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Best Of 2020, Public Domain, Jay McShann, Melba Liston, Allen Toussaint


Monday, January 11

You might have heard the news abour F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby entering the public domain at the start of this year. But it is not just books whose copyrights have expired. In this edition of Night Train, we’ll showcase some of the many songs that are now in the public domain too. And since it's the composition, not the recording, whose status has changed, Night Train will highlight songs waxed from the ‘20s up to the present day from such artists at Fats Waller, Dinah Washington, Roy Haynes, the Mills Brothers and more.

And as the January Best of the Year feature continues, we’ll hear show favorites Erroll Garner, Bill Frisell, Pearl Django and more, salute 2020 ‘Genius Grant’ recipient Cecile McLorin Salvant and Grammy nominee Kenny Washington, and remember Bucky Pizzarelli and Frank Kimbrough. It’s also the birthday of prolific guitarist Lee Ritenour and we’ll hear music from him as well, including from his new album Dreamcatcher, his first solo guitar recording.

You can click here to see the full lists of works entering the public domain for this and previous years, including books, musical compositions, pamphlets, and works of art.

Tuesday, January 12

Night Train marks the birthdays of Kansas City legend Jay McShann (including a Jazz Profiles special in hour two of the show), singer Ruth Brown, and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen (who we’ll hear as part of the all-female jazz supergroup Artemis, one of the show favorites of 2020). As we continue the January feature looking back at the past year in music, we’ll also hear 2020 releases from the Flying Horse Big Band with a tribute to Ray Charles, baritone saxophonist Claire Daly with a tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Vincent Herring/Bobby Watson/Gary Bartz with their tribute to Charlie Parker for his centennial birthday year.

Wednesday, January 13

It’s the birthdays today of jazz guitar legend Joe Pass, and trombonist and arranger Melba Liston. We’ll hear both as leaders and guests (Pass with Benny Carter and Liston with long-time musical partner Randy Weston) and check out a Jazz Profiles Liston special in hour two of the show. Night Train also continues the January feature looking back at the year in music with 2020 releases from Javon Jackson, Grant Stewart, and John DiMartino’s salute to Billy Strayhorn.

Thursday, January 14

Night Train joins Global Village and Strange Currency in marking the birthday of one of the legends of Crescent City music, Allen Toussaint. We’ll hear some of his more jazz-influenced work in hour one and a special, including an interview with the later musical genius, in hour two of the show. Night Train also marks birthdays of bassist Mark Egan with music he did with the Pat Metheny Group and from a new album with Metheny album Danny Gottlieb) and drummer Grady Tate, and continues the January feature looking back on the best of the past year with music from New Orleans’ Delfeayo Marsalis and Kansas City’s Guitar Elation.