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  1. Last week's Night Lights show on composer and pianist Tadd Dameron, including commentary from Dameron biographer Paul Combs, is up for online listening: Our Delight: The Music Of Tadd Dameron
  2. John Coltrane on Night Lights

    In honor of the 93rd anniversary of Trane's birth today, here are several Night Lights shows that I've devoted to him over the years: Trane '57: John Coltrane's Pivotal Year In Jazz Trane '62: The Classic Coltrane Quartet Begins Trane '63: A Classic, A Challenge, A Change Red Trane: The Collaborations Of John Coltrane And Red Garland The John Coltrane Songbook
  3. Last week's Night Lights show now up for online listening: Jazz Scene San Francisco
  4. A recent Night Lights program devoted to saxophonist Lester Young's late-1940s recordings, with special guest Loren Schoenberg (annotator of both Young Mosaic box sets) is now up for online listening: Postwar Prez:  Lester Young 1945-1950
  5. This week's Night Lights show--originally intended as a centennial tribute--is now up for online listening: Claude Thornhill: Godfather of Cool It covers Thornhill's career from 1941 to 1953, with some historical background, reflections & items of interest (For instance, "Snowfall" originally had a very different title!). I tried to provide a fairly broad overview of the band's sound, including a couple of the more pop-oriented tunes. Turns out, according to the Terre Haute Trib-Star, that it's not Thornhill's centennial--they recently discovered that he was born in 1908, not 1909. I'm going over there Monday night for a tribute concert that will try to raise funds for a headstone (he's buried there in an unmarked grave).
  6. This past week's Night Lights show, Goin' Up: Space Age Jazz is now archived for online listening. In addition to the above listed, music from Gil Melle, Curtis Counce, Earl Bostic, Russ Garcia, Mel Torme, and Frank Comstock, as well as some space sounds and news flashes. Special thanks to board members Teasing the Korean, Medjuck, and jazztrain.
  7. For arcane behind-the-scene reasons I won't go into, my radio station WFIU has been forced over the past year to convert all of its web content from the WordPress format that we used for many years to Cascade, a system used by the university that is less user and creator-friendly than WordPress. Our integrated media staff has been working to make the transition as easy as possible, but certain functions may not appear as readily. One such instance is looking for shows in the archives. To access the older, month-by-month and year-by-year version, you can still go to this page: Night Lights archives It's currently available through a small "older stories" link at the bottom of the archives page on the new site. There's also no longer an individual search bar for Night Lights itself (well, there appears to be through the link above, but if you search for anything within it, it takes you to the new home-page), so you have to use the general WFIU search box in the upper righthand corner of the Night Lights home page. You can also generally google "Night Lights" and the artist or approximate title/subject of a show and turn it up that way. I'm hoping we can soon get a new Night Lights-specific search tool to be present and working again. I'll be working with the integrated-media team in the next few weeks to try to get the new Cascades version of the website up to some level of convenience resembling the WordPress-generated site. For the time being, only posts from the last several months are going to be immediately visible when you visit the home page.
  8. This week's Night Lights program, an indirect jazz celebration of the 4th of July, is up for online listening: Freedom Jazz! A couple of the featured recordings are included as well in the post/playlist I did for this week's NPR Take Five column: Five Platters For Your 4th Of July Picnic Special note of thanks to Chuck Nessa, who turned me on to the Ellington recording of "Rhapsody in Blue" years ago.
  9. Suggestions, additions welcome:
  10. Hey all, a new Night Lights is up for online listening, profiling the early-period jazz recordings of "Mission: Impossible" composer Lalo Schifrin. It includes two selections from his recordings as a member of Dizzy Gillespie's group, music from his collaborations with Bob Brookmeyer and Paul Horn, and some of his leader dates as well: Jazz Mission Possible: Lalo Schifrin's Early Years
  11. “Dolphy ‘63”

    Last week’s Night Lights show, which highlights some of the newly-reissued 1963 studio recordings as well as live performances featuring Herbie Hancock and the music of Gunther Schuller, is now up for online listening: Dolphy ‘63
  12. The recent Night Lights show, Jazz For Mad Men: Hits From The 1960s is now archived for online listening.
  13. "Q Is For Jazz: Quincy Jones"

    Last week's Night Lights show delved into the early jazz years of producer Quincy Jones' career: Q Is For Jazz: Quincy Jones
  14. "1968, Riot: The Year In Jazz"

