Night Lights Classic Jazz

Jazz News of Note

*Pianist Michael Weiss, a longtime musical associate of the late Johnny Griffin, has written a remembrance of the saxophonist.

*The new issue of WaxPoetics includes a great article on Herbie Hancock’s early-1970s Warner Brothers era. Also check out the pieces on Sam Rivers (did you know that he recorded some jam sessions with Jimi Hendrix?) and Lalo Schifrin. (Content not available online–I bought my copy at Ye Olde-Fashioned Record Store, but you can order it through the link above.)

*Jazz historian and Jazz.com maestro Ted Gioia recently published a thoughtful and provocative two-part article entitled “Is Bird Dead?”, suggesting that the influence of Charlie Parker has begun to wane. You can read Gioia’s reflections (and the attendant comments) here and here.

*All About Jazz has published an interview with multi-instrumentalist James Carter, whose recent release Present Tense seems bound for many critics’ year-end best-of lists.

*Jazzwax blogmaster Marc Myers, who maintains a blistering pace when it comes to interviewing and profiling jazz artists of note, has delivered again, giving us a series of sit-downs with arranging great Bill Holman. Start here with Part 1 (and congratulations as Marc marks the first anniversary of Jazzwax’s debut).

*Jazz Lives has a great post up about swing-era trumpeter Frankie Newton, who’s been on my program “to-do” list for a long time. Newton was a brilliant trumpeter, a political leftist, a painter, a tennis player, and in many ways a man of mystery. Jazz Lives (aka Michael Steinman) also turned up a period-piece account of the death of swing-to-bop drumming great Big Sid Catlett.

*Drummer Lee Young, brother of saxophonist Lester Young, has passed away at the age of 94. Read the oral-history interview that jazz historian Steven Isoardi (who can be heard on the Night Lights programs Come On Down to Central Avenue and One More You Wrote Through Us: Horace Tapscott) conducted with Young in the 1990s. Young can be heard on many 1940s Jazz at the Philharmonic recordings as well as two Nat King Cole albums, After Midnight and Penthouse Serenade, that feature the pianist returning to a small-group jazz setting after his rise as a popular singer in the 1950s.

*Finally, not jazz news per se, but Dial M for Musicology blogger and occasional Night Lights guest Phil Ford has a great post up on bad writing–his own in particular, brave man. Phil will be showing up around these jazz-audio parts again next month.

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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