Sunday Night with Jools Holland and David Sanborn
September 16, 2007 10:22 AM   Subscribe

Sunday Night, later named Michelob Presents Night Music, was an NBC late-night television show hosted by Jools Holland and David Sanborn which aired for two seasons between 1988 and 1990 as a showcase for jazz and eclectic musical artists. [YouTubeFilter, via]

"A revelation to music fans, this show appeared and disappeared with little fanfare, being light-years ahead of the bulk of it's audience in style and substance. Every possible realm of music was boldly explored...from minimalist art-noise to traditional folk styles and everything beyond and in-between. Absolute genius, a marvelously noncommercial experiment that was doomed to failure despite itself. ..." (from imdb comments)

Ambitious Lovers - Admit It
Ambitious Lovers - Copy Me
Artis (Spoon Man)
Aster Aweke (More)
Phillip Bailey - Fascination
Phillip Bailey - I Thought I'd Never See the Day
Tim Berne - Hong Kong Sad Song / More Coffee
John Cale (& B.J. Cole)
John Cale, Shawn Colvin & Richard Thompson - Heartbreak Hotel
Nick Cave - The Mercy Seat
Nick Cave, Charlie Haden and Toots Thielemans - Hey Joe
Eric Clapton - Hard Times
Leonard Cohen - Tower Of Song
Leonard Cohen & Sonny Rollins - Who By Fire
Shawn Colvin
Hank Crawford - Don't Cry Baby
Hank Crawford - The Peeper
Robert Cray & Eric Clapton - Old Love
Taylor Dane - Where Were You When I Needed You?
Miles Davis - Hannibal
Miles Davis - Tutu
Djavan (Note: Video problem towards the end)
Bill Frisell and Band
Diamanda Galas
Dizzy Gillespie - Tin Tin Deo
Dizzy Gillespie - Ooh-Shoo-Be-Doo-Bee
Al Green - The Message Is Love
Charlie Haden & his Liberation Orchestra - Spiritual
Charlie Haden & his Liberation Orchestra - The Anthem of the African National Congress
Fareed Haque (with Sting)
Debbie Harry - Calamari
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Old Man River
Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Bob Weir, Bongwater and the Fabulous Pussywillows
Dan Hicks - I Scare Myself
The Kronos Quartet - Spoonfull
The Kronos Quartet - Four, for Tango
The Kronos Quartet - Foxy Lady
Abbey Lincoln - First Song
Abbey Lincoln and Phil Woods - High Fly
David Lindley - Bon Temps Roulez
David Lindley - Werewolves of London
Lounge Lizards - Voice Of Chunk
Lounge Lizards - Uncle Jerry
John Lurie and Naná Vasconcelos
Curtis Mayfield - It's All Right
Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman
Curtis Mayfield (with Taylor Dane) - People Get Ready
Maria McKee - Breath
The Modern Jazz Quartet
The Modern Jazz Quartet - The Legendary Profile
Milton Nascimento - Canções e Momentos
Milton Nascimento - Cravo e Canela
Milton Nascimento & Naná Vasconcelos - San Vicente
Youssou N'Dour - My Daughter
Ken Nordine
NRBQ - I Got a Rocket in my Pocket
NRBQ - Wild Weekend
NRBQ with Phil Woods - Little Floater
NRBQ Blows up a New Kids on the Block Album
Mary Margaret O'Hara
Ivo Papazov and his Wedding Band
Graham Parker - Slash & Burn
Graham Parker - My Love's Strong
Pere Ubu - Breath
Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven/Tame
Pretty Phat - Pretty Phat Girls
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Subway to Venus
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Sexy Mexican Maid
The Residents - Teddy Bear
The Residents - From The Plains To Mexico
Marcus Roberts - Blue Monk
Sonny Rollins
Pharoah Sanders - Thembi
Lakim Shabazz and his D.J.
Sonic Youth - Silver Rocket
Jo-el Sonnier
Pops Staples - Nobody's Fault But Mine
Sting - Why Does the Sun Shine?
Sting (with Bill Frisell and Fareed Haque) - Ain't No Sunshine
Sun Ra Arkestra - Face the Music
Sun Ra Arkestra - Retrospect
Toots Thielemans - Sophisticated Lady
Toots Thielemans - Little Suede Shoes
Toots Thielemans plays the harmonica with a turkey baster
Carla Thomas - Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)Walking the Dog
Rufus Thomas - The Funky Chicken
Richard Thompson - Jerusalem on the Jukebox
Richard Thompson with Jo-El Sonnier - Tearstained letter
Steve Turre and his Sea Shells
Conway Twitty & The Residents - When You're Cool
Conway Twitty - It's Only Make Believe
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Crossfire
Was (Not Was) - Can't Turn You Loose
Was (Not Was) - Earth to Doris/Robot Girl
Was (Not Was) - Hello Operator
Was (Not Was) with Frank Sinatra Jr. - Wedding Vows in Vegas
Bob Weir & Rob Wasserman - The Victim
Phil Woods
Zahar (with Hassan Hakmoun)
Warren Zevon - Splendid Isolation

