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Found 243 results

  1. The new issue of the literary periodical Brilliant Corners includes a poem inspired in part by the Night Lights program The Jazz Monk: Thomas Merton. Though it's not available online, the poet (Betsy Sholl, former Poet Laureate of Maine) and publisher/editor Sascha Feinstein have given me permission to share it: "Thomas Merton Experiments with Meditations on Jazz" (Brilliant Corners is always well worth checking out, btw. Poetry, fiction, interviews, and other literary content all related to jazz.)
  2. Damn, pops, it's Professor Bop! This past week's Night Lights show about mid-century arbiter of the hepgeist Babs Gonzales is now up for online listening: How Professor Bop Paid His Dues: Babs Gonzales
  3. A recent new Night Lights show, highlighting singer Ella Fitzgerald's prolific year of 1957, which saw her recording close to one hundred tracks and collaborating with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and Stan Getz: Ella '57: Ella Fitzgerald Flies High
  4. This week's Night Lights show, a career-spanning tribute to James Moody, is now posted for online listening: Blues For Moody: A Musical Remembrance Of James Moody
  5. Hey all, another recent Night Lights show now up for online listening: Jazz Women of the 1980s Other entries in this series: Jazz Women of the 1960s Jazz Women of the 1940s Jazz Women Of The 1990s
  6. The most recent Night Lights program, Jazzing The Cool With Ted Gioia is now up for online listening. Gioia, the author of The History of Jazz and West Coast Jazz, talks about his new book The Birth (and Death) of the Cooland jazz's relationship to cool, from Bix Beiderbecke up to the present day, with plenty of music accompanying the timeline. And the Night Lights Six Degrees of Support fund-drive continues, as the show heads towards its sixth anniversary. If you're a regular listener or somebody who enjoys the program and its archives from time to time, please consider making a contribution...any amount is welcome! The direct link to the support page is here.
  7. Posting this brand-new Night Lights program in honor of Mr. Tyner's 80th birthday today: Tyner Time: McCoy Tyner's Blue Note Years The show focuses exclusively on his leader dates for Blue Note from 1967 to 1970.
  8. Posting this week’s Night Lights show a bit early in honor of the Nat King Cole centennial—the music and story of Cole’s groundbreaking 1956-57 TV variety program: “The Jackie Robinson of Television”: The Nat King Cole Show It also airs at 10 this evening on Michigan’s Blue Lake Public Radio.
  9. A new Night Lights program that focuses on the debut and afterlife of Ellington's 45-minute-long musical panorama of African-American history, with extensive commentary from Ellington biographer Harvey Cohen, as well as remarks from Wynton Marsalis and Ellington himself: Black, Brown And Beige: Duke Ellington's Historic Jazz Symphony I'm going to tweak the online version just a bit later today, but the current broadcast audio is available at the link above.
  10. A recent Night Lights show featuring saxophonist and composer Jimmy Heath's early-1960s Riverside recordings is now up for online listening: Portrait Of Jimmy Heath: The Riverside Years
  11. Last week's Night Lights show is now up for online listening. It includes an interview with historian Michael McGerr and music from Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke, the Missourians, Clarence Williams, Bennie Moten, Duke Ellington and more: The Big Speakeasy: Jazz and Prohibition
  12. Last week’s Night Lights took a look at the musical career of pianist Don Shirley, recently depicted in the Oscar-nominated movie Green Book: “Jazz Is Not A Noun”: Don Shirley, The Extraordinary Pianist
  13. This past weekend's "Portrait of Max: Max Roach, 1924-2007" (tribute program by listener request) is now archived. Next week: "Jazz Studio 5 and 6: Ralph Burns and David Amram."
  14. My annual take, with a number of recordings listed in the post that I wasn't able to include in the program itself. There's a note at the bottom about why the Mosaic Herman and Mobley sets are not present. Best Historical Jazz Releases Of 2019 I also didn't include the Miles Davis 1969 Lost Quintet concert because I actually haven't heard it yet (the import CD I received was defective and had to be returned) and the U.S. release is slated for next week. I'd say it's a promising candidate for the 2020 list.
  15. This week's Night Lights show pays a centennial-year tribute to arranger Eddie Sauter and his work with Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Ray McKinley, the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, and Stan Getz. You can listen to the program online here: Jazz a la Sauter: Eddie Sauter Next week: "Crossing The Bridge: The Return Of Sonny Rollins."
