Night Lights Classic Jazz

Daddy-O! Father-And-Son Teams In Jazz

Night Lights pays tribute to the Father's Day holiday with music from Von and Chico Freeman, Duke and Mercer Ellington, Jackie and Rene McLean, and more.

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  • Freeman and Freeman

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    Photo: Album cover

    Von and Chico Freeman.

  • Wynton and Ellis Marsalis

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    Photo: Album cover art

    Ellis and Wynton Marsalis.

  • Jackie McLean Dynasty

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    Photo: Album cover

    Jackie and Rene McLean.

  • Brubecks

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    Photo: Album cover art.

    Dave and Darius, Chris, and Dan Brubeck.

Hey Dad, can I borrow the saxophone keys? Night Lights crosses the generational divide this week with an exploration of father-and-son teams in jazz:

  • How did Duke Ellington come to use his son Mercer as a songwriter?
  • What father-and-son record date prompted a young jazz reviewer named Studs Terkel to proclaim it “an ear opener for jazz bigots and cultists?”
  • What famous saxophonist used his 10-year-old son as a drummer on a recording date for a renowned jazz label?
  • Which two regionally-known jazz veterans gained some well-deserved limelight as a result of their sons’ rise to fame in the jazz world?

Find out all of this and more on “Daddy-O: Father-and-Son Teams in Jazz” on this Night Lights Father’s Day special.

More about father-and-son teams in jazz:

Watch Von and Chico Freeman on stage together at Montreux in 1982:

Watch Ellis Marsalis and three of his sons (Wynton, Branford, and Jason) performing together:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJY046e-0LU

Watch Dave Brubeck with three of his sons during the “Two Generations of Brubeck” era:

Special thanks to Chuck Nessa, Rod Stasick, and John Shelton.

Music Heard On This Episode

Nostalgic Impressions
Ellis/Wynton/Branford Marsalis — Fathers and Sons (Columbia, 1982)
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Nostalgic Impressions
Ellis/Wynton/Branford Marsalis — Fathers and Sons (Columbia, 1982)
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Jumpin' Punkins
Duke/Mercer Ellington — Never No Lament (RCA, 2003)
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Moon Mist
Duke/Mercer Ellington — Never No Lament (RCA, 2003)
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S.P. Blues
Albert/Gene Ammons — Blues, Boogie and Bop (Polygram, 1995)
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Jug Ain't Gone
Von/Chico Freeman — Fathers and Sons (Columbia, 1982)
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A Tribute to Our Fathers
Von/Chico Freeman — Fathers and Sons (Columbia, 1982)
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Twelve's It
Ellis/Wynton/Branford Marsalis — Fathers and Sons (Columbia, 1982)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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Street of Dreams
Ellis/Wynton Marsalis — Standard Time V. 3: the Resolution of Romance (Sony, 1990)
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J. Mac's Dynasty
Jackie/Rene McLean — Dynasty (Peter Pan, 1990)
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The Empty Foxhole
Ornette/Denardo Coleman — The Empty Foxhole (Blue Note, 1994)
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It's a Raggy Waltz
Dave/Darius/Chris/Dan Brubeck — Brother the Great Spirit Made Us All (Collectables, 2000)
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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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