his 1956 Atlantic LP The Tentet, and appearances as a sideman with Wardell Gray and Miles Davis. For more information about Teddy Charles, see Noal Cohen's Coda article. The program airs Saturday night at 11:05 p.m. (9:05 California time, 12:05 NYC time) on WFIU; you can listen live, or wait until Monday afternoon, when the program will be posted in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "Late Lee." The late & last recordings of Lee Morgan.
  7. Last week's Night Lights show, devoted to the late 1950s-late 1960s recordings of jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby, is up for online listening: The Fantastic Jazz Harp Of Dorothy Ashby Coming soon: "The Jazz Monk: Thomas Merton."
  8. A new and recent Night Lights show now up for online listening: Nica's Tempo: More Hipsters, Flipsters, And On-The-Scenesters Last week's Dorothy Ashby program coming soon.
  9. Last week’s Night Lights show was a centennial-year tribute to pianist Hazel Scott, a classically-trained prodigy who rose to fame from New York City’s Cafe Society nightclub at the beginning of the 1940s. Scott appeared in five movies, found popular success with her “swinging the classics” interpretations of music by composers such as Rachmaninoff and Chopin, and in 1945 married the charismatic minister and newly-elected Congressional representative Adam Clayton Powell Jr, forming an African-American power couple whose lives were covered extensively in the black press. But Scott’s outspokenness as a civil-rights advocate cost her jobs in Hollywood and a pioneering role as the first African-American woman to host a TV show. To Be Somebody: Hazel Scott includes some of Scott’s earliest recordings, two of her “swinging the classics” sides, two numbers from her movie appearances, two tracks from the 1955 trio album that she made with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, and more.
  10. This week's Night Lights show, The Last: Final Recordings of Jazz Greats is now posted for online listening. Music from Bill Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Billie Holiday, Artie Shaw and more. Special note of thanks to Jim Sangrey, and a safe and reflective holiday weekend to all. Next week: "Jazzing the Cool" with special guest Ted Gioia.
  11. Posting this week’s show, the first of a two-part tribute to Yusef Lateef, a bit early because today is his centenary. Mark Stryker, author of Jazz From Detroit (and well-known as a contributor to this forum) joins the program to talk about this key period in Lateef’s development as a musician: The Jazz Message Of Yusef Lateef: The 1950s
  12. This week on Night Lights L.A. jazz historian Steve Isoardi joins us for "One More You Wrote Through Us: Horace Tapscott." In 1961 pianist Horace Tapscott turned down a chance to have a high-profile career with the Lionel Hampton band and spent the next several decades in Los Angeles, leading several community-jazz bands and doing his best to extend the mentoring and teaching tradition that he had experienced growing up during the glory days of L.A.'s Central Avenue era. The underground jazz scene that he helped to create and sustain--a vibrant, multi-arts mix of culture, politics, and African-American values--has now been documented in Isoardi's new book, The Dark Tree: Jazz & the Community Arts in Los Angeles. We'll hear some previously unissued music by Tapscott and UGMAA (Union of God's Musician and Artists Ascension) and the Pan-Afrikan People's Arkestra (from a CD included with the new book), along with solo and trio Tapscott piano recordings and a collaboration with Black Panther activist Elaine Brown. "One More You Wrote Through Us: Horace Tapscott" airs Saturday, February 24 at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville. It also airs Sunday evening at 10 p.m. EST on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio. The program will be posted, along with 12 extra interview clips not used in the show itself, Monday afternoon in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "Alice Coltrane, Ascending."
  13. In 1963 the sixth annual Monterey Jazz Festival included a blues duet between Gerry Mulligan and Peewee Russell, the festival debuts of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, a moving performance from Jack Teagarden just four months before his death at the age of 58, and a dedication from the Modern Jazz Quartet to Martin Luther King Jr., weeks after his “I have a dream” speech and days after the deaths of four African-American girls in a Birmingham, Alabama church bombing. Oh, and Dizzy Gillespie launched his “Dizzy For President” campaign as well. Last week’s Night Lights show up for online listening: Jazz From Monterey, 1963: Dizzy For President!