  16. For the Easter weekend, a wide-ranging survey of 1960s sacred jazz, with Duke Ellington, Mary Lou Williams, Ed Summerlin, Paul Horn and Lalo Schifrin, Vince Guaraldi, Joe Masters, Herbie Hancock, and even a humorous take on the jazz-mass trend from Al Jazzbo Collins. Much more on the program's website page, including a clip of Ellington's first sacred concert, performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in September 1965: Sacred Blue: Jazz Goes To Church In The 1960s
  17. Happy holidays, all--Night Lights' annual Christmas show is posted for online listening, with music from Paul Bley, Carla Bley, Duke Pearson, Eddie Higgins, June Christy, Pete Rugolo, and more: A Cool Christmas Season's greetings and all that jazz!
  18. A happy 87th birthday today to pianist Barry Harris, and three days late to Toshiko Akiyoshi. Here's this week's Night Lights program, celebrating them both: Bud's Buds: Barry Harris And Toshiko Akiyoshi
  19. Last week’s Night Lights show, about songwriter Hoagy Carmichael’s Hollywood years, is now archived for online listening. It includes an introduction from John Hasse and archival interview commentary from Carmichael biographer Richard Sudhalter and longtime WFIU radio host Dick Bishop: Where The Rainbow Hits The Ground: Hoagy Carmichael In Hollywood
  20. This week's Night Lights show focuses on the recordings that saxophonist Paul Desmond made after the Dave Brubeck Quartet broke up at the end of 1967. Desmond biographer Doug Ramsey joins me to talk about Desmond's life and music in those years, and we'll hear recordings that Desmond made as both a leader and a sideman with Chet Baker and the Modern Jazz Quartet, as well as a reunion duet with Brubeck: After Brubeck: Paul Desmond 1968-1977
  21. An early chapter in music biz D.I.Y.: Tom Wilson, a young African-American Harvard graduate who'd go on to produce some of the 1960s' most landmark albums, working with Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and Frank Zappa, started out in the 1950s by running his own label, Transition Records. Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Herb Pomeroy, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers/John Coltrane, Louis Smith and Herb Pomeroy were some the jazz artists who recorded for Transition--some of them making their debut on wax. The music of all of these artists, plus more of the backstory on Wilson, this week on Night Lights: Before Rock, There Was Jazz: Tom Wilson And Transition Records Broadcast times around the U.S. Next week: "Sweet Smell of Success."
  22. This past week's Night Lights show, "Live at Cafe Bohemia," is up for online listening: Live at Cafe Bohemia: Hardbop in the Heart of Greenwich Village Coming up this week: "Claude Thornhill: Godfather of Cool"
  23. In honor of pianist Harold Mabern's 75th birthday (coming up tomorrow, Sunday, March 20): A Few Miles From Memphis: Harold Mabern, the Early Years Covering 1960-70 with the MJT + 3, the Jazztet, Wes Montgomery, and Hank Mobley, as well as leader dates featuring Lee Morgan and George Coleman.
  24. Posting this week’s Night Lights show today in honor of Anita O’Day’s centenary: The Swingin’ Jezebel: Anita O’Day In The 1940s
  25. "Art Blakey: Class of '57"

    1957 was a prolific year for Art Blakey, the volcanic drummer and leader of the Jazz Messengers. The Messengers were one of jazz’s most-noted and longest-running collectives, and young musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, Woody Shaw, Keith Jarrett, and Wynton Marsalis all pulled tours of duty with the group, sometimes called “the hardbop academy.” Its bop-and-funk-driven history stretches from the late 1940s to the beginning of the 1990s; the lesser-known 1957 edition included saxophonists Jackie McLean and Johnny Griffin, as well as trumpeter Bill Hardman, whose chemistry with McLean one writer described as “beautiful, tart…their brash, peppery tones created a distinctive front-line sound.” Blakey recorded a myriad of albums in 1957 for various labels, including Columbia, Bethlehem, RCA, and Pacific Jazz, resulting in one of his most diverse years on record. We’ll hear music from eight different LPs, including the Messengers’ collaboration with Thelonious Monk, the three-horn Night in Tunisia date, one of Blakey’s percussion/rhythm numbers, and two “Jazz-Messengers-plus” sides that venture into the realm of Blakey big-band. Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Class Of '57 airs Saturday evening, Dec. 29 at 11:05 p.m. on WFIU. It will be posted for online listening Monday morning in the preceding link and in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "Moodsville 2."