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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Moodsville 1

Jazz for jazz-loving lovers: the first of a series of shows looking at the Moodsville releases.

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  • the LP cover of Oliver Nelson's Moodsville record Nocturne

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    Photo: Album cover art

    Saxophonist Oliver Nelson's entry in the Prestige series.

  • Red Garland's Moodsville LP

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    Photo: Album cover art

    Jazz goes moody: pianist Red Garland recorded the first LP for the Prestige Moodsville series.

In 1960 Prestige label owner Bob Weinstock launched a new series of records called Moodsville, as a response to the popularity of 1950s “mood music” albums, ushered in to a large extent by Jackie Gleason’s Capitol LPs featuring trumpeter Bobby Hackett. Prestige attempted to stake a somewhat higher aesthetic ground, stating

We at Prestige feel that there is room for honest jazz performances of ballads wherein the musical integrity of the artist is maintained and at the same time the original beauty and feeling of the ballad is not lost.

What emerged was a sort of thinking-man’s jazz-ballad alternative, or jazz-for-jazz-loving-lovers. We’ll hear music from the very first Moodsville record, featuring pianist Red Garland and tenor saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, as well as music from Moodsville LPs by Kenny Burrell, Coleman Hawkins, and Oliver Nelson.

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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I Thought About You
Kenny Burrell — Bluesy Burrell (Prestige/Moodsville, 1962)

Notes: With Coleman Hawkins.

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Softly Baby
Red Garland — Red Garland Trio Plus Eddie Lockjaw Davis (Prestige/Moodsville, 1959)
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When Your Lover Has Gone
Red Garland — Red Garland Trio Plus Eddie Lockjaw Davis (Prestige/Moodsville, 1959)
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Tres Palabres
Kenny Burrell — Bluesy Burrell (Prestige/Moodsville, 1962)

Notes: With Coleman Hawkins.

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Montono Blues
Kenny Burrell — Bluesy Burrell (Prestige/Moodsville, 1962)

Notes: With Coleman Hawkins.

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Blue Room
Red Garland — Red Garland Trio Plus Eddie Lockjaw Davis (Prestige/Moodsville, 1959)

Notes: Break music.

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Nocturne
Oliver Nelson — Nocturne (Prestige/Moodsville, 1960)
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Man With a Horn
Oliver Nelson — Nocturne (Prestige/Moodsville, 1960)
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Bob's Blues
Oliver Nelson — Nocturne (Prestige/Moodsville, 1960)
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Mighty Like a Rose
Coleman Hawkins — At Ease With Coleman Hawkins (Prestige/Moodsville, 1960)
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While We're Young
Coleman Hawkins — At Ease With Coleman Hawkins (Prestige/Moodsville, 1960)
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Night Lights
Gerry Mulligan — Night Lights (Polygram, 1963)

Notes: Closing theme.

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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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