Jazz Through the Night

Weeknights and Sunday, midnight to 6 am; Saturday, 2 to 6 am
  • Hosted by Courtney Blue, Tim Johnstone, heard on FM / HD1 and the jazz stream
  • Local Host Courtney Blue, Tim Johnstone, Ross Amico

Early-morning hosts spin classics and new releases from our jazz library.

Week of February 26, 2018. Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933: El Eco With Guillermo Nojechowicz. In his latest album, Argentine-born drummer and composer Guillermo Nojechowicz creates an expansive soundscape inspired his grandmother’s journey from Warsaw to Buenos Aires to escape rising anti-Semitism.

Miles Ahead is the name of an album and a film, and also where Miles Davis falls in the Countdown. He's your No. 2 Most Essential Jazz Artist this year.

If you “Take Five” to listen to music “In Your Own Sweet Way,” then let’s call a Time Out and just say that you’re thinking of Dave Brubeck. Enough of you did to vote him your No. 3 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

Don’t let that big smile fool you into thinking that Satchmo was only an entertainer. He was the most important pioneer in jazz. He basically re-invented trumpet playing. He was hugely popular in five decades and over many periods in jazz. With playing, singing, and even acting, Louis was the international ambassador for the American art form of jazz.

Even in a musical genre built on distinctive personality—jazz—the sound of Trane soars above. His tenor saxophone was unlike anything anyone had ever heard, then or since, and you voted him your No. 5 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

There are not enough letter O's in smooth when you’re talking about the Duke. Ellington was elegance personified. This band leader was refined in everything—from how he dressed, to his compositions, to his playing, to his connection with audiences. But no matter how smooth his manner or refined his looks, it all came down to one thing—“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).” And boy, did Ellington swing.

Called "the best friend a song ever had," Nathaniel Adams Cole was such a huge success in popular music that Capitol Records became known as “The House that Nat Built.” He was a leading jazz pianist, but it was his light and liquid singing of “Mona Lisa,” “Nature Boy,” and many other hits that won millions of fans in three decades. He's your No. 8 Essential Jazz Artist on WRTI 90.1

If it’s refined and sophisticated, but it’s jumping and swinging and striding all at the same time, you’re talking Count Basie, and you voted William James Basie the No. 9 Most Essential Jazz Artist.

Celebrating the influence of the Philadelphia visionary musician, philosopher, composer, and band leader Sun Ra, Philadelphia Jazz Project presents Satellites Are Spinning: A Sizzling, Sonic Celebration of Sun Ra.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released.


A continuity and a break: That's the history of The Bad Plus in a nutshell. An acoustic piano trio with the combustion properties of a post-punk band, it emerged in the early 2000s to an uproar — its surging attack and shrewd repertoire were framed as a radical split from the jazz tradition. Gradually a more perceptive view emerged, one that acknowledged where the band was really coming from.

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