Jam sessions, bebop, r and b, big bands, visits from Hollywood celebrities--as the center of African-American culture in L.A., Central Avenue had it all.
How a 1950s British jazz star ended up as a West Coast leader and sideman, playing with Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and others.
The 1958 movie I Want to Live! employed a jazz soundtrack written by Johnny Mandel and performed by such jazz stalwarts as Gerry Mulligan, Bud Shank and more.
Exploring a musical cornerstone of the 1950s West Coast jazz movement.
This 1960 movie is the only film adaptation of a Jack Kerouac novel to date, employing a jazz score and Gerry Mulligan as a hip, saxophone-playing priest.
Baritone singer Johnny Holiday performed with some big bands in the 1940s (including a brief stint filling in for Johnny Desmond in the 1945 edition of the Glenn Miller Orchestra) and went on to release several albums in the 1950s, two of them made with West Coast jazz musicians, that received good notices but failed to sell well. Holiday spent the next few…
Peter Gunn was a hit TV crime show with jazz at its center, with Craig Stevens as the stylish, jazz-loving private detective title character.
This week on Night Lights we’ll feature the fifth and sixth volumes of Decca’s 1950s Jazz Studio series–the label’s West Coast-influenced answer to Norman Granz’s Verve jam session releases. V. 5, led by pianist and arranger Ralph Burns, includes trumpeter Joe Newman and little-known alto saxophonist Dave Schildkraut, who was once mistaken…
We'll hear selections from Charles' albums New Directions and Collaboration: West, and more.
We'll hear two more entries in Decca's mid-1950s Jazz Studio series.