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Night Lights Classic Jazz


David Johnson

Recent posts by David

March 25, 2016


The LP cover of Grant Green's Blue Note album FEELIN' THE SPIRIT.

Jazz, Spiritually Speaking

Slave spirituals were often improvisations upon older hymns that became entirely new songs, and in some ways they foreshadow the birth of American jazz.

March 17, 2016


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

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

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.

March 15, 2016


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

Women In Jazz: A Bibliography

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

February 17, 2016


Cover of Freddie Redd's Shades Of Redd LP.

Ready For Freddie Redd

At the dawn of the 1960s pianist Freddie Redd made several albums for the Blue Note label filled with taut, punchy hardbop compositions.

February 7, 2016


Photo of baseball player Jackie Robinson

Portraits In Black: Jazz Tributes To African-American Heroes

Jazz salutes in song to African-American actors, athletes, and artists.

February 1, 2016


LP cover of Eddie Harris' Exodus To Jazz

The Vee Jay Jazz Story

In 1953 a Gary, Indiana couple started what would become one of the most successful black-owned record labels, highlighting gospel, blues, R and B, and jazz.

January 26, 2016


Cover of Hod O'Brien's Have Piano Will Swing

A Portrait Of Hod O’Brien

The musical times and tales of jazz-piano veteran Hod O'Brien.

January 10, 2016


The LP cover for pianist Elmo Hope's Meditations

Hope Lives: A Portrait Of Elmo Hope

Exploring the life and music of an unheralded pianist and composer from the hardbop era.

January 6, 2016


A photo of 1940s jazz hipster figure Harry Gibson.

Hipsters, Flipsters, And On-The-Scenesters

Kickin' the gong around with Minnie, McVouty, Freddie, and other assorted jazzniks.

January 4, 2016


CD covers from the first batch of Xanadu reissues.

Best Historical Jazz Releases 2015: The Year The Seventies Broke

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

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This Week On Afterglow

A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night


In 1973, singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson released an album of standards, arranged by Sinatra's arranger Gordon Jenkins.

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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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