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Recent Shows

Trane ’62: The Classic Coltrane Quartet Begins

Front of John Coltrane's eponymous 1962 Impulse LP

In 1962 John Coltrane collaborated with Duke Ellington, recorded an all-ballads LP, and established the group now known as the Classic Quartet.

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Postwar Prez: Lester Young 1945-1950

Photo of Lester Young in 1946

In 1945 Lester Young emerged at the age of 36 from a traumatic time in the Army to renew his career as one of jazz’s most influential and loved saxophonists.

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Soul Eyes: The Early Mal Waldron Songbook

Cover for Mal Waldron Memorial album

Waldron wrote several hundred pieces of music in the late 1950s and early 60s, recorded by the jazz scene's top musicians.

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Swingers: Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine, And Jazz

Cover of Patty Farmer's book about Playboy and jazz.

In 1953 a young entrepreneur and jazz fan started a magazine that helped bring about the sexual revolution in America—and also promoted the music he loved.

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Night Lights Blog

Songs Of Themselves: Jazz Autobiographies

Cover of Art Pepper's book Straight Life

At the intersection of performance, narrative, and remembrance: some notable jazz stories told by the musicians themselves.

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Mosaic Records Is Releasing A Savoy Bebop Set

cover of Savoy bebop LP

Coming soon: a ten-disc set of classic late-1940s bebop.

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Talk About The Pageant: When R.E.M. Came To Bloomington In 1986

Pages from R.E.M.'s 1986 concert program

In the spring of 1986, the reigning kings of college-rock came to a small Indiana university town to record their new album. Why they mattered, 30 years later.

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Women In Jazz: A Bibliography

Cover of Linda Dahl's history of women in jazz, Stormy Weather.

Biographies, historical overviews, gender-studies perspectives: a list of books (and Night Lights shows) that delve into the story of women jazz artists.

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Best Historical Jazz Releases 2015: The Year The Seventies Broke

CD covers from the first batch of Xanadu reissues.

A bitchin' brew of hardbop, fusion, vocal, and hot-swinging jazz.

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Mosaic Is Releasing A James P. Johnson Set

Photo of pianist James P. Johnson

The set will chronicle Johnson's career on record from the early years of the Harlem Renaissance to the World War II era.

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This Week On Afterglow

Oh, So Nice: The Ira Gershwin Songbook


Ira Gershwin was the lyricist behind such standards as "Embraceable You," "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off," and "Long Ago (And Far Away)"

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Afterglow is WFIU's weekly program of jazz and American popular song hosted by David Brent Johnson.

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