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Archive for Night Lights Classic Jazz

December 10, 2019

Bud's Buds: Barry Harris And Toshiko Akiyoshi

In 1929 two future jazz piano greats were born thousands of miles but just days apart. Both would go on to develop their art under the influence of Bud Powell.

December 4, 2019

Paul Motian album cover

ECM: Birth Of A Label

In 1969 the 26-year-old German musician Manfred Eicher began what would become one of the world’s longest-running and most influential jazz labels, with a signature production approach that emphasized space and a roster of artists that included Keith Jarrett, Paul Motian, Chick Corea, and Gary Burton. 

November 25, 2019

Paul Motian album cover

Jazz a la Sauter: Eddie Sauter

Sauter's innovative and challenging arrangements gave the big-band sound an artistic sophistication that anticipated the rise of the Third Stream.

November 19, 2019

Hoagy and Lauren Bacall in To Have And Have Not

Where The Rainbow Hits The Ground: Hoagy Carmichael In Hollywood

Hoagy Carmichael was already a successful songwriter when he moved to Hollywood in 1936, but it was the movies that made him a familiar face to millions,

November 11, 2019

Hoagy and Lauren Bacall in To Have And Have Not

After Brubeck: Paul Desmond In The 1970s

At the end of 1967 one of the most popular groups in jazz, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, disbanded. What did its star alto saxophonist Paul Desmond do next? Desmond biographer Doug Ramsey joins us to discuss the musician's last decade.

November 4, 2019

Hoagy and Lauren Bacall in To Have And Have Not

Tyner Time: McCoy Tyner's Blue Note Years

At the end of 1965 pianist McCoy Tyner left John Coltrane’s group and struck out on his own, eventually recording a series of albums for the Blue Note label that began the extension of his jazz legacy beyond the Coltrane quartet.

October 30, 2019

Hoagy and Lauren Bacall in To Have And Have Not

Before Rock, There Was Jazz: Tom Wilson And Transition Records

Tom Wilson produced rock albums by Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Velvet Underground that were some of the most influential records of the 1960s, but he got his start in the 1950s running his own adventurous jazz label, recording artists such as John Coltrane, Donald Byrd, Cecil Taylor, and Sun Ra.

October 18, 2019

Horace Parlan and Stanley Turrentine

Pittsburgh Soul Connection: Horace Parlan And Stanley Turrentine

Pittsburgh has produced many great jazz artists, and at the beginning of the 1960s two of them teamed up to make a notable series of albums for the Blue Note label.

October 16, 2019

Horace Parlan and Stanley Turrentine

The Swingin' Jezebel: Anita O'Day In The 1940s

In the 1940s the young singer Anita O’Day became a sensation on the big-band scene, performing one of jazz’s first racially-integrated duets and courting what would become a lifelong reputation as an independent spirit

October 9, 2019

Art Blakey Straight Ahead

Late Art: Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers In The 1980s

In the last decade of his life Art Blakey continued to mentor new talent in his Jazz Messengers group, helping to elevate musicians such as Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and Mulgrew Miller.

October 1, 2019

Art Blakey Straight Ahead

Our Delight: The Music Of Tadd Dameron

Exploring the life and compositions of "the architect of bop."

September 27, 2019

Art Blakey Straight Ahead

Burning With Bud: Bud Powell Live 1944-1953

The great bebop pianist on the radio and in concert with Cootie Williams, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and as the leader of his own trio.

September 27, 2019

Art Blakey Straight Ahead

The David Baker Songbook

David Baker, one of the world's most renowned jazz educators, passed away March 26. In this archived show he joined us for a look at his compositional legacy.

September 25, 2019

Art Blakey Straight Ahead

Jazz From Storyville

Throughout the 1950s jazz promoter George Wein ran a Boston nightclub that showcased some of the music’s most notable performers.

September 20, 2019

Art Blakey Straight Ahead

A Few Miles From Memphis: Harold Mabern, The Early Years

He came from Memphis—a pianist who quietly built a reputation over decades as a first-class soloist, accompanist, and writer, carrying musically impeccable credentials from the golden age of hardbop.

July 30, 2019

Cover of Jazz From Detroit book

Made In Detroit: Jazz From The Motor City, Part 1

It’s a city known for the automobile industry and the soul-pop legacy of Motown Records, but Detroit is also a great jazz capital.

July 15, 2019

Album cover of Curtis Counce

Goin' Up: Space Age Jazz

In the 1950s and 60s the race for space loomed large in the cultural imagination, and jazz artists such as Duke Ellington and Sun Ra picked up on the theme.

June 27, 2019

Album cover of Curtis Counce

Jazz In The Postwar French Cinema

French culture in the postwar years was strongly influenced by both jazz and the growing American genre of film noir.

