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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Jazz in the Postwar French Cinema

In the 1950s French directors turned to American musicians such as Miles Davis and Art Blakey to score the moody, cutting-edge films that they were making.

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Miles DavisIn the 1950s, French film directors turned to American musicians such as Miles Davis and Art Blakey, and French musicians such as Barney Wilen and Martial Solal, to score the moody, cutting-edge movies that they were making. BreathlessWe’ll hear music from Davis’ soundtrack for the Louis Malle film Elevator to the Gallows and Solal’s for Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, in addition to music from Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Indiana University professor James Naremore, author of More Than Night: Film Noir In Its Contexts, is a special guest on this edition of Night Lights, which airs Saturday, May 21 at 11:05 p.m on WFIU.

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)
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Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes (Smithsonian Folkways, 1964)

Notes: Opening theme.

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New York Herald Tribune
Martial Solal — A bout de souffle (Breathless) (Universal France, 1959)
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Merlin
Art Blakey — Des femmes disparaissent (The Girls Vanish) (Fontana, 1958)
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La Divorcee de Leo Fall
Art Blakey — Des femmes disparaissent (The Girls Vanish) (Fontana, 1958)
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Nuit Sur Les Champes-Elysees
Miles Davis — Ascenseur pour l'echafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Fontana, 1957)
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Sur l'autoroute
Miles Davis — Ascenseur pour l'echafaud (Elevator to the Gallows) (Fontana, 1957)
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Au bar du petit bac
Miles Davis — Ascenseur pour l'echafaud (Fontana, 1957)
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L'amour, la mort
Martial Solal — A bout de souffle (Breathless) (Universal France, 1959)
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Poursuite
Martial Solal — A bout de souffle (Universal France, 1959)
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Pierre et Beatrice
Art Blakey — Des femmes disparaissent (The Girls Vanish) (Fontana, 1958)

Notes: Break music.

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"No Problem #2"
Art Blakey — Les liaisons dangereuses (Dangerous Liasons) (Fontana, 1959)
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Generique
Alain Goraguer — Jazz in Paris: Jazz & Cinema V. 1 (Universal France, 1959)

Notes: From the film I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVES, based on the novel by Boris Vian.

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Blues de Memphis
Alain Goraguer — Jazz In Paris: Jazz & Cinema V. 1 (Universal France, 1959)

Notes: From the 1959 film I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVES, adapted from the Boris Vian novel.

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Melodie pour les radio-taxis
Barney Wilen — Jazz In Paris: Jazz & Cinema V. 1 (Universal France, 1959)

Notes: From the film Un temoin dans la ville.

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Three Windows
Modern Jazz Quartet — The MJQ Plays No Sun in Venice (Atlantic, 1957)
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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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