Night Train kicks off the week with birthday celebrations for alto saxophonist David Sanborn, alto sax and flute player James Spaulding, and the late Kansas City singer Kevin Mahogany. We also continue our July Hank Jones feature and highlight new releases from the Brad Mehldau Trio, soul jazz saxophonist Jerry Weldon, bassist Buster Williams, the Steve Gadd Band, and Latin jazz pianist Bill O’Connell.
Night Train wraps up the July Hank Jones Centennial feature tonight, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, with an entire program devoted to his music. We’ll hear music he did as a leader from some of his earliest releases to a previously unreleased concert recording that just came out this past April. We’ll also feature some of his many dates as a sideman with the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Johnny Hartman, Joe Lovano and more, plus conversations with Hank Jones from Jazz Stories and Art Works.
We’ve got a ‘tenor battle’ tonight on the Night Train, as we feature some classic and contemporary tenor sax players. Among the highlights: two of the artists we’re featuring this month for their centennial birthdays – Arnett Cobb and Ike Quebec – plus Don Braden, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, Al Cohn with Zoot Sims, Scott Hamilton and John Coltrane. And we also have a surprising number of jazz covers of Earth, Wind & Fire songs tonight as well.
Night Train is celebrating several centennial birthdays throughout August, including that of the ‘Godfather of Vocalese,’ Eddie Jefferson, who was born August 3, 1918. We’ll feature music from throughout his career tonight on the show, including his version of “Night Train” and work he did with James Moody. Plus covers of his songs, including from Allan Harris, who just released a new album in tribute to Eddie Jefferson – and, in hour two, a special about vocalese, the art of putting lyrics to instrumental jazz solos, that Jefferson pioneered.