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Night Lights Classic Jazz

A Cool Christmas

Come along for a jazz sleigh ride this week on Night Lights, with music from Shirley Horn, Paul Bley, Duke Ellington, Wes Montgomery, and more.

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cool christmas

Photo: Flickr

Bright moments and seasons' greetings to Night Lights listeners around the world.

Snowfalls, sleigh rides, visits from Santa and more holiday happenings abound on Night Lights’ annual jazz tribute to the season. Highlights this year include:

  • Wes Montgomery and his brothers strolling through fellow Hoosier Claude Thornhill’s “Snowfall”
  • Musical season’s greetings from singers Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn
  • Pianist Paul Bley announcing the imminent arrival of a certain Mr. Claus
  • The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra serenading the season with a most familiar tune
  • A Kentonian Christmas set, with music from singer June Christy, arranger Pete Rugolo, and Stan Kenton himself
  • Excerpts from Duke Ellington’s The Nutcracker suite
  • Pianists Duke Pearson and Eddie Higgins suggesting a holiday dance and sleigh-ride

For more cool Christmas jazz, check out Paul Horn playing “We Three Kings of Orient Are” (tip of the red Santa hat to Like… Dreamsville):

Music Heard On This Episode

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Pt. 1
Carla Bley — Carla's Christmas Carols (ECM, 2009)
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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Pt. 1
Carla Bley — Carla's Christmas Carols (ECM, 2009)
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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Paul Bley — Introducing Paul Bley (Debut/OJC, 1991)
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Sleigh Ride
Duke Pearson — Ultimate Jazz Christmas (Blue Note, 2006)
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The Merriest
June Christy — This Time of Year (Collector's Choice, 2005)
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Jingle Bells Mambo
Pete Rugolo — Adventures in Jazz (Fresh Sounds, 2008)
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Good King Wenceslas
Stan Kenton — A Merry Christmas (Capitol, 2003)
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Overture
Duke Ellington — Three Suites (Sony, 2008)
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Sugar Rum Cherry
Duke Ellington — Three Suites (Sony, 2008)
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O Tannenbaum (midpoint music bed)
Carla Bley — Carla's Christmas Carols (ECM, 2009)
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Snowfall
Wes Montgomery — Groove Brothers (Milestone, 1998)
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Christmas Time Is Here
Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra — Carol of the Bells (Owl, 2008)
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The Secret of Christmas
Shirley Horn — Christmas for Lovers (Verve, 2003)
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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Ella Fitzgerald — Ella Wishes You a Swingin' Christmas (Verve, 2002)
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The Christmas Waltz
Eddie Higgins — Christmas Songs (SSC, 2005)
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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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