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Jaki Byard Centennial and Blue Note Records, Tierney Sutton and Stanley Clarke

Monday, June 27

One of the most revered labels in jazz is Blue Note Records. Tonight, two specials explore the classic and avant-garde sides of the label.

In hour one, veteran Blue Note producer Michael Cuscuna talks about the label’s humble beginnings in a New York apartment, the rise of the so-called Blue Note sound in the 1950s, and how commercial success ironically led to Blue Note’s undoing in the 1960s. And we’ll hear how Blue Note found its way back into the hearts and playlists of contemporary jazz fans and explore how the photography of Blue Note co-founder Francis Wolff shaped—and continues to shape—the Blue Note mystique.

Then in hour two, a look at some of the avant-garde heroes of Blue Note, including selections from Wayne Shorter, Sam Rivers, Bobby Hutcherson, Tony Williams and Chick Corea.

Tuesday, June 28

Night Train celebrates the birthday of acclaimed vocalist Tierney Sutton, continues the June feature of music from pianist Jaki Byard, and showcases new albums from singer Catherine Russell and guitarists John Stein and George Freeman. We’ll also hear one of the great recordings in jazz history by Louis Armstrong and the Hot Five done on this date in 1928.

Wednesday, June 29

Night Train explores the connections between jazz and a variety of styles and rhythms from around the world tonight. We’ll hear music from world jazz pioneer Yusef Lateef; a wide range of Latin jazz from The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band, Jane Bunnett, Eddie Henderson, Gonzalo Rubalcaba with Aymée Nuviola, and the Raices Jazz Orchestra; Asian-influenced selections from Nguyên Lê, Jim Snidero, the John Mayer-Joe Harriott Double Quintet, and Cosmic Vibrations and the African inspiration in music from singer Somi.

Thursday, June 30

Night Train marks the birthday of jazz fusion bassist Stanley Clarke with solo work and a guest appearance with Deodato in hour one and in a special featuring the music of Return to Forever in hour two of the show. We also wrap up the June Jaki Byard feature with his guest appearances with Booker Ervin and Phil Woods. And new music tonight comes from bassist John Lee and pianist Ben Sidran.

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.