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Night Lights Classic Jazz

The Prestige Records Story

A special online fund-drive show featuring classic sides from the Prestige label. You can enjoy some great jazz and help us make our goal at the same time!

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Very Best of Prestige

Photo: Album cover art

Lennie Tristano, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Dexter Gordon are all enlisted in aid of Night Lights this week--please join their ranks!

The Night Lights online fund-drive continues, with a goal of reaching $600 by July 3–the sixth anniversary of the show’s launch. Any amount you can contribute–$15, $25, $40, or whatever is feasible for you–greatly helps us to make progress and justify the presence of Night Lights online for another year. And while you’re supporting Night Lights, how about some classic jazz?

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Bob Weinstock, all of 20 years old, began Prestige Records in the late 1940s. He called the label “New Jazz” at first, because this now-classic jazz back then was new jazz. What started as a mail-order business out of his parents’ New York City apartment would become one of the major record labels of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, recording artists such as John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Eric Dolphy, and Gene Ammons. In doing so Weinstock helped document a golden age of bebop, hardbop, and soul-jazz in the post-World War II years of American music.

We’ll hear some of the above artists and more, including Bud Powell, Sonny Stitt, and Lennie Tristano, on this special fund-drive edition of Night Lights. If you enjoy checking the show out at all, please consider making a contribution–it really helps to support producing and posting these shows online. Coming up soon: “It’s All in the Game: Louis Armstrong, 1947-57,” with special guests jazz writer Dan Morgenstern and historian Michael McGerr; and “Off the A-Train: Paul Gonsalves,” a look at the leader recordings of the Duke Ellington orchestra saxophonist who blew that legendary 27-chorus solo at Duke’s 1956 Newport appearance. You make these shows possible–thanks so much for doing so.

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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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