Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

What’s New: May 2011, With Disney And Ray Charles Tributes

Music from tributes to Ray Charles and the songs of Disney films, featuring Esperanza Spalding, Roy Hargrove, Roberta Gambarini, Norah Jones and others.

Play Episode (Real Audio)
Everybody Wants to Be a Cat

Photo: CD cover art

...and some want to sing and play Disney tunes.

Disney on Afterglow? Is there a (Mickey) mouse in the house of popular song?

There’s actually a long jazz-and-popular-song tradition of recording Disney film music, going back to the 1930s, when artists such as Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, and Bunny Berigan waxed tunes from movies like Snow White, Pinocchio, and Disney’s Silly Symphony series. The 1950s and 60s saw the release of albums such as Dave Brubeck’s Dave Digs Disney and Louis Armstrong’s Disney Songs the Satchmo Way, while Bill Evans, Miles Davis and John Coltrane recorded individual songs like “Some Day My Prince Will Come” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” (You can hear some of these recordings on the WFIU Night Lights show Jazz Goes Disney.)

A new anthology, Everybody Wants to Be a Cat, features modern artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Joshua Redman, and Regina Carter doing fresh interpretations of Disney songs. Dave Brubeck is on board for it as well, performing “Alice in Wonderland” with singer Roberta Gambarini. We’ll also hear from a new tribute to the music of Ray Charles, with Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, and Wynton Marsalis joining in the celebration.

Quartet West and Kurt Elling round out the show with more music from their recent releases; listen, in particular, to the sensitive upsweep of Elling’s take on a passage from Duke Ellington’s memoir during “Nightime, Lady Bright.”

Music Heard On This Episode

Busted
Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis — Here We Go Again (Blue Note, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Busted
Willie Nelson/Wynton Marsalis — Here We Go Again (Blue Note, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Everybody Wants to Be a Cat
Roy Hargrove — Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (Disney, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Chim-chim-cher-ee
Esperanza Spalding — Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (Disney, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Come Rain or Come Shine
Norah Jones — Here We Go Again (Blue Note , 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Unchain My Heart
Willie Nelson — Here We Go Again (Blue Note, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
My Old Flame (midpoint music bed)
Quartet West — Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Feed the Birds
Kurt Rosenwinkel — Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (Disney, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Alice in Wonderland
Roberta Gambarini/Dave Brubeck — Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (Disney, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
It's a Small World
Nikki Yanofsky — Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (Disney, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Angel Face
Quartet West — Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Nightime, Lady Bright
Kurt Elling — The Gate (Concord, 2011)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Afterglow:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Afterglow

About The Host

Search Afterglow

This Week On Night Lights

At The Jazz Corner Of The World: Live From Birdland

The entrance to the Birdland nightclub in New York City.

Birdland was known as “the jazz corner of the world,” and from 1949 to 1965 it played host to some of the greatest names on the modern jazz scene.

Read more »

Night Lights is WFIU's weekly program of classic jazz hosted by David Brent Johnson.

More from Night Lights »