Two of longtime bandleader Gerald Wilson's finest orchestras--his progressive, modernistic 1940s outfit and his 1960s West Coast band.
Ellington kept his orchestra together in a changing economic landscape, continuing to create memorable music and expanding his compositional horizons.
Jazz interpretations of the many songs that have been written about the City of Light.
Jazz writer and musician Allen Lowe has put together a terrific series of 9-CD sets documenting jazz from 1895 to 1950 called That Devilin’ Tune, which includes his book of the same name. I’ve posted about these sets before, particularly Volume 4, which covers the 1945-1950 period…
Mosaic Records has posted information, including discographies, about new sets featuring Dave Liebman’s Pendelum group and some Helen Merrill jazz-vocal sides on their upcoming releases page, along with more details about the forthcoming early-1950s Oscar Peterson collection.
Duke Ellington's 1941 musical Jump for Joy was a cultural milestone, an assertive, satirical riposte to the servile depictions of African-Americans.
*Several radio stations around the country are adding Night Lights to their weekly lineup. KMHD-Portland, Oregon will be carrying the program at 8 p.m. PDT on Monday evenings. Beginning May 10, KOSU-Oklahoma Public Radio will broadcast Night Lights on Saturday evenings at 11 p.m. CDT. And KMBH/KHID-McAllen and Brownsville, Texas will soon
Historian and Indiana University professor Michael McGerr is a man whose scholarly knowledge and personal enthusiasms are infectiously wedded. In Part 2 of this Night Lights interview, Michael talks about the influence of Duke Ellington’s ambitious Black, Brown and Beige suite and the civil-rights movement on later composers who undertook extended black musical histories as well. Michael is a guest on this week’s show, Suite History: Duke Ellington, Oliver Nelson, John Carter, and the African-American Odyssey…
Our guest on this week’s Night Lights program Suite History is Michael McGerr, a historian and professor at Indiana University in Bloomington. Michael, author of the book A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920, frequently teaches a course at IU on American popular music in the 20th century. He has a particular passion and expertise for Duke Ellington, one of the three composers whose music is featured in Suite History, and he can be heard in two previous WFIU documentaries…
The inspiration came from a late-night party, a convergence of Hollywood glamour and early civil-rights activism with one of America's greatest jazz orchestras.