In the late 1940s the "King of Swing" briefly embraced the new sounds of bebop.
This week on Night Lights it’s “Jazz Goes to the Cold War,” a program about the U.S. State Department’s sponsorship of international jazz tours during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1956, as both the Cold War and the civil-rights movement heated up, the American government asked Dizzy Gillespie to assemble a new big band to promote the image of American freedom around the globe. Gillespie obliged, although he made it clear…
We'll hear collaborations with former Basie big-band singers Billie Holiday and Helen Humes, as well as a live version of some bop anthems.
We'll hear selections from Charles' albums New Directions and Collaboration: West, and more.