018 Sir Paul McCartney, ‘Distractions’

In which Jeff calls Sir Paul “the Prince of Plastic, the Sheikh of Shallow” and points at the one song from Paul’s 30something post-Beatle CDs that deserves to be visited and revisited, because it’s .
uniquely mature, straightforward, honest and heartfelt. Utter blasphemy!

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008: ‘I’ll Keep It With Mine’, Fairport Convention (Bob Dylan)

An early, little-known gem of Dylan’s that he never quite figured out how to play. But it was nailed by Fairport Convention.

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048 Sam Cooke ‘Bring It On Home To Me’,

In which Jeff is reminded that Sam Cooke takes a back seat to no one, not even to Smokey Robinson; and that the sweetest fruits are often those closest to the roots.

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174: Vocal Line, ‘Don’t Give Up’

If you don’t know the music of Vocal Line, the 32-voice Danish rhythm choir led by Jens Johansen, you should. It’s what all art should aspire to – pure, unadulterated beauty.

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Israeli A Cappella

A glance at the growing Israeli a cappella scene.

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161, The Swingle Singers, ‘Sinfonia from Partita No.2 in C Minor’

The 2013 Swingle Singers are great. The 1963 Swingle Singers weren’t bad, either. (Caution: This posting contains a clip of Glenn Gould practicing which may not be suitable for younger audiences.)

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144: Fleet Foxes, ‘Montezuma’

In which Jeff philosophizes about life, music festivals, old age, and jingoism; writes an advice column together with an Aztec king; and enