Slave spirituals were often improvisations upon older hymns that became entirely new songs, and in some ways they foreshadow the birth of American jazz.
More of the full-length Night Lights interview with historian Michael McGerr about extended jazz works that depict the history of black America.
In the 1960s cornetist Don Cherry, who had to come to fame as a member of Ornette Coleman’s quartet, began to forge his own musical path.
John Coltrane revolutionized the sound of modern jazz and wrote a number of compositions that have become jazz standards.
This Memorial Day weekend Night Lights pays tribute to departed musicians with another program of jazz elegies.
Ornette Coleman's music shook up a generation of jazz artists, but some of them almost immediately began to play it.
Exploring the work of an unheralded jazz composer.
Takes on the standards from Eric Dolphy, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and more.