On Afterglow this week, a festive and reflective tribute to Independence Day with music from Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Paul Desmond and more.
Trumpeter, vocalist and a dynamic entertainer, Louis Armstrong showcased all these aspects of his talent in 28 full-length films and several short features.
Mosaic Records has announced a forthcoming 3-CD Select set of saxophonist John Handy’s mid-1960s Columbia recordings, including some previously unreleased material from a 1967 concert performance. Other soon-to-be-issued projects include Louis Armstrong’s 1930s and 40s Decca recordings (March 2009), and a three-CD set of pianist Denny Zeitlin’s mid-1960s Columbia albums (February 2009).
Our annual invocation of holiday jazz this year calls upon the talents of Fats Navarro (”A Bebop Carol”), hipster vocalist Babs Gonzales, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, trumpeter Donald Byrd, guitarist Joe Pass, and many other propagators of classic jazz, blowing joyous tidings unto you all. Happy holidays from all of us at Night Lights and WFIU–may you find many great books, movies, CDs, and other “items of interest” under your holiday tree.
Annals of broken-limbs-and-books dpt.: recently I broke my right arm in a bike accident. The only good thing that ensued from said accident was a chance to spend several days catching up on my reading (kids, don’t try this at home), and one of the books I got around to was Ashley Kahn’s story of Impulse Records, The House That Trane Built. Kahn, who’s previously written books on the making of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, focuses as much on Creed Taylor and Bob Thiele, the producers who successively oversaw the rise of Impulse, as he does on the musicians such as Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp…
The day Louis Armstrong told the U.S. government to go to a very choice place: David Margolick’s article in the New York Times yesterday provides some historical elaboration. (Margolick is the author of Strange Fruit: the Biography of a Song.) There’s also an online NPR story, Remembering Louis Armstrong’s Little Rock Protest. For more about Armstrong and how the politics of the era mixed with jazz, check out our previous program Jazz Goes to the Cold War.
Slave spirituals were often improvisations upon older hymns that became entirely new songs, and in some ways they foreshadow the birth of American jazz.
Holiday jazz is coming to town this week on Night Lights.
George Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess met with only middling success when it debuted in 1935, but stagings in the 1940s and 1950s ensured its place in musical history. With Hollywood poised to make…
This week on Night Lights it’s “Songs of Peace.” We’ll hear instrumental themes using “Peace” as a title from John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Horace Silver, as well as Louis Armstrong’s 1970 take on John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance,” Bill Evans’ improvisation on Leonard Bernstein’s “Some Other Time” that came to be known as “Peace Piece,” Mahalia Jackson’s a capella version of Duke Ellington’s “Come Sunday,” and more.