I think it’s time I rounded up the latest batch of songs – not even necessarily new – that I’ve encountered while having my iPod on shuffle mode, coupled with what’s been on Pandora and K-High Radio (my favorite web-radio hangouts, hands down). And you know, I originally wanted to have a series of this sort of posts, but for reasons of obvious scatterbrainery, it didn’t happen.
Means I may have to take another hiatus, but…
Without further ado, this is what has caught my ear in recent time:
I will blame Steve Hamilton of K-High for making me a Michael Franks fan! Kidding, and true at that, and this song I really enjoy. I’ll warn you, though: catchy. You will be hearing it in your head for a while. The lyrics make you raise an eyebrow at first, but it’s a frank (pardon the pun) statement, and delightfully done at that. And let’s not forget that you don’t really find a voice like this every day. Yes, it’s an 80s song…and it’s likely older than I am, but nonetheless
(PS: Happy 67th Birthday to Michael Franks!)
You know…it’s never what you’re looking for, but what you find as you look. I was checking out Venice (which I also really got into, thanks to Pandora), but then I stumbled on this one, and the A Thousand Kisses Deep album while browsing. This version, to say the very least, is entrancing. The vocalist choice is excellent: clear, subtle, and haunting. I generally enjoy most of Chris Botti, but this goes a step above. This is a stay in the ears song if I ever heard one, and pure magic when in a subway car on an overpass on a rainy afternoon.
I have a soft spot for acoustic guitar, and this one is quite a refreshing bit of melody. It’s a lot more into the chill category than most of my music, but when a melody grabs at my ears in a way that just doesn’t let up, I’m hardly going to be saying no.
Again with them vocalists! :) Kidding. But I’m honestly surprised at how catchy this one is. Spencer’s voice kind of, sort of reminds me of Sinatra, but the one thing about this track – and a good bit of the album overall – that makes me smile is that it has “the younger crowd will love this!” written all over it. It’s seasoned enough with pop to grab the attention of anyone under 30, and entrenched enough in the jazz flavors to win over the older crowd as well.
Robust tenor sax against an orchestra backdrop. Two words: cabernet sauvignon. Together, this is the perfect recipe for melt and forget the world exists. The entire album is fantastically done. Songs people can recognize easily, reimagined in a classic, a bit straightlaced style. But this song in particular is prime for that leave the world behind closed doors moment. Beautifully done, and this is easily an album for every audience, and especially for the aficionado of classic arrangement.
One of the best examples of “playful piano” that I’ve heard to date, and an instant “click to buy” when Pandora kicked it out. It’s light, conversational and – well, a little shoulder-shrug across the keys. A lovely piece to have on hand when you’re working on something and want a little extra spring in your pace.
If you love electric violin a la Ken Ford or Jerald Daemyon, then this one is definitely going to go over well. It’s a wonderful take on Stevie Wonder’s 1972 song: well-paced, very well-arranged, if anything, only reinforces that the electric violin is a seriously underrated instrument in the jazz spectrum.
In Memoriam: Noel Pointer, 1954-1994, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, one of many talented individuals who were gone too soon.
I would love to have a song review series going on here. If you have a track suggestion for me – go right ahead and link! Artists – you know what to do. If you want me to dig at a something by you, I’d love to do it.
And, of course, as I stumble on more music, I’ll continue!
…Geeze, I’m seriously out of the “regular writing” groove, looks like…