Also, check out the MeFi archives because it's apparently the year of great 80's/music televison:
120 Minutes (Bookhouse)
Night Flight (Methylviolet)
posted by carsonb (31 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, I was a huge fan of this show. Not only was there an interesting mix of music, but often the artists would play together at the end. Great, great show, and doomed to die.
posted by Eekacat at 10:29 AM on September 16, 2007

seriously good post. Thanks.
posted by vronsky at 10:57 AM on September 16, 2007

GREAT show and great FPP!

I've been working on pulling together YouTube videos from Sunday Night for a while now, but I was nowhere near so far along as this, carsonb. I'm pleased you beat me to the punch by a long shot because now I can just sit back and enjoy.

Though, if I find any in my bookmarks you missed, I'll certainly post them here.

Many, many thanks!
posted by LinnTate at 11:15 AM on September 16, 2007

Terrific, terrific post, thanks. Am just too young to have known about this.

As for Sanborn, he pops up on Bowie and Stevie Wonder albums in the 1970s. He's good. And Jools Holland was the keyboardist for Squeeze for a while, before becoming a show host.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:17 AM on September 16, 2007

Interesting note about that Pere Ubu "Breathe" video:

David Thomas of Pere Ubu HATES YouTube, and regularly demands they take down all Pere Ubu videos, particularly concert footage recorded by bootleggers. Upon finding the Night Music clip, I fired off an e-mail to Mr. Thomas, asking him to spare it on the next wave of purges.

He did so, explaining that YouTube claims copyright on all posted videos. He allowed the Night Music clip (and probably the other Night Music performance, Waiting for Mary. Presumably, since David doesn't have the copyright on the recording, he's willing to allow it. Without intervention though, that clip would have been nuked ages ago.
posted by SansPoint at 11:19 AM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Another, Todd Rundgren's Hot Toddies hosts "Todd (with his wife Michele Gray Rundgren, Taj Mahal and David Sanborn) performing
"Never Mind The Why and Wherefor" from the famous Gilbert & Sullivan musical [H.M.S. Pinafore]."

You'll have to scroll down a bit for the specific link.
posted by LinnTate at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2007

Oh, thank you. I was another rabid fan of That Sunday Night Music Show (as we called it when it kept changing its name), and while I've seen bits and pieces, it's great to have all these clips collected in one place. Sanborn, who isn't really my cup of tea as a musician, was a wonderful host because he was so unhosty, just an introverted-seeming jazz guy who was genuinely happy to have these folks appear on his little show.
posted by FelliniBlank at 11:21 AM on September 16, 2007

Sorry to steal your thunder LinnTate. I can take no credit past the albaphetization; everything (even the quotes) was gathered by the incredible Mr. Dante Fontana (in the via) and bobby4000 and scmm42 are the rockstars at YouTube. All thanks to them. And to you of course, if you bring along more performances.
posted by carsonb at 11:22 AM on September 16, 2007

Oops, I see I didn't close the Carla Thomas link properly, which fudged Rufus Thomas - Walking the Dog
posted by carsonb at 11:27 AM on September 16, 2007

Great post! Like 23skiddoo, I had my mind blown by the Pixies playing "Tame" on this show (their first TV appearance.) Watch it!
posted by escabeche at 11:50 AM on September 16, 2007

Exactly what FelliniBlank said. I vivdly remember this show and mourn its passing. This may become my most favorite post ever ... thanks carsonb!
posted by intermod at 11:56 AM on September 16, 2007

Wow, if ever there were a good (and useful) post, this is it. Thanks carsonb.

