091: Herbie Nichols, ‘House Party Starting’

Here comes the story of the most universally respected unknown jazz pianist from the 1950s. Herbie Nichols’ music is ambiguous, filled with warm dissonances and subtle rhythmic twists and harmonic turns. There’s a pervasive sharp intellect tempered with great warmth and a lot of resigned humor. His music, for all its complexity and intricacy, is really quite fun. You could even use it to start a house party.

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079: Miles Davis, ‘So What’ (“Kind of Blue”)

THE masterpiece, universally acknowledged . By rockers, by rappers, by jazzists, by aficionados and cognoscenti, by layfolk and by elevator riders. A monolith of lyric beauty and depth.
It is perfect.

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080: Tim Ries w. Norah Jones, ‘Wild Horses’

Norah Jones’ style really is her own—country jazz, with a twist of blues and an ample dose of pop hooks. Ear candy that doesn’t insult the brain. Not to mention a pair of lips and a pair of eyes and a figure and an attitude that can make a man lose sleep at night. A fetching beauty with a catchy song, what more could one ask for?
Jazz saxophonist Tim Ries toured extensively with The Stones, who sponsored his very fine, very varied Rolling Stones Project.

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065: Ella Fitzgerald, ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most’

A beatnik musical (what??), an obscure jazz standard (oxymoron), and high school nostalgia (snore)–the convoluted paths we take to visit our past.

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060: The Bill Evans Trio, ‘Gloria’s Step’ from “Live at The Village Vanguard”

I’ve decided.
If I could take just one single piece of music to my desert island, it would be this.

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223: Ibrahim Maalouf, ‘Conspiracy Generation’

Flowers and pastels and hazy blonde girls tralalaing through a meadow of daisies. Pearl Moskowitz smiling at me in algebra.
I’m in love.

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019: Johnny Dyani, ‘Track #1′ (Shvarim Tru’ah)

An obscure South African free-jazz bassist recreating Ye Olde Ram’s Trumpet on that hard-bop classic, ‘Shvarim Tru’ah’.
It must prove something. But I’m not quite sure what.
G’mar chatima tova.

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041: Miles Davis, ‘It Never Entered My Mind’

Why did Miles Davis, a belligerent black ex-junkie, choose to reboot his career with white music of a rare, tender sweetness? Who cares?

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