Night Music

Recently renewed for a third season, this determinedly eclectic show is the only place you’ll ever see avant-garde jazz performer Sun Ra and David Sanborn in a saxophone-blowing session — and many people would say that’s just as well.

Sanborn is the host of Night Music, and with his chiseled good looks, surreally lush mane of hair, and easy-listening-funk sax style, he’s a cool but nonthreatening dude. His serenity is a help on a series whose riotous guest list has included everyone from droll folkie Loudon Wainwright III to avant-rockers Pere Ubu and Sonic Youth.

On most editions of the show, the guests perform with one another. Sometimes, in fact, Night Music is so intent on bringing disparate acts together that the music suffers — each musician is trying so hard to complement nt others’ styles that the result is halting and vague.

But Night Music deserves a lot of credit for breaking away from the usual pool of TV-approved guests and exposing viewers to fresh sounds. B+

Night Music
  • Music