An anthology that helped to elevate the artistic stature of jazz.
In 1962 John Coltrane collaborated with Duke Ellington, recorded an all-ballads LP, and established the group now known as the Classic Quartet.
In 1957 singer Ella Fitzgerald recorded close to one hundred tracks as her career continued to soar in the wake of signing with Norman Granz’s Verve label.
Slave spirituals were often improvisations upon older hymns that became entirely new songs, and in some ways they foreshadow the birth of American jazz.
Jazz salutes in song to African-American actors, athletes, and artists.
Kickin' the gong around with Minnie, McVouty, Freddie, and other assorted jazzniks.
A saxophone giant returned to the scene and a swing-era icon toured the Soviet Union. Bossa nova was on the rise, and so was the avant-garde.
Smoke dreams, sorcerers, stalking monsters, and strange exits: paranormal jazz encounters on this edition of Night Lights.
Long before the rise of the black-pride movement in the 1960s, Ellington was writing music that celebrated African-American culture, personalities, and history.
More of the full-length Night Lights interview with historian Michael McGerr about extended jazz works that depict the history of black America.