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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

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.

June 10, 2015


Miles Davis Blackhawk

Miles Between: Miles Davis 1961-1963

As the 1960s began Miles Davis entered a period of transition, first trying to find a saxophonist to replace John Coltrane and then a new rhythm section.

May 15, 2015


Young Keith Jarrett

Birth: Early Keith Jarrett

Jarrett's early solos, one critic said, "contain in them the entire history of jazz piano."

February 17, 2015


The cover for Samuel Charters' and Leonard Kunstadt's chronicle of NYC jazz.

Jazz Capitals Of America: A Bibliography

Books about the urban centers of 20th century America that played host to vital proving grounds for generations of jazz musicians.

January 5, 2015


Cover for John Coltrane's OFFERING cd

Best Historical Jazz Releases 2014

Night Lights' annual, highly-subjective look back at the year's historical jazz releases.

October 13, 2014


album cover for Bud Powell's BOUNCING WITH BUD lp

The Scene Changes: The Life And Music Of Bud Powell, Part 2

Struggle, rebirth, and return: Bud Powell biographer Peter Pullman joins us again as we chronicle the final years of pianist Bud Powell.

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This Week On Afterglow

Live Nina!

simone carnegie

We feature Nina Simone, the "High Priestess of Soul," in her most natural element: live on stage at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and the Newport Jazz Festival.

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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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