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Recent Shows

Making A New Kind Of Scene: New York City's Five Spot

David Amram New York City 1957

A small Bowery bar where John Coltrane came into his own with Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman stunned the jazz world with his quartet, and writers, painters, musicians and others formed an at-home underground community. Former Five Spot regulars David Amram and author Dan Wakefield join us.

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The Juneteenth Jazz Jamboree

David Amram New York City 1957

Juneteenth, the African-American holiday celebrating the end of slavery, has a long tradition of food, games, music and prayer. Our jazz tribute includes musical tributes to freedom from Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Carmen McRae, and John Coltrane, as well as Louis Jordan's homage to the holiday itself, and some odes to African-American athletes.

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West Coast Manne: Shelly Manne In The 1950s

Shelly Manne West Coast Sound

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.

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Woody Herman's Trip To Mars

Woody Herman Decca Mars MGM Mosaic

The music that bandleader Woody Herman recorded in the 1940s and early 50s for several labels, including his own Mars imprint, has been unavailable for decades. Now a recent set from Mosaic Records gives us a chance to hear some lesser-known editions of the clarinetist’s mid-20th century ensembles.

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Miles Between: Miles Davis 1961-1963

Woody Herman Decca Mars MGM Mosaic

As the 1960s began Miles Davis entered a period of transition, first trying to find a saxophonist to replace John Coltrane and then a new rhythm section.

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Turn Out The Stars Volume 6

Mingus Changes Two

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.

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From Naptown To Paris: Wes Montgomery Live

Mingus Changes Two

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

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The Ornette Coleman Songbook

Mingus Changes Two

Ornette Coleman's music shook up a generation of jazz artists, but some of them almost immediately began to play it.

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Night Lights Blog

"Thomas Merton Experiments with Meditations on Jazz": A Poem And A Night Lights Program

Brilliant Corners Summer 2020

"The great chain of witnesses": a poem by Betsy Sholl in the new issue of Brilliant Corners drew its inspiration in part from a Night Lights show.

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Detroit Jazz Artists On Night Lights

Alice Coltrane Universal Consciousness

Explore some of the notable musicians who emerged from the 20th century Detroit jazz scene.

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

dick sisto play xylophone

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

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A Day For Doris Day

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

A tribute to Doris Day

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Playing Changes: Music And Conversation With Jazz Writer Nate Chinen

david 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.

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Read Him Madly: A Duke Ellington Bibliography

david chinen

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

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Mosaic Is Planning A Black and White Label Box Set

david chinen

Chronicling a West Coast record label of the 1940s.

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Michael Brecker In Late-1960s Bloomington, Indiana

david chinen

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.

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