June 21, 2019

dick sisto play xylophone

"No Time Like Now": Music And Conversation With Vibraphonist Dick Sisto

"Serious jazz musicians are into their music like it's a religion," says Sisto.

June 19, 2019

lalo schifrin on an album cover

Jazz Mission Possible: Lalo Schifrin's Early Years

Lalo Schifrin is best known for his “Mission: Impossible” theme and numerous other film scores, but the pianist and composer first emerged from mid-20th century Argentina as a jazz artist, working with Dizzy Gillespie and recording under his own name as well.

June 7, 2019

student activists holding signs and marching

1968, Riot: The Year In Jazz

As the 1960s neared to a close, the jazz world continued to absorb the cultural upheavals of a volatile decade.

May 20, 2019

andre previn on album cover

Jazz Of All Trades: The Eclectic Andre Previn

Jazzing Broadway songs, scoring movies, conducting classical music: Andre Previn could do it all before he'd even turned 30.

May 14, 2019

Doris Day in 1946 at New York City’s Aquarium nightclub.

A Day For Doris Day

A tribute to Doris Day

May 14, 2019

Doris Day in 1946 at New York City’s Aquarium nightclub.

Lennie Tristano: The Jazz Guru

Pianist Lennie Tristano was a singular and charismatic modernist and mentor whose methods helped point the way for the rise of jazz education.

April 30, 2019

david chinen

Playing Changes: Music And Conversation With Jazz Writer Nate Chinen

Jazz critic Nate Chinen talks about his recent book "Playing Changes: Jazz For The New Century," and we hear music from some of the artists discussed as well.

April 29, 2019

david chinen

Read Him Madly: A Duke Ellington Bibliography

Some Night Lights recommendations for reading about one of jazz's greatest figures, as well as some programs featuring his music.

April 28, 2019

david chinen

Heard It On The TV: Jazz Takes On Television Themes

As television rocketed into the entertainment culture of mid-20th-century America, musicians and composers, many of them with jazz backgrounds, were called upon to write themes and cues for the wide variety of programs that populated the airwaves.

April 25, 2019

david chinen

Mosaic Is Planning A Black and White Label Box Set

Chronicling a West Coast record label of the 1940s.

April 23, 2019

david chinen

Michael Brecker In Late-1960s Bloomington, Indiana

Before he became a world-renowned saxophonist, Michael Brecker attended Indiana University for a year and a half in the late 1960s. We'll hear some Brecker recordings from that period as well as commentary from jazz scholar David Demsey, who is organizing the archive of Brecker materials that was given to William Paterson University after Brecker's death in 2007.

April 7, 2019

david chinen

Four And More: The Year In Jazz, 1964

From Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" to John Coltrane's A LOVE SUPREME, from the impact of the Beatles to the avant-garde's October revolution, a notable year.

March 16, 2019

david chinen

"The Jackie Robinson Of Television": The Nat King Cole Show

How singer and pianist Nat King Cole pushed the boundaries of 1950s segregated culture through its hottest medium.

March 11, 2019

david chinen

Nat King Cole, Jazz Pianist

The singing icon was also a master pianist whose rhythms and harmonic language made him an influential jazz modernist.

February 22, 2019

david chinen

Black, Brown And Beige: Duke Ellington's Historic Jazz Symphony

A wartime concert, a Carnegie Hall debut, an epic work celebrating black history: the story of Duke Ellington's most ambitious work.

February 13, 2019

david chinen

From Naptown To Paris: Wes Montgomery Live

Five decades after Wes Montgomery's death in 1968, newly-discovered live recordings continue to emerge.

February 9, 2019

david chinen

It's About Time For Felrath Hines, Painter And Lover Of Jazz

An interview with Rachel Berenson Perry about her new study of an often-overlooked painter.

February 6, 2019

david chinen

Jazz Is Not A Noun: Don Shirley, The Extraordinary Pianist

Exploring the musical history of the "pianist of his own genre" depicted in the movie GREEN BOOK.

February 2, 2019

david chinen

Duke Ellington, Andy Warhol, And Yehudi Menuhin: A 1955 TV Collaboration

The future king of Pop Art and the maestro of American jazz: a fleeting and lighthearted intersection of their work on a summer 1955 TV variety program.

January 31, 2019

david chinen

Dolphy '63

Often described by his peers as a "saint," Dolphy was a multi-instrumentalist and musical seeker whose legacy rests on recordings made in the last four years of his life.

January 5, 2019

david chinen

Joni + Jazz: Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell is well-known as the writer of radio hits such as “Both Sides Now” and “Help Me”, but she also formed connections with the jazz world, especially in the 1970s.

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