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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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."
  6. 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!
  7. Up for online listening--includes a track from the Cafe Bohemia broadcast with Miles Davis: Rollins '57: Sonny Rollins Takes the Lead
  8. 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
  9. 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."
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. "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
  16. 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/
  17. 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."
  18. 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
  19. The first part of a two-part Night Lights show about Detroit jazz with special guest Mark Stryker is now up for online listening: Made In Detroit: Jazz From The Motor City, Part 1 Part 2 to follow in the next few days.
  20. Last week’s Night Lights show features live recordings of guitarist Wes Montgomery in his hometown of Indianapolis, in California, in New York, and in Paris: From Naptown To Paris: Wes Montgomery Live Coming up this week: “Black, Brown And Beige: Duke Ellington’s Historic Jazz Symphony.”
  21. This past week's Night Lights show, The Ornette Coleman Songbook: Early Interpretations of a Jazz Pioneer is now archived for online listening. It features recordings of Coleman's music by Art Pepper, Bill Dixon and Archie Shepp, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jack Wilson, Pee Wee Russell, the New York Contemporary Five, and John Coltrane. Next week: "Young Wynton: Early Marsalis."
  22. A new Night Lights show up for online listening, focusing on Jarrett's early years as a leader and with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd, and Miles Davis: http://indianapublicmedia.org/nightlights/birth-early-keith-jarrett/ We have a new audio format, too--no more Real Audio, going forward.
  23. Lee Konitz: the Verve Years

    Alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is a longtime master of melodic improvisation who’s played a part in some of jazz’s most momentous acts–the Claude Thornhill big band and the Miles Davis Birth of the Cool nonet in the late 1940s, and the Lennie Tristano groups of the 1950s and early 1960s. After working in Stan Kenton’s orchestra and making some albums for Atlantic, Konitz recorded a series of LPs as a leader in the late 1950s for the Verve label that received a lukewarm critical reception at the time and that are now generally unavailable. His Verve dates showcase him in a variety of settings, ranging from trio/quartet/quintet to small-big-band and strings, finding him in the company of musicians such as pianist Bill Evans, drummer Elvin Jones, and fellow Tristanoite Warne Marsh, as well as arrangers Bill Russo and Jimmy Giuffre. Heard today, they form a compelling body of work that marks a kind of last chapter in Konitz’s early period, culminating in one of his most dynamic recordings, Motion. We’ll hear music from Motion, as well as the Giuffre collaborations You and Lee and Lee Konitz Meets Jimmy Giuffre, the small-group sides Tranquility and Very Cool, a with-strings Russo arrangement, and a live Konitz-Marsh performance with Bill Evans sitting in for Lennie Tristano on piano. Much of what Konitz recorded during these years has yet to be released; you can view a comprehensive online discography which lists many of the unissued sessions from the saxophonist’s stay on Verve . Konitz is also the subject of a recent book, Lee Konitz: Conversations on the Improviser’s Art, which offers many fascinating insights from musicians, jazz writers, and Konitz himself on the hows, whys, and what’s-it-all-abouts of his artistic career. (According to Konitz, jazz impresario and Verve owner Norman Granz “was not a fan of mine, but he encouraged me, and even made me a weekly advance… maybe [he] was advised that I was trying, and took a chance, though his personal taste was for the older music. I always appreciated that.”) Lee Konitz: The Verve Years airs Saturday, January 12 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 for online listening at the link above and in the Night Lights archives by Monday morning. Special thanks to Larry Kart for insights into why Konitz's recordings met with mixed reviews in the late 1950s. Next week: "The Memphis Mafia: George Coleman, Frank Strozier, Booker Little, and Harold Mabern."
  24. Another recent Night Lights program, exploring pianist Herbie Hancock's powerful emergence on the 1960s jazz scene, up for online listening: Maiden Voyage: Herbie Hancock In The 1960s
  25. This week on Night Lights it’s “The Arrival of Victor Feldman.” Multi-instrumentalist Victor Feldman was a musical prodigy who sat in on drums with Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force Band at the age of 10 and was hailed by the English press as “Kid Krupa.” After continuing his rise to fame in the 1950s British jazz world, Feldman moved to America and eventually made his way to the West Coast jazz scene. We’ll hear the records he made both as a sideman and a leader, playing piano and vibes with Cannonball Adderley, Shelly Manne, Miles Davis, and Scott La Faro. You can read a 1971 interview with Feldman here. “The Arrival of Victor Feldman” airs Saturday, December 9 at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville. It also airs Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio. The program will be posted Monday afternoon in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "A Jazzy Quartet." Jazz soloists and ensembles accompanied by string quartets.