    A recent new Night Lights show chronicling some of the jazz from 1968 is now up for online listening: 1968, Riot: The Year In Jazz
  15. This past week's Night Lights program up for online listening, including a tribute on a 1944 Orson Welles radio program to clarinetist Jimmy Noone, the Duke Ellington orchestra with Alice Babs performing Norris Turney's "Checkered Hat" salute to Johnny Hodges, Elvin Jones' "Lament For John Coltrane" from the Bob Thiele Emergency's Head Start album, and more: Turn Out The Stars Volume 5
  16. Dizzy Gillespie running for president? The arrival of the Beatles? The October Revolution in jazz? All of that and more on another Night Lights "the year in jazz" program: Four And More: 1964, The Year In Jazz
  17. This week on Night Lights it's 1959: Jazz’s Vintage Year. The year of 1959 saw an unprecedented spate of jazz masterpieces. Among the albums released or recorded that year were Miles Davis' groundbreaking Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck's blockbuster Time Out, John Coltrane's leap forward Giant Steps, Ornette Coleman's avant-garde salvo The Shape of Jazz to Come, Charles Mingus' revolutionary-in-the-tradition Mingus Ah Um, and Bill Evans' piano-trio template Portrait in Jazz. We'll hear music from all of those albums--for more on the year 1959, see the timeline below. "1959" airs Saturday, October 7 at 11:05 EST on WFIU and in a slightly different fund-drive edition at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville. It will be posted Monday afternoon in the Night Lights archives. (Note: the Blue Lake edition of Night Lights this week is "The Jazz Scene." The fund-drive version of "1959" will air on Blue Lake Sunday, October 22.) Next week: "The Jazz Workshops Part 1." 1959 timeline: January—Fidel Castro takes over Cuba. Alaska admitted as 49th state to U.S. Pope John XXIII proclaims Second Vatican Council. February—Buddy Holly dies in plane crash. March—Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx make their final TV appearance together. Uprising in Tibet against Chinese occupation; Dalai Lama flees to India. Mystery writer Raymond Chandler dies. Movie Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, premiers. Lester Young dies. First sessions for Kind of Blue. John Coltrane attempts first sessions for what will eventually be released as Giant Steps. April—NASA announces selection of seven astronauts for first U.S. orbital flight. May—Japanese-Americans regain citizenship. Sidney Bechet dies. Ornette Coleman records The Shape of Jazz to Come. Charles Mingus records Mingus Ah Um. June—Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans” begins a six-week stay at #1 on the pop-rock charts. U.S. postmaster general bans D.H. Lawrence’s LADY CHATTERLY’S LOVER. America launches first ballistic-missile-carrying submarine. First sessions for Time Out. July—The so-called Nixon-Khrushchev “kitchen debate.” Billie Holiday dies. August—Hawaii becomes 50th and final (to date) U.S. state. September—WCBS in NYC bans “Mack the Knife” in response to teenage stabbings. TV show “Bonanza” begins 14-year-run on NBC. Soviet space probe Luna 2 becomes first man-made object to reach the moon. Khrushchev tours America; becomes angry when he is refused admittance to Disneyland. October—“Twilight Zone” debuts on TV. Pan American becomes first airline to offer regular flights around the world. Errol Flynn dies of heart attack at age 50. Dr. Werner von Braun begins to work for NASA. November—Charles van Doren admits to House subcommittee that he knew answers in advance on quiz show “Twenty One.” Ford discontinues Edsel. Chubby Checker introduces the Twist on “The Dick Clark Saturday Night Show.” December—Walter Williams, last surviving veteran of the Civil War, dies at the age of 117. First color photograph of Earth received from outer space. Bill Evans records Portrait in Jazz.
  18. This new Night Lights show, put together with input from members of this board (you are thanked in the outgoing credits!) is now up for online listening: Mob-Lee: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan
  19. A recent Night Lights show that draws on selections from the recently-released Mosaic Records Savory set is now up for online listening: Savoring The Savory Collection
  20. A new Night Lights show up for online listening: Jazz Women of the 1990s
  21. Hey O gang, here's a new, recently-aired Night Lights program covering the compositions of Thad Jones: ... hope to have "Now Hear This: The Duke Pearson Big Band" up in a couple of days as well.
  22. Last week's Night Lights profiled pianist Marian McPartland, with an emphasis on her compositions, plus an interview she did with friend and WFIU jazz host Dick Bishop in the 1970s in which she reflected on her music and her life: One For Marian: Marian McPartland
  23. The Subterraneans, the only novel of Jack Kerouac's to be adapted to film so far, was released in 1960, when the media fever surrounding the Beat Generation (much of it inspired by the publication of Kerouac's On the Road in 1957) was still at a high pitch. Hollywood took great liberties with Kerouac's story of a romance between his narrator stand-in (Leo Percepied, played by George Peppard) and a young half-black, half-native American bohemian--for starters, the woman was played by the very white Leslie Caron. The soundtrack, however, was composed by Andre Previn, and it features a number of West Coast jazz luminaries--Gerry Mulligan (who also appears in the film as a hip street priest), Art Pepper, Russ Freeman, Shelly Manne, and Red Mitchell. Carmen McRae also appears, singing an updated beatnik version of "Coffee Time." We'll hear both dialogue and music from the film, including some selections only recently released on a new version of the soundtrack from Film Score Monthly. You can listen live Saturday night at 11:05 p.m. (9:05 California time, 12:05 a.m. NYC time) or in the Night Lights archives, where it will be posted Monday afternoon. Some tidbits that didn't make it into the program: Ranald Macdougall, the director replacement for the fired brother team of Dennis and Terry Sanders, originally opened the film with the credits rolling over a Pollock/Rothko-like painting that dissolved into Gerry Mulligan playing his saxophone, the light gleaming off his crucifix. This was replaced in the final version by a much more conventional opening showing San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge in daytime. The words that appear onscreen were originally almost an exact quote of Allen Ginsberg's description of "the subterraneans" (his character is named Adam Moorad in the book); they were altered in a manner that rendered them more neutral and cliched. The film was originally supposed to be shot in black-and-white for a more austere aesthetic; it ended up being done in Cinemascope and Metrocolor. Article on the movie version of Kerouac's SUBTERRANEANS Photograph of the real-life model for "Mardou", the love interest of Kerouac's who inspired the book: Next week: American jazz in French new-wave cinema.
  24. There's a new Night Lights show posted today, just in time for Benny Golson's 80th birthday: The Benny Golson Songbook ...features Benny Golson and the Philadelphians doing "Stablemates," Lee Morgan doing "Where Am I?", Milt Jackson and "Whisper Not" (with a pre-Jazztet group including Benny and Art Farmer), and other late 1950s/early 1960s BG goodies, including a generous helping of Jazztet tracks at the end.
  25. This past week’s Night Lights show explores Joni Mitchell’s 1970s jazz-influenced recordings (plus several post-1980 jazz encounters as well), with Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancocl among the supporting cast: Joni + Jazz: Joni Mitchell