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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Charles Tolliver on Strata East in the Early 1970s

Strata East: where adventurous hardbop went in the 1970s.

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Charles Tolliver Mosaic Select

Photo: CD cover art

DIY jazz: trumpeter Charles Tolliver.

In the early 1970s, as recording opportunities for more adventurous hard-bop musicians dried up, trumpeter Charles Tolliver and pianist Stanley Cowell started their own label, Strata East, partly in order to document the activities of their quartet Music Inc. The aesthetic results were in some ways an extension of the music Tolliver had made in the 1960s with artists such as Jackie McLean, Max Roach, and Andrew Hill.

On this edition of Night Lights we’ll hear live performances by the Tolliver quartet from Slug’s Saloon in New York City and from a concert in Tokyo, as well as recordings the quartet made augmented by a big band. Many of these recordings are available in a collection from Mosaic Records.

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)
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Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)

Notes: Opening theme.

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Brilliant Circles
Charles Tolliver — Music Inc. and Big Band (Charly, 1970)

Notes: Written by Music Inc. pianist Stanley Cowell

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Drought
Charles Tolliver — Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 1970)

Notes: Charles Tolliver composition.

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Truth
Charles Tolliver — Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 1973)

Notes: Tolliver composition.

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House of Saud
Charles Tolliver — Music Inc. and Big Band (Charly, 1970)

Notes: Tolliver composition.

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Effi
Charles Tolliver — Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 1973)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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Felicite
Charles Tolliver — Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 1970)

Notes: Cecil McBee composition.

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Impact
Charles Tolliver — Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 1973)

Notes: Previously unreleased.

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Round Midnight
Charles Tolliver — Mosaic Select (Mosaic, 1973)
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Night Lights
Gerry Mulligan — Night Lights (Polygram, 1963)

Notes: Closing theme.

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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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