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Best of 2021, Max Roach, Jazz Funk, George Duke and Melba Liston

Monday, January 10

Tonight on the Night Train, we mark the birthday of legendary jazz drummer Max Roach. We’ll hear Max with singers Dinah Washington and Abbey Lincoln in hour one, and a special, with guests Dizzy Gillespie, Art Taylor and Paul Motian, in hour two of the show. In conjunction with the January look back at the past year in jazz, we remember Steven J. Lawrence. The prolific Sesame Street composer whose work gave the title track to a 2021 show favorite from Joe Fielder, tuba master Howard Johnson, and soul-jazz organ great Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Tuesday, January 11

Night Train gets funky tonight with some classic and contemporary jazz-funk sounds. We’ll hear from John Scofield with Medeski Martin & Wood, the Charlie Hunter Trio, Reuben Wilson, a new set from guitarist Lee Heerspink, and more. And the January 2021 Year in Review feature continues with remembrances of organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and guitarist Pat Martino and 2021 releases from Dave McMurray, the Sons of Kemet, Kate McGarry, Kenny Garrett and The Cookers.

Wednesday, January 12

Night Train marks the birthday of keyboardist, bandleader and producer George Duke in a program that focuses on the many jazz-oriented projects under his own name and working with such esteemed artists as Miles Davis, John Scofield, Duke’s cousin Dianne Reeves, Stanley Clarke, the Brecker Brothers, Sonny Rollins and more.

Thursday, January 13

Night Train celebrates the birthdays of guitarist Joe Pass, New Orleans’ guitarist and chronicler Danny Barker, and trombonist, composer and arranger Melba Liston (featured in a special in hour two of the show). The January feature continues with show favorites from Pat Coil and former Wichitan Greg Skaff. And we’ll hear the latest from organist Pat Bianchi, guitarist Graham Dechter, saxophonist Bob Mintzer, and trumpeter and pianist Nicholas Payton.

Chris Heim produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. Chris is also a critic and freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others.