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Night Lights Classic Jazz


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.

Recent posts by David Brent

August 13, 2015


Cd cover for Herbie Hancock on Blue Note

Maiden Voyage: Herbie Hancock In The 1960s

In the 1960s Herbie Hancock seemed to be everywhere on the jazz scene, recording both as a leader for Blue Note and as a sideman with Miles Davis and others.

August 8, 2015


Billie Holiday Lady Sings The Blues

Late Lady: Billie Holiday On Verve In The 1950s

In 1952 Billie Holiday began her last great period on record with a series of small-group sessions that capture the twilight glow of a jazz star.

July 21, 2015


Photo of saxophonist Lester Young

Mosaic Records To Release Mother Of All Lester Young Box Sets

The most comprehensive portrait of Lester Young in his prime that's ever been assembled.

July 20, 2015


The onscreen opening to Duke Ellington's

Swing It Loud: Duke Ellington’s Early Black-Pride Music

Long before the rise of the black-pride movement in the 1960s, Ellington was writing music that celebrated African-American culture, personalities, and history.

July 9, 2015


The cover for John Coltrane's 1957 Blue Note album BLUE TRAIN.

1957, Four Portraits In Jazz: Blakey, Coltrane, Fuller, Rollins

A prolific and diverse year for Art Blakey; a turnaround for John Coltrane; continuing momentum for Sonny Rollins; and an astonishing debut for Curtis Fuller.

July 6, 2015


Nancy Wilson 1960s

Jazz Her Way: Nancy Wilson In The 1960s

Wilson's records blended big-band and small-group elements with pop orchestration and doses of soul that could be both big-city hip and suburban cool.

June 29, 2015


The Bill Evans Album cover

The Great Columbia Jazz Purge: Coleman, Evans, Jarrett, And Mingus

In 1971 Columbia Records signed four of modern jazz's greatest artists. Within two years all four were gone. What happened?

June 26, 2015


Cover for Curtis Fuller's 1957 Blue Note LP The Opener

Rookie Of The Year: Curtis Fuller ’57

Six albums as a leader. Sideman appearances with John Coltrane, Bud Powell, and Jimmy Smith. The story of trombonist Curtis Fuller's first year on record.

June 25, 2015


poster for Nina Simone documentary

Nina Lives! The Nina Simone Renaissance

Links from past to present: signs of the Nina Simone revival.

June 15, 2015


Melba Liston trombone

Proving Herself: Melba Liston, Arranger And First Lady Of Trombone

Liston was a trailblazer for women in 20th century jazz, a master trombonist and arranger who forged partnerships with some of the music's most key figures.

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This Week On Afterglow

The Billy Strayhorn Songbook

strayhorn gottlieb

Songwriter Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington's right-hand man, would have turned 100 on November 29th.

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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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