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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Why Jazz Happened, With Marc Myers

JazzWax blogger and Wall Street Journal music writer Marc Myers discusses his book about how cultural, economic, and social forces shaped the sound of jazz.

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Marc Myers jazz book

Photo: Book cover art

Digging into the grooves of history: Myers' book offers deep context for the changing patterns of jazz's mid-20th century evolution.

Jazz is a music that underwent many stylistic changes in its early decades, from the swing of the 1930s and the bebop of the 1940s to the hardbop of the 1950s, the free jazz of the 1960s, and the fusion of the 1970s. In his book Why Jazz Happened, Jazzwax blogger and Wall Street music writer Marc Myers takes a look at some of the social, cultural, and other non-musical forces and events that helped shape the evolving sound of jazz. He joins Night Lights this week to discuss jazz changes, trends, and upheavals of the mid-20th century. We’ll also hear music from Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, and the Tony Williams Lifetime.

Music Heard On This Episode

Half Nelson
Miles Davis — Workin' (Prestige , 2006)
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Half Nelson
Miles Davis — Workin' (Prestige , 2006)
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Scrapple From The Apple
Charlie Parker — Bird At The Roost V. 3 (Savoy, 1988)
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Playland At The Beach
Dave Brubeck — Dave Brubeck Octet (OJC, 1991)
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Israel
Miles Davis — Birth Of The Cool (Blue Note, 2001)
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Zoot Swings The Blues
Zoot Sims — Complete Prestige and Vogue Masters (Jazz Factory, 2003)
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Witch Doctor #1 (midpoint music bed)
Lighthouse All-Stars — Volume 3 (OJC, 1991)
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Nights At The Turntable
Gerry Mulligan/Chet Baker — Best of the Gerry Mulligan-Chet Baker Quartet (Blue Note, 1991)
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Room 608
Horace Silver — Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers (Blue Note, 2005)
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Airegin
Miles Davis/Sonny Rollins — Classic Prestige Sessions (Prestige, 2009)
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Number 2
Art Ensemble of Chicago — 1967/68 (Nessa, 2003)
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Goin' Out Of My Head
Wes Montgomery — Goin' Out Of My Head (Verve, 2007)
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Emergency
Tony Williams Lifetime — Emergency (Polygram, 1997)
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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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