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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Some Shows for Memorial Day

Music for departed jazz musicians, topical songs of World War II, and more.


Photo: Wikimedia

Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Memorial Day was the creative motivation for this week’s Night Lights show The Last: Final Recordings of Jazz Greats, which features both live and studio twilight performances by legendary artists. In the past I’ve often done shows about compositions written for jazz greats who had passed away, such as John Coltrane, Clifford Brown, Eric Dolphy, Lester Young, and other figures who served as inspiration in both life and death for other musicians. Here are several Night Lights programs devoted to such jazz elegies that aired for Memorial Day in previous years:

Watch trumpeter Freddie Hubbard in 1984 performing Benny Golson’s lamentation for Clifford Brown, “I Remember Clifford”:

For musical remembrances of World War II that include topical songs, radio news clips, and interviews with historians Michael McGerr and James Madison, here are two episodes from Afterglow:

A safe and reflective Memorial Day to all.

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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