I really liked the show, too, and was sad to see it go. We may never get that mix of great musicians ever again, on any medium. I caught Leonard Cohen playing 'Who By Fire' with Sonny Rollins and was both amazed and laughing out loud. I was hooked.
posted by toma at 12:15 PM on September 16, 2007

Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Bob Weir, Bongwater and the Fabulous Pussywillows

*Head asplodes*
posted by lazywhinerkid at 12:33 PM on September 16, 2007

Conway Twitty + The Residents = teh awsum

great post!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:30 PM on September 16, 2007

Check the Tin Tin Deo video for Dizzy being a dick to Jools Holland, classic.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:00 PM on September 16, 2007

Great post, but you missed Bongwater blowing my fragile college mind.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 3:19 PM on September 16, 2007

Thanks for the post, would favorite several times if possible! It was indeed a great show, sad there's nothing like it anymore.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:53 PM on September 16, 2007

How 'bout that Sanborn's hair, though, eh?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:57 PM on September 16, 2007

How 'bout that Sanborn's hair, though, eh?

Fo' serious. I keep imagining a mic popping out of the top, Sanborn turning into a profile shot, and then the coif itself going into a Schuur-like rendition of Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair. Yeesh.
posted by carsonb at 4:07 PM on September 16, 2007

Me three on the freaky Sanborn 'do. I keep expecting him to break into a rousing rendition of "If I Were King of the Forest."

Meanwhile, watching these links has been just delightful. The performance of NRBQ here was my introduction to them; I remember being beside myself seeing Terry bash that piano and thinking, "Yeah, these guys are for me!" And Len Cohen + Sonny Rollins, Dan Hicks . . . 20 years later, this stuff still puts me into a catatonic state of ecstasy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:50 PM on September 16, 2007

Super post, thanks a lot!
posted by Wolof at 5:14 PM on September 16, 2007

Allright, y'all, I'm gonna engage in a little on-topic self-linking here: Check the Zahar (with Hassan Hakmoun)
link from this FPP (here is is, just so's you don't have to scroll back up). The guitarist in that excellent (but sadly, shortlived) trio is one of the most genuinely musical guitarists I've ever had the pleasure of working with: his name is Hahn Rowe. Some time back I posted a song to MeFi Music that features Hahn on guitar, from a record we made together in 1995. Anyone wantin' to hear it can step over this way.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:26 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Oh, and by the way, the drummer from that Zahar clip is Yuval Gabay, who later went on to some rnown as tub-thumper for Soul Coughing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 PM on September 16, 2007

That is a cracking version of Tear-stained Letter. Top post!
posted by Abiezer at 5:39 PM on September 16, 2007

Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Bob Weir, Bongwater and the Fabulous Pussywillows

*Head asplodes*

And if that weren't already asplosive enough, they're doing Roky Erickson's "You Don't Love Me Yet." I can now die happy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:43 PM on September 16, 2007

I have now seen Steve Turre channel Rahsaan Roland Kirk as he solos over All Blues playing two sea shells(!) simultaneously.
For that reason, and so many others, this is a great post about what was obviously a great show.
posted by Hadroed at 6:45 PM on September 16, 2007

I recently stumbled upon some Night Music episodes I taped on VHS, and one in particular that I love that is not included on the list above was Carla Bey with Bootsy Collins - very cool!
posted by bonefish at 12:55 AM on September 17, 2007

Here's a clip of vintage-coiffed Sanborn getting real free with Sonic Youth on a cover of "I Wanna Be Your Dog".
posted by thatswherebatslive at 1:08 AM on September 17, 2007

I recently stumbled upon some Night Music episodes I taped on VHS, and one in particular that I love that is not included on the list above was Carla Bey with Bootsy Collins - very cool!

Please to post to the youtubes?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:06 AM on September 17, 2007

Definitely the best music show I've ever seen. I also remember Adrian Belew and Elliot Sharp being on there at some point. I would gladly buy a DVD set if it ever comes out.
posted by alikins at 2:29 PM on September 17, 2007

GOOD WORK, SansPoint.
posted by carsonb at 7:55 AM on September 19, 2007

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