Night Train remembers the rich legacy of Aretha Franklin tonight. We’ll hear some of the jazz work that she did, including a Billie Holiday song and music from an album she did with jazz pianist Ray Bryant, in the first hour – and then it’s a Sound Opinions special in hour two, surveying Franklin’s life, music and legacy. Night Train also begins a week-long salute to composer, conductor, arranger and musician Leonard Bernstein for his centennial birthday Saturday – and we mark birthday tonight of John Clayton, Enrico Rava, and Jack Teagarden.
Night Train marks the birthday of Kansas City legend Count Basie with music he did with Oscar Peterson and the Kansas City 3, along with a Jazz Profiles Special in hour two of the show. It’s also the birthday of drummer Leon Parker and trumpeter Art Farmer, and Night Train continues the week-long salute to Leonard Bernstein for his centennial birthday Saturday with music from brilliant re-working of the music of West Side Story from Dave Liebman and Gil Goldstein, and one of his classics performed by Aretha Franklin. We’ll also get to some new music from the Rob Dixon trio, Amy Cervini, and the Ellis Marsalis Quintet.
Night Train continues the August Four Centennials feature with music from all four artists – Arnett Cobb, Eddie Jefferson (including music from a new album in tribute to him from Allan Harris and the Manhattan Transfer album that was dedicated to him), Jimmy Rowles (in a rare celesta performance with Billie Holiday), and Ike Quebec (with Grant Green). We also continue our week-long celebration of the Leonard Bernstein centennial with new albums featuring his compositions from Kurt Elling and Bobby Sanabria.
Night Train wraps up a week-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial birthday Saturday with jazz reinterpretations of his music from Bobby Sanabria, Nick Finzer, Bill Charlap, Bill Anschell and Blossom Dearie, and a special in hour two exploring West Side Story and a variety of approaches to its music. Plus birthday salutes to pianist Brad Mehldau and Kansas City saxophonist Bobby Watson.