WOW! It definitely took awhile to put this playlist together. I was initially going to focus on several songs from one artist but I decided to mix it up a bit. I am still fine tuning and learning how all this works so please be patient. I will come back later and put in links and tell stories about each tune.
Sunday Evening Mix (listen here!)
01 – Duke Ellington/Count Basie – “Battle Royal” from First Time! The Count Meets The Duke – I can remember many days as a child when my dad played this 1961 album so it was only appropriate to start off with this tune.
02 – Nancy Wilson – “When October Goes” from With My Lover Beside Me – Hey, it’s October so why not? This song is very romantic and reflective.
03 – George Benson – “Dinorah, Dinorah” from Give Me The Night – This album, produced by Quincy Jones, has stood the test of time and has some great songs. It cemented my love of Patti Austin when she sang with George on “Moody’s Mood for Love.” I purchased this album when I was a senior in high school. Shhhhhh!
04 – Roberta Flack – “Cottage For Sale” from Roberta – I know it is a sad song but I love it. Roberta weaves her magic on some great standards and R&B classics.
05 – Gerald Wilson Orchestra – “So What” from In My Time – This fresh arrangement of the Miles Davis classic swings and definitely grabs your attention.
06 – Chaka Khan – “The End of a Love Affair” from C.K. – The jazzier side of Chaka with a nice guitar solo from George Benson. This album, produced by Prince, was a comeback for Chaka. There are rough edges but they add grit to the songs.
07 – Shirley Horn – “Quiet Nights [Instrumental]” from I Thought About You – Live at Vine St. – While Shirley is more known for her vocals, she also plays mean piano. This song comes from Shirley’s first album for Verve Records in 1987.
08 – Andy Bey – “I’ll Remember April” from Tuesdays in Chinatown – This dreamy ballad is one of my favorite Andy Bey songs. Paul Meyers does a fine job on guitar as well.
09 – Sarah Vaughan – “Why Can’t I?” from In the Land of Hi-Fi – I love when Sarah sings, “Two feet are ever cold. Four feet are never cold. I only mean to imply.” She got right to the point. Her turn of a phrase is sensational.
10 – Stuff Smith – “You Can’t Take That Away From Me” from Cat on a Hot Fiddle – This was my introduction to the violin of the amazing Stuff Smith but what also caught my attention was the piano playing of Shirley Horn on several of the songs. She was only 25 when this album was recorded in 1959 and already a legend in the making. Her phrasing compliments Stuff’s violin very well.
11 – Ledisi – “Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue” from Feeling Orange but Sometimes Blue: The Jazz Singer Limited Edition – Every now and then I find myself singing this song because of its catchy lyrics. This limited release album is now out of print but if you find a copy of it, be sure to snatch it up.
12 – Carmen Lundy – “Old Friend” from Self Portrait – I got see Carmen perform at Yoshi’s in 2002. She was wonderful and I want to have all of her music. Her special guests that evening were Regina Carter, Mayra Casales and her brother, bassist Curtis Lundy. She is also a gifted painter – www.carmenlundy.com.
13 – Bob James – “Under Me” from Restless – A jammin’ unknown groove featuring Luther Vandross, Lisa Fischer, and Hilary James (Bob’s daughter) on background vocals. Luther also provided the superb vocal arrangements.
14 – Aretha Franklin – “This Could Be The Start Of Something” from Yeah! Aretha Franklin in Person – I bought this album on a whim and can never take it off when I play it. This track is less than 2 minutes but Aretha is truly swingin’ on this live album.
15 – Dianne Reeves – “I’m All Smiles” from A Little Moonlight – A playful ballad from an exceptional album of great standards. When I saw her sing it live, I just wanted to melt in my seat.
16 – Carmen Lundy – “All Day, All Night” from This is Carmen Lundy – Double dose of musical goodness.
17 – Bob James – “Love Power” from Sign of the Times – This song was played in heavy rotation on the late night, quiet storm radio in the early 80’s. The background vocalists include Patti Austin and Luther Vandross and Grover Washington, Jr. is featured on tenor sax.
18 – Mary Stallings – “There Is No Greater Love” from Remember Love – I first got to hear this song earlier this year when Mary was featured at an SFJAZZ Listening Party celebrating the Women of Jazz. Mary has sung with some of the greats including the Count Basie Orchestra and Harry “Sweets” Edison.
19 – Lalah Hathaway – “Heaven” from Me’Shell NdegéOcello Presents The Spirit Music Jamia: Dance of the Infidel – Lalah takes this smoldering classic and makes it her own.