Give Now  »

Noon Edition

[com.hannonhill.cascade.api.adapters.PageAPIAdapter@20a89bf1, com.hannonhill.cascade.api.adapters.PageAPIAdapter@6a24e6c3]

Archive for Night Lights Classic Jazz

July 22, 2021

Billy Taylor jazz pianist

The Teacher: Billy Taylor

Billy Taylor was a jazz pianist, educator, broadcaster, composer of a civil rights anthem, and the man who dubbed jazz “America’s classical music.”

July 13, 2021

Billy Taylor jazz pianist

Mary Osborne: Queen Of The Jazz Guitar

Mary Osborne started out as a little girl playing violin and guitar on the radio in Depression-era Minot, North Dakota, and listening to jazz broadcasts coming far across the prairie to her from Chicago…then one night she went to a club and heard Charlie Christian play, and her path as a muscian was set.

July 7, 2021

Billy Taylor jazz pianist

Clark's Last Leap: Sonny Clark, 1961-62

Sonny Clark was a young pianist with an already-impressive jazz legacy when he began a year-long string of classic hardbop recordings that ended suddenly with his death at the age of 31.

June 30, 2021

Billy Taylor jazz pianist

Jazz Side Story: Jazz And Leonard Bernstein

A centennial celebration of the American maestro's relationship with jazz.

June 23, 2021

Monk and Dizzy at Monterey Jazz Festival 1963

Jazz From Monterey, 1963: Dizzy For President!

Though it received middling reviews, the 1963 concert series included the festival debuts of Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, the rollout of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Dizzy For President” campaign, one of jazz legend Jack Teagarden’s last appearances, and a tribute from the Modern Jazz Quartet to Martin Luther King Jr.

June 16, 2021

Monk and Dizzy at Monterey Jazz Festival 1963

Music In All Things: W. Eugene Smith And The Jazz Loft

How a photographer captured a creative corner of mid-20th-century American culture in images and in sound.

June 9, 2021

Shelly Manne West Coast Sound

West Coast Manne: Shelly Manne In The 1950s

In the early 1950s drummer Shelly Manne settled in California and began a remarkable run of recordings that included experimental jazz, popular interpretations of Broadway scores, music for the TV crime show Peter Gunn, one of avant-garde icon Ornette Coleman’s first albums, and charged live performances at San Francisco’s Black Hawk club.

June 2, 2021

Ahmad Jamal The Awakening

The Second Great Trio: Ahmad Jamal On Impulse

In the mid-1960s pianist Ahmad Jamal returned to the music scene after a three-year hiatus and formed a new trio that would eventually make an album now considered to be a jazz piano masterpiece.

May 26, 2021

Mingus Changes Two

Turn Out The Stars Volume 6

The latest entry in Night Lights' ongoing series of jazz elegies, with an emphasis this time on recordings from the 1970s and 80s by Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Pat Metheny and others.

May 19, 2021

Mingus Changes Two

Shaw Sounds Final: Artie Shaw, 1949-54

From 1949 to 1954 Artie Shaw made a number of big-band, small-group, and even classical recordings that form one of the most dynamic chapters of his career-and the concluding one as well.

May 12, 2021

Mingus Changes Two

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.

May 3, 2021

Bob Porter's Portraits In Soul Jazz

Bob Porter's Portraits In Soul Jazz

Veteran producer and radio host Bob Porter, who passed away in April at the age of 80, joined Night Lights several years ago to talk about his book on one of jazz's most popular styles.

April 28, 2021

Bob Porter's Portraits In Soul Jazz

Ellington Ending: Duke Ellington 1967-73

In the late 1960s an aging Duke Ellington faced a changing musical landscape and the loss of his longtime writing partner, Billy Strayhorn. How did he respond?

April 21, 2021

Miles Davis and Bill Evans

Kind Of Two: Miles Davis And Bill Evans

In 1958 trumpeter Miles Davis brought a new pianist named Bill Evans into his sextet who stayed only a few months, but whose influence helped spark one of the most artistically notable and commercially successful albums in the history of jazz.

April 8, 2021

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.

March 31, 2021

andre previn on album cover

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 17, 2021

andre previn on album cover

Ready For Freddie Redd

At the dawn of the 1960s pianist Freddie Redd made several albums for the Blue Note label filled with taut, punchy hardbop compositions.

March 11, 2021

andre previn on album cover

Snap, Crackle And Swing: Young Roy Haynes

Drummer Roy Haynes' career reads like a roll-call of jazz history. Hear him with Lester Young, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and others.

March 3, 2021

andre previn on album cover

Shirley Scott, Queen Of The Organ

A renowned female organist, Scott recorded a number of soul-jazz classics in the late 1950s and 1960s.

February 21, 2021

andre previn on album cover

Matrix: The Emergence Of Chick Corea

In the 1960s Corea made a name for himself playing with hardbop and straightahead jazz artists such as Blue Mitchell, Stan Getz, and Donald Byrd, and recording a stunning trio date, before going on to work with Miles Davis’ revolutionary electric ensembles.

February 15, 2021

andre previn on album cover

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 3, 2021

andre previn on album cover

Trane '63: A Classic, A Challenge, A Change

In 1963 saxophonist John Coltrane made a jazz-vocal masterpiece with Johnny Hartman as well as another album only recently discovered, met a woman who would become his wife and musical partner, and dealt with the temporary loss of his favorite drummer.

January 27, 2021

andre previn on album cover

Portrait of Little Jazz: A Tribute to Roy Eldridge

He could split the stratosphere with his high notes… play you sweet and low with his ballads… glide with sudden speed through the middle registers and then slow into a cooking groove…and woe to any other trumpeter who showed up ready to jam.

January 20, 2021

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.

January 15, 2021

Billy Taylor It's A Matter Of Pride

Dear Martin, P.S.: More Jazz Tributes To Martin Luther King Jr.

This sequel to a previous program of jazz salutes to the civil-rights icon includes music from Bobby Hutcherson, Max Roach, and Herbie Hancock.

January 8, 2021

Monk Palo Alto 1968

Best Historical Releases 2020

Night Lights' annual survey of notable reissues and historical releases includes music from Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Shirley Scott, and others.

Older stories »

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Night Lights