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  1. 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
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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."
  5. 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
  6. 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!
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. "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.
  10. 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
  11. A recent Night Lights program focusing on the brief but significant musical partnership of pianist Horace Parlan and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine is now available for online listening: Pittsburgh Soul Connection: Horace Parlan And Stanley Turrentine
  12. 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
  13. 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."
  14. 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"
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. "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."
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Last week's Night Lights show now up for online listening: Jazz Scene San Francisco
  23. 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
  24. 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).
  25. 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.