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Night Lights Classic Jazz

The Jazz Standards, With Ted Gioia

Jazz historian Ted Gioia joins Night Lights this week to talk about his latest book.

Setting standards: jazz historian Ted Gioia explains the elements that result in enduring appeal.

Throughout the history of jazz, musicians have mined the rich depths of popular song for their improvisations, and many individual songs have been used over and over again. Jazz scholar Ted Gioia, who has written several notable books about music including West Coast Jazz and The History Of Jazz, has now turned his sights on the subject of jazz repertoire. His book The Jazz Standards is an encyclopedic investigation of more than 250 songs that make up a significant part of the jazz canon, focusing on the origins of the songs, the elements that have made them appealing to jazz musicians, and compelling or significant recordings of the songs. He joins Night Lights this week to discuss some of those songs and what their appeal has been to jazz musicians. We’ll hear performances of the songs by Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Sonny Clark, and others.

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