  14. Up for online listening--includes a track from the Cafe Bohemia broadcast with Miles Davis: Rollins '57: Sonny Rollins Takes the Lead
  15. The story and some of the music of Chicago's 1970s/80s Bee Hive label, with special guest and Mosaic set annotator Aaron Cohen, now up for online listening: Boppin' On Bee Hive
  16. Last week's Night Lights show is now up for online listening--a musical survey of Parker's performances with big bands ranging from Jay McShann to Stan Kenton: Big Band Bird: Charlie Parker With The Big Bands Coming up this week: "The Durable Kenny Dorham."
  17. The most recent Night Lights show is now up for online listening--a look at the big-band little bands led by Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, Gene Krupa and others: The Big Bands’ Little Bands
  18. Last week's Night Lights show, devoted to the brief but musically profound career of guitarist Charlie Christian, is now up for online listening: Electrifying: Charlie Christian
  19. Last week’s Night Lights show sampled some of the final editions of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, featuring musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Garrett, Terence Blanchard, and Javon Jackson. It’s now available for online listening: Late Art: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers In The 1990s
  20. This week's Night Lights show highlights recordings made at Hermosa Beach's Lighthouse Cafe in the years following the dissolution of the All-Stars ensemble that had held court throughout the 1950s. Joe Henderson, Grant Green, the Three Sounds, Curtis Amy, Elvin Jones, the Jazz Crusaders, and Lee Morgan are among the featured artists: After The All-Stars: Live At The Lighthouse, 1960-1972 This previous program explores the 1950s All-Stars era: The Lighthouse All-Stars
  21. Last week's Night Lights program, highlighting tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' small-group recordings away from the Ellington orchestra in the late 1950s and early 1960s, is up for online listening: Off The A-Train: Paul Gonsalves, 1957-1963
  22. "Woody Herman's Trip To Mars"

    Last week's Night Lights show, which draws on the recent Mosaic set of Woody Herman's recordings for Decca, MGM, and Mars, and which includes commentary from set annotator Jeff Sultanof, is now up for online listening: Woody Herman's Trip To Mars
  23. A recent Night Lights show up for online listening, devoted to the period between the two "great quintets": http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/miles-miles-davis-19611963/
  24. This week on Night Lights it's "Now Found: Henry Grimes." Bassist Henry Grimes played with everybody from Benny Goodman to Albert Ayler and appeared on some of the 1960s' most significant jazz recordings before vanishing for more than 30 years. Long rumored to be dead, he was discovered living in Los Angeles in 2002. William Parker, a bassist who'd been strongly influenced by Grimes' work, donated an instrument to Grimes, who began to play again for the first time in three decades. Since then Grimes has re-emerged as a potent force in the world of improv, and his story has turned from mystery into one of the greatest comebacks in the history of jazz. We'll hear selections from Grimes' 1960s work with Sonny Rollins, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, Perry Robinson, and others, as well as Grimes' sole 1960s leader effort (The Call) and a track from his 2004 trio CD with saxophonist David Murray and percussionist Hamid Drake. In addition, Grimes talks to WFIU about his years away from the jazz scene. "Now Found: Henry Grimes" airs on WFIU Saturday, December 10 at 11:05 p.m. You can listen live, or wait until Monday afternoon, when the program will be posted in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "Not Afraid to Live: Frank Hewitt."
  25. The latest in Night Lights’ ongoing series of jazz elegy programs is up for online listening. V. 6 focuses on recordings made in the 1970s and 80s by musicians such as Frank Strozier, Woody Shaw, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus in remembrance of Oliver Nelson, Jaco Pastorius, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and other artists: Turn Out The Stars Volume 6