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Night Lights Classic Jazz


David Johnson

Recent posts by David

October 12, 2016


Cover of The Jazz Scene LP

Norman Granz’s Jazz Scene

An anthology that helped to elevate the artistic stature of jazz.

September 19, 2016


Front of John Coltrane's eponymous 1962 Impulse LP

Trane ’62: The Classic Coltrane Quartet Begins

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

August 22, 2016


Photo of Lester Young in 1946

Postwar Prez: Lester Young 1945-1950

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.

August 21, 2016


Cover of Art Pepper's book Straight Life

Songs Of Themselves: Jazz Autobiographies

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

August 16, 2016


Cover for Mal Waldron Memorial album

Soul Eyes: The Early Mal Waldron Songbook

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

August 12, 2016


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

Swingers: Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine, 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.

July 15, 2016


cover of Savoy bebop LP

Mosaic Records Is Releasing A Savoy Bebop Set

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

July 13, 2016


Cover of Roy Haynes CYMBALISM album

Snap, Crackle And Swing: Young Roy Haynes

Drummer Roy Haynes' career reads like a roll-call of jazz history. Hear him with Lester Young, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and others.

July 3, 2016


Photo of Frank Sinatra late 1940s

Jazz His Way: Frank Sinatra

One of the 20th century's most iconic performers crossed musical paths with artists such as Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald.

March 31, 2016


Cover of Ella Fitzgerald's Like Someone In Love LP.

Ella ’57: Ella Fitzgerald Flies High

In 1957 singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded close to one hundred tracks as her career continued to soar in the wake of signing with Norman Granz’s Verve label.

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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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