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  1. We re-aired the 2010 Night Lights program "Herbie Nichols' Third World," including interview remarks from Nichols biographer Mark Miller, this week. Posting it here today in honor of his birthday:
  2. I'm posting this week's program a bit early, as I'm going to take an internet and social-media break until January 2nd. Full list included in the web-post, though space did not allow for everything to make it into the show itself. Happy New Year and all that jazz: Best Historical Jazz Releases 2018
  3. Last week’s Night Lights show now up for online listening: A Night Lights Wonderland Happy holidays and all that jazz... 🎄🎁 🎅
  4. A recent Night Lights show up for online listening, delving into the 1960s recordings of singer Nancy Wilson with Cannonball Adderley, Gerald Wilson, Ben Webster, George Shearing, Hank Jones, and more: Jazz Her Way: Nancy Wilson In The 1960s
  5. Features interviews with Doug Ramsey, Peanuts producer Lee Mendelson, Guaraldi friend and sideman Eddie Duran, Guaraldi's son David, and jazz pianist Luke Gillespie, as well as music from the beginning of Guaraldi's career to the end: It's Jazz, Charlie Brown: the Vince Guaraldi Story Happy holidays to all! Next week: "Bob Brookmeyer and Some of His Friends."
  6. We've been re-airing last year's NEA grant series Jazz Crossroads of America, a special four-part Night Lights look at the history of Indiana jazz. Here's the first episode, "Gennett Days: Hot Jazz From The Heartland," which includes interviews with Gennett historian Rick Kennedy and Indiana jazz historian Duncan Schiedt, as well as a slew of 1920s jazz:
  7. This week’s show, including commentary from Burton himself, in honor of the vibraphonist’s 75th birthday, which occurred yesterday (January 23): New Vibes: Gary Burton In The 1960s
  8. Music from Johnny Griffin, Eric Dolphy, Artie Shaw, Howard McGhee, Yusef Lateef and more: Enter, Evening: Jazz Nocturnes Coming up soon: "The Charlie Parker Memorial Songbook" "Workin': Work Songs in Jazz and Popular Music" (with special guest Ted Gioia)
  9. This past weekend we did a tribute show to bandleader Gerald Wilson, who turned 90 on Sept. 4. Focusing on his 1940s and 1960s big bands, it's now archived for online listening: Last of the Lions: Gerald Wilson
  10. Here's a recent, new Night Lights program devoted to the recordings that Stan Getz made in the last several years of his life: Wish I'd had enough time to work in a track from the album he did with Helen Merrill as well...
  11. Last week's Night Lights program, broadcast in honor of the Bernstein centennial, is up for online listening: Jazz Side Story: Jazz And Leonard Bernstein
  12. Last week's Night Lights show, Diggin' Diz: A Musical Portrait of Dizzy Gillespie in the 1940s, put together in honor of the Gillespie centennial, is now archived for online listening. The program includes the rare 1944 broadcast of Gillespie and bassist Oscar Pettiford's quintet performing "A Night In Tunisia."
  13. "Dolphy '64"

    As an 80th-birthday tribute to Eric Dolphy, a program that focuses on recordings made in the last few months of his life, both as a leader and with Andrew Hill, Charles Mingus, and Orchestra U.S.A. Much more at the link below, including videos of Dolphy with Mingus and links to several websites that have interview clips, photographs and other info from Dolphy's last year: Dolphy '64 "Dolphy '64" airs Saturday evening at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and Sunday evening at 10 p.m. EST on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio. Other airtimes and stations can be found on the Night Lights links page. The program will be posted for online listening Monday morning in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "Jazz Goes Folk."
  14. On a recent Night Lights show historian Sam Stephenson joined me to talk about photographer W. Eugene Smith and the so-called "jazz loft," the building at 28th St and Sixth Avenue in New York City that served as a home, haunt, and jam-session space for jazz musicians and other artists in the 1950s and 60s: Music In All Things: W. Eugene Smith And The Jazz Loft The show includes music recorded at the loft by both Smith and painter David X. Young, as well as Thelonious Monk and Hall Overton discussing Monk's upcoming Town Hall concert, excerpts from notable radio programs that Smith listened to and taped, and more. Stephenson is the author of a new book about Smith, Gene Smith's Sink: A Wide-Angle View, as well as a previous book about the loft, The Jazz Loft Project.
  15. This past week's Night Lights show, We Brothers Three, is now posted for online listening. It features music from a trio of brotherly trios: *Thad, Hank and Elvin Jones *Jimmy, Percy and Tootie Heath *Wes, Buddy and Monk Montgomery
  16. Night Lights anticipated pianist Martial Solal's 90th birthday today with a program last week devoted to his 1950s and early 60s recordings: Caravan: Martial Solal, The Early Years Bon anniversaire, Monsieur Solal!
