I just wanted to get this radio blog posted. I will come back and post the artists and titles. This is definitely most eclectic mix of music that I have put together. It consists of music in 2005 that perked up my ears and stuck with me. The music either came out in or I purchased it in 2005. Of course, I cannot play all my favorites from the past year but I promise to give you a good sampling. Please feel free to ask questions and leave comments.
2005 in Review – Volume 1 (listen here!)
01 – Bill Henderson With the Oscar Peterson Trio – “You Are My Sunshine” from Bill Henderson/Oscar Peterson Trio (1963) – I first heard Bill Henderson in 1999 when he and Shirley Horn were on Charlie Haden’s Art of the Trio album. Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is also a big fan of Bill Henderson’s rich vocals so he gave me a homework to pickup Bill’s album with Oscar Peterson. I instantly became a fan of “You Are My Sunshine and the other chestnuts on this album. I picked up two more albums as well that Bill recorded in the 1960’s. I will definitely feature more of his music in future radio blogs.
02 – Jeremy Pelt – “Seek” from Identity (2005) – This tune comes from Jeremy’s second album for MAXJAZZ and this is his fourth recording. Jeremy took a different approach for this album as it is made up of all his own compositions. This might be a little alarming at first to the listener if they were expecting a continuence of the lush standard from Close to My Heart. The new album is more soulful, funky, and edgy than his last release but what does not change is the clarity of his sound. His notes have the ability to cut through fog like a knife. I recently got to see Jeremy and his band at Yoshi’s and they were “off the chain.”
03 – Beady Belle – “Pillory-Like” from Closer (2005) – I was introduced to the music of Beady Belle by EJ when we were both in NYC in 2004. I instantly loved her mellow sounds on the Cewbeagappic release (say that five times!) Her sounds meld soul, funk, jazz, and dance together.effortlessly. Her lyrics are profound and thought provoking. While the industry would easily lump her into electronica (a category where way too much good house music lands) or smooth jazz, if I were to categorize her sound, it would be closer to an acid jazz hybrid.
04 – Eldar Djangirov – “Moanin'” from Eldar (2005) – Upon hearing Eldar for the first time, I could not believe such wonderful piano playing was coming from an 18 year old. I thought I had stepped back in the time machine and was hearing piano greats from the days of old. I had the pleasure of seeing Eldar live in concert twice last year. He brought an electrifying energy to every note he delivered. It was even fascinating to watch the looks of approval from his sidemen. His next album will be a live recording at the Blue Note which will hopefully be out this year. He has such great potential that it definitely be fun to watch him grow.
05 – Brigette – “Take Me” from Starlite Lounge (2005) – I first heard one of Brigette’s singles when I was in Japan. I could not wait to hear more of her music. She did not disappoint. Her sounds are lush and soulful. She is definitely very refreshing and I hope we will her more good music from her.
06 – Ron Blake – “Invocation” from Sonic Tonic (2005) – I first heard Ron blowin’ a mean sax as a member of the mighty Christian McBride Band. I was blown away when I heard his first album, Lest We Forget, because I initially thought it was the reincarnation of Stanley Turrentine’s classic style. His second Mack Avenue release, Sonic Tonic, is filled with amazing original composition. He is a bit more edgy and funky on this recording. It is definitely a serious groove.
07 – Dianne Reeves – “I’ve Got My Eyes On You” from Good Night, And Good Luck Movie Soundtrack (2005) – After seeing the movie, I had to have the soundtrack. In the movie, they would cut over to Dianne singing in the studio and I loved it. She looked great. I do not want to give too much away so you can enjoy it too! The movie is set in the 1950’s so the songs are very short yet powerful. I will definitely feature more songs from the soundtrack in future radio blogs.
08 – Sean Jones – “Rain Of Patience” from Gemini (2005) – This song comes from Sean second release on Mack Avenue Records. It features original compositions that reflect his various tastes in much such as funk, soul, blues, and gospel. In addition to his own recordings, Sean plays on the Gerald Wilson Orchestra In My Time release and is the lead trumpeter for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
09 – Louie Vega f/t Raul Midon – “Let The Children Play” from Elements Of Life Extensions (2004) – Okay, I will admit it here. I love house music. Growing up in Chicago, one of the birthplaces of house music, I got to hear a lot of good stuff. I picked the album when I was in Chicago last summer and I was quickly hooked on this tune. The rhythm and lyrics are infectious. Just a little something to help you shake a tailfeather during the work day.
10 – Lizz Wright – “Chasing Strange” from Dreaming Wide Awake (2005) – I love a great ballad about love that has gone bad. Hmmm….what is that about? Lizz delivers this ballad in such a way that it reaches to the depths of your soul as does much of her music. Many people were expecting her to follow the same musical format as she did on her debut album, Salt, but she chose an acoustic approach for this album. The result is purely brilliant and at the end of the day, she has been able to make good music that transcends genres. That has got to be a great feeling.
11- Earl Klugh – “The Night Has Thousand Eyes” from Naked Guitar (2005) – It has been a long time since we had new music from Mr. Klugh so this Grammy nominated was breath of fresh air. I have been enjoying his music since the 80’s when he did duet albums with Bob James and George Benson as well as his solo recordings. I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform live twice. It is amazing to see how Earl’s face lights up like child on Christmas whenever he plays his guitar. His love for the music radiates.
12 – Clairdee – “Summertime” from Music Moves (2005) – One of Clairdee’s many gifts is that she can take a classic standard and make it new without stripping away the original lustre. Here she takes a Gershwin classic and gives it a whole new feel. I recently saw her in concert and she sang “Sunday in New York” which I had first heard on a 1965 Shirley Horn recording. Clairdee’s rendition of this gem was impeccable.
13 – Shirley Horn – “What Would a Woman Do?” from The Garden of the Blues (1984) – I picked up this album shortly after Shirley’s passing last year. It was the fourth and last in a series of albums she recorded on the SteepleChase label. Shirley showcases the music of Curtis Lewis, one of the first black composers and lyricists to set up a publishing line of his own on Broadway in the early 40’s. “What Would a Woman Do?” is part of The Garden of the Blues Suites. Shirley even reads the narration that Lewis wrote to ties each of the songs together. Shirley originally recorded “Blue City” and “He Never Mentioned Love” which are part of the suite on her first album, Embers and Ashes.
14 – Marlon Saunders – “Afro Blue My Mind” from A Groove So Deep: The Live Sessions (2005) – This is such a soulful, funky groove that I kept it on repeat in my car last summer. It is a throwback to classic soul music of yesteryear. The whole album is filled with soulful grooves. I first heard Marlon with Jazzhole and have been diggin’ him ever since. Keep doin’ watcha do!
15 – Gerald Wilson Orchestra – “Love For Sale” from In My Time (2005) – I got introduced to the music of the Gerald Wilson Orchestra just a couple of years ago. His arrangements are spectacular. His music swings hard. I also learned that he composed the Monterey Jazz Festival theme song. Well into his 80’s, this jazz giant is unstoppable.
16 – Sarah Vaughan – “A Taste of Honey” from Sarah Sings Soulfully (1963) – Lizz Wright mentioned in a interview that Sarah Vaughan’s rendition of “Taste of Honey” inspired her recording of this song on her recent release, Dreaming Wide Awake. This prompted me to want to hear Sarah’s version which also led me to buying three Sarah Vaughan albums last summer. Sarah swings free and easy here and the organ adds a really nice touch.