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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Jazz Impressions of Paris

Jazz interpretations of the many songs that have been written about the City of Light.

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Paris scene

Photo: Flickr

This year our tribute show focuses on jazz interpretations of the many songs that have been written about the City of Light.

Last year Night Lights began an annual Bastille Day-week salute to the convergence of all things French and jazz with Paris Noir, a program about post-World War II expatriate African-American musicians in France.

This year our tribute show focuses on jazz interpretations of the many songs that have been written about the City of Light.

“Jazz Impressions of Paris” features music from:

  • Bud Powell (“The Last Time I Saw Paris”)
  • Clifford Brown (his and Max Roach’s take on Bud’s “Parisian Thoroughfare”)
  • Duke Ellington (the title theme from the movie Paris Blues)
  • Charlie Parker (Cole Porter’s “I Love Paris,” from Parker’s last studio recording session)

And more, including two instrumental odes to the Champs Elysees from Miles Davis and pianist Mal Waldron.

Listen to a previous Night Lights show with a Parisian theme, Paris Noir: African-American Jazz Musicians in France.

Watch a clip from Louis Malle’s Ascenseur pour l’echafaud, with music from Miles Davis’ score (“Nuit sur les champs-elyseees”):

Watch a big band led by Tubby Hayes perform Bud Powell’s “Parisian Thoroughfare”:

Music Heard On This Episode

I Love Paris
Charlie Parker — Complete Verve Master Takes (Verve, 1954)
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I Love Paris
Charlie Parker — Complete Verve Master Takes (Verve, 1954)
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The Last Time I Saw Paris
Bud Powell — Genius of Bud Powell (Verve, 1951)
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Parisian Thoroughfare
Clifford Brown/Max Roach — Clifford Brown and Max Roach (EmArcy, 1954)
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Nuit Sur Les Champs Elysees
Miles Davis — Elevator to the Gallows (Polygram, 1957)
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Champs Elysees
Mal Waldron — Impressions (Prestige/New Jazz, 1959)
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Paris, je t'aime..d'amour
Michel LeGrand — Paris Jazz Piano (Gitanes, 1959)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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April in Paris
Thelonious Monk — Genius of Modern Music V. 1 (Blue Note, 1947)
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Afternoon in Paris
J.J. Johnson/Sonny Stitt — Stitt's Bits (Prestige, 1949)
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Azure Te (Paris Blues)
Sauter-Finegan Orchestra — Inside the Sound (Jasmine, 1952)
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Paris Blues
Duke Ellington — Paris Blues (Rykodisc, 1961)
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Parisian Sketches (excerpt)
Max Roach — Parisian Sketches (Gitanes, 1960)
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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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