  17. This week's Night Lights program Cafe Society: the Wrong Place for the Right People takes a look at New York City's first integrated nightclub, a diverse musical panorama where artists such as Teddy Wilson, Frankie Newton, Big Joe Turner, Pete Johnson, Hazel Scott, Josh White and Lena Horne all performed, and a gathering spot for Popular Front entertainers and intellectuals. It's also the place where Billie Holiday debuted her version of "Strange Fruit," the anti-lynching song that became an early civil-rights anthem. The program features music from all of the previously-mentioned artists, as well as remarks from cultural historian Michael McGerr and Terry Trilling-Josephson, widow of Cafe Society owner Barney Josephson and co-author of his newly-published memoir. "Cafe Society: the Wrong Place for the Right People" airs tonight at 11 p.m. EST on WFIU-Bloomington, at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville, and at 11 p.m. Central Time on KOSU-Oklahoma City. It also airs tomorrow evening at 10 p.m. EST on Blue Lake Public Radio and KMBH-Brownsville, TX. It is already archived for online listening.
  18. A recent Night Lights profile of Buddy Rich that includes excerpts from a 1969 interview with WFIU jazz host Dick Bishop is now up for online listening: Put On Earth To Play Drums: The Buddy Rich Story The web-post includes a link to the 1969 interview in its entirety, in which Rich discusses everything from his musical origins and time with the Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey big bands to the state of jazz circa 1969.
  19. Last week's Night Lights show up, with a special thanks to Jsngry, who allowed me to use a quote from an old Organissimo post of his concerning the topic at hand: Final Miles: Miles Davis On Warner Brothers The web post also includes links to the full-length studio outtake of "Can I Play With U?" (the Prince song and recording originally intended for Tutu), Miles' appearance at Prince's 1987 New Year's Eve concert at Paisley Park, and much more.
  20. Up for the 75th anniversary of Freddie Hubbard's birth today--a recent Night Lights show, "Freddie Hubbard: The CTI Years": You can also listen to the broadcast we did about Hubbard the day after his death, which included an interview with David Baker and music from Hubbard's teenage group the Jazz Contemporaries:
  21. We had originally scheduled a show devoted to live recordings from Hermosa Beach's Lighthouse Cafe made after the breakup of Howard Rumsey's seminal west-coast jazz group the Lighthouse All-Stars this week on Night Lights. Rumsey passed away last Wednesday at the age of 97, so instead we'll be re-airing a previous Night Lights program that focused on him and the 1950s editions of the Lighthouse All-Stars: The Lighthouse All-Stars
  22. This week on Night Lights it’s “Jazz Advance: Early Cecil Taylor.” Pianist Cecil Taylor is one of the most influential pioneers of late-20th-century improvised music; as author John Litweiler says in his book The Freedom Principle, “One of the running threads in the story of today’s jazz is that so many of the advances first appeared in Cecil Taylor’s music.” Taylor’s musical universe, often perceived by mainstream jazz fans as a challenging, distant place, is thoroughly grounded in the music’s history; and his early influences ran from Dave Brubeck and Lennie Tristano to Horace Silver and Duke Ellington. We’ll hear selections from the 1950s albums that gave birth to Taylor’s career—Jazz Advance, Looking Ahead, Coltrane Time (Taylor’s only meeting on record with John Coltrane), and Love For Sale, along with a performance from the 1957 Newport Festival. “Jazz Advance” airs Saturday, July 29 at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville; Michigan listeners can hear it Sunday evening at 10 p.m EST on Blue Lake Public Radio. The program will be posted Monday afternoon in the Night Lights archives. Next week: "Hip Parade: Early Mark Murphy."
  23. Night Lights website

    Hello all--apologies for the unavailability of the Night Lights website for the past week. The entire Indiana Public Media site (of which Night Lights is a part) was taken offline because of security concerns, and we will be transferring to a new server and way of posting content in the next few days. Previous archived content will eventually migrate to the new site, but only new and recent shows will most likely be online for the time being.
  24. I've put together a list of biographies, historical overviews, and interview/essay collections for the Night Lights site (there's also a list at the bottom of some Night Lights shows that focus on women in jazz). Suggestions for additions welcome: Women In Jazz: A Bibliography
  25. Count Basie and Paul Robeson team up to salute Joe Louis, Gil Scott-Heron pays tribute to Billie Holiday and John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard delivers a jazz skyhook for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Duke Ellington paints a musical picture of Mahalia Jackson, and more on this recent edition of Night Lights: Portraits In Black: Jazz Tributes To African-American Heroes Coming up this week: "Ready For Freddie Redd."