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A Great Jazz Band: NPR On the Lexington Program

Hunter Quartet in HAll Things Considered did a story tonight on the Addiction Research Center that was a part of the federal prison in Lexington, Kentucky. The segment alludes to the many talented jazz musicians who passed through this program in the 1940s and 1950s, including Sonny Rollins and Tadd Dameron, who took what came to be known as “the Lexington cure.” (An article in the July 1959 issue of The Jazz Review titled “Jazz at Narco,” written by Rabbi Joseph R. Rosenbloom, then a chaplain at Lexington, talks about the fantastic jazz groups that emerged in this institution, as does the NPR story; unfortunately, it does not appear that any such ensembles ever recorded.) You can hear the story at the following link: America’s First Drug-Treatment Program Revisited. Along those lines, check out the previous Night Lights program Jazz From Rehab, which explores similar themes and focuses on two albums made by recovering and addicted jazz musicians in the early 1960s; also see my previous post, Emily Remler, Artist Sites, and That “Issue”.

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.

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