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ghost of miles

"Come On Down to Central Avenue"

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This week on Night Lights it’s Come On Down to Central Avenue as we explore the sounds of the mid-20th-century Los Angeles jazz scene with historian Steve Isoardi (editor of the oral history book Central Avenue Sounds). Jam sessions, bebop, r & b, big bands, visits from Hollywood celebrities—as the center of African-American culture in L.A., Central Avenue had it all. We’ll hear the music of artists such as Dexter Gordon, Howard McGhee, Hadda Brooks, Charles Mingus, Gerald Wilson, Lionel Hampton, and many other eventual jazz greats who got their start on the Avenue, or who spent significant time there…. and we’ll verbally stroll through the vibrant streets of the Central Avenue neighborhood circa 1945 with Mr. Isoardi. “Come On Down to Central Avenue” airs Saturday, February 17 at 11:05 p.m. EST on WFIU and at 10 p.m. EST Sunday, February 18 on Michigan's Blue Lake Public Radio. (WNIN-Evansville is doing their spring fund-drive this week and will air our spring funder, "Bop! Go the Big Bands.") The program will be posted late Monday in the Night Lights archives.

 

Next week: Steve Isoardi joins us again for "One More You Wrote Through Us: Horace Tapscott."

 

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Edited by ghost of miles

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Isoardi's new book on Tapscott and the 1960-2000 L.A. jazz scene, THE DARK TREE, is well worth checking out (some previous discussion here), along with (should go without saying) Horace's autobiography, which Isoardi helped edit. The new book comes with a CD of previously-unreleased Horace/Arkestra music; I'll play a couple of those cuts on the show next weekend. Isoardi's a really cool guy, speaks with a lot of concise and obvious passion, and did quite a lot (at Horace's request) to preserve and document that whole scene (he says it was actually more challenging than Central Avenue, because there was much more coverage of Central Avenue in the black L.A. press... no kind of media reportage/documentation from anyone on Tapscott and UGMAA, etc., until the last few years of Tapscott's life).

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These look great. Thanks!

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Isoardi's new book on Tapscott and the 1960-2000 L.A. jazz scene, THE DARK TREE, is well worth checking out (some previous discussion here), along with (should go without saying) Horace's autobiography, which Isoardi helped edit. The new book comes with a CD of previously-unreleased Horace/Arkestra music; I'll play a couple of those cuts on the show next weekend. Isoardi's a really cool guy, speaks with a lot of concise and obvious passion, and did quite a lot (at Horace's request) to preserve and document that whole scene (he says it was actually more challenging than Central Avenue, because there was much more coverage of Central Avenue in the black L.A. press... no kind of media reportage/documentation from anyone on Tapscott and UGMAA, etc., until the last few years of Tapscott's life).

Must get the Tapscott book. Actually 60-70 pages into 'The Dark Tree', which prompted my comment!

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"Come On Down to Central Avenue" is now archived.

Edited by ghost of miles

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"Come On Down to Central Avenue" is now archived.

Glad you were able to squeeze in a program devoted to Central Ave. and were also able to include the Collette Audio AutoBio; I interviewed Buddy years ago and he remains one of the most gracious musicians I've encountered.

Thanks for this.

Jordan

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Glad you liked it, Jordan. I wish I'd been able to get in a bit more of that Buddy audiobiography, but between the Isoardi clips & the music, didn't have much time... he sounds gracious when he talks.

Edited by ghost of miles

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maybe this is a good place to remark that the fine (written) Buddy Collette Autobiography which Isoardi put together is available at a severely reduced price, eg from amazon...

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