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Best Of 2020, John McLaughlin & String Things


Monday, January 4

Night Train kicks off the new year and a new month’s feature highlighting the Best of 2020, including show favorites, along with award winners and nominees, and paying tribute to artists who passed away in the past year. This time we’ll hear music from Harold Mabern’s last album, a career retrospective from Edward Simon, and a show favorite from Lauren Henderson. Night Train also marks birthdays of sax and flute master Frank Wess, and also of guitarist John McLaughlin (including a special in hour two focusing on his pioneering jazz fusion work with Mahavishnu Orchestra).

Tuesday, January 5

Night Train features music from Latin jazz trumpet great Jerry Gonzalez (and brother Andy, who passed away in 2020), Crescent City singer Johnny Adams, drummer Paul Wertico (with the Pat Metheny group), and Dizzy Reece (featured in a hard bop trumpet special in hour two) – all born on this date. And as Night Train looks back on the past year in music, we’ll dip into the marvelous series of reissues from pianist Erroll Garner.

Wednesday, January 6

Night Train highlights string things tonight – violinists, string ensembles, and string quartet and orchestral accompaniment with jazz artists. Among the artists featured are the Really Eclectic String Quartet, Cecile McLorin Salvant (with a string quartet), Quartet Indigo, Chick Corea with the Harlem String Quartet, Regina Carter (from her Paganini album), the Turtle Island String Quartet, and the Modern Jazz Quartet and Martin Wind, both with symphony orchestras.

Thursday, January 7

It’s ‘jazz with strings’ tonight on the Night Train. We’ll hear pioneering works from Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday, veteran players like Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Paul Desmond and Shirley Horn, contemporary artists including Russell Malone and Tom Harrell, and a couple of 2020 favorites (in conjunction with the January Best of the Year feature) who used strings – Eric Alexander and Kat Edmonson.