Night Lights Classic Jazz

Turn Out the Stars II: Jazz Elegies

Jazz compositions in remembrance of musicians who have passed.

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Coltrane's funeral

Photo: Ray Ross

Albert Ayler performing at John Coltrane's funeral in 1967.

This Memorial Day weekend on Night Lights we present a sequel to last May’s program, “Turn Out the Stars,” with more jazz elegies written or performed for musicians who passed away.

This year’s broadcast includes Albert Ayler’s appearance at John Coltrane’s 1967 funeral, a teenaged Lee Morgan’s recording of “I Remember Clifford” (composed by Benny Golson for Clifford Brown) followed by Roy Campbell’s “I Remember Lee,” Jeanne Lee and Mal Waldron’s take on Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Porkpie Hat,” and a previously-unknown Joe Zawinul composition that surfaced just in the past year—“Requiem for a Jazz Musician,” recorded by Cannonball Adderley in 1966.

For more jazz elegies, listen to our May 2005 program, Turn Out the Stars I.

Music Heard On This Episode

Lotus Blossom (take 1)
Duke Ellington — And His Mother Called Him Bill (RCA/Bluebird, 1967)
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Lotus Blossom (take 1)
Duke Ellington — And His Mother Called Him Bill (RCA/Bluebird, 1967)

Notes: Played in memory of Billy Strayhorn.

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I Remember Clifford
Lee Morgan — V. 3 (Blue Note, 1957)

Notes: Benny Golson's tribute to trumpeter Clifford Brown.

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I Remember Lee
Roy Campbell — New Kingdom (Delmark, 1992)

Notes: Tribute to Lee Morgan.

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Goodbye Porkpie Hat
Jeanne Lee/Mal Waldron — After Hours (Universal/Sunnyside, 1994)

Notes: Charles Mingus' elegy for Lester Young. Lyrics by Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

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Lady Day & John Coltrane
Gil Scott-Heron — Pieces of a Man (Flying Dutchman, 1971)
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Piece for Scotty
Clare Fischer — Pacific Jazz Piano Trios (Mosaic, 1962)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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Love Cry/Truth Is Marching In/Our Prayer
Albert Ayler — Holy Ghost (Revenant, 1967)

Notes: Performance from John Coltrane's funeral.

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Flowers for Albert
David Murray/Henry Grimes — Live at the Kerava Jazz Festival (Ayler Records, 2004)

Notes: Murray's tribute to Albert Ayler.

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Requiem for a Jazz Musician
Cannonball Adderley — Money in the Pocket (Capitol Jazz, 1966)

Notes: Joe Zawinul's remembrance for jazz musician friends.

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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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