If you’re just discovering Night Lights through our Facebook page, or through one of the radio stations that carry the show, here are some programs from the archives that you might be interested in checking out:
Trane ’57: John Coltrane’s Pivotal Year in Jazz. Music and background from a crucial turning point in the saxophonist’s career.
Here Comes the Sun: Nina Simone on RCA. A look at Simone’s late-1960s/early-70s music, which defied any kind of marketplace boundary with its mix of jazz, blues, soul and pop.
After the Vanguard: the Return of Bill Evans. The story and music of the pianist’s return to recording after the tragic death of his bassist, Scott LaFaro, in 1961.
On a Turquoise Cloud: Duke Ellington After the War, 1945-47. Highlights from Ellington’s overlooked postwar orchestra. (Also check out the WFIU documentary Jump for Joy: Duke Ellington’s Celebratory Musical, an in-depth account of Duke’s 1941 “social-significance” musical.)
1959: Jazz’s Vintage Year. Milestone records from Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, and Ornette Coleman.
Jazz Impressions of Brubeck. Music inspired by the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s late-1950s and early-1960s international goodwill tours.
Star on Miles: the Return of Miles Davis. Miles Davis’ early-1980s comeback recordings–better than we think?
We Shall Overcome: Civil-Rights Jazz. Protest jazz from John Coltrane, Max Roach, Nina Simone and Sonny Rollins.
Word From Mingus. Charles Mingus’ spoken-word collaborations, including recordings made with poet Langston Hughes and Jean Shepherd (author of A Christmas Story…in his 1950s incarnation he was a hip New York City radio personality).
Side Monk: Thelonious Monk as Sideman. It didn’t happen often–here are some sides with Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and others.
Resolution: Jazz From Rehab. Early-1960s albums by Joe Pass and Elmo Hope, inspired by recovery programs that reached out to jazz musicians.
Conover’s Coming Over: Willis Conover and Jazz at the Voice of America. The story of the jazz DJ who helped win the Cold War.
The Day Lady Died: Billie Holiday. One of the first Night Lights programs ever recorded, devoted to one of my favorite jazz singers.
Bird Alive: Charlie Parker. Another of our inaugural shows. Parker was one of the first modern jazz musicians to be recorded widely in live settings; this program offers up a few prime examples.
For More Night Lights…
- There’s much more in the archives, where you can also comment on particular programs if you like, or leave suggestions for shows you’d like to hear.
- Feel free to drop me a line through our contact page as well…and many thanks for stopping by the site.
- See this list of radio stations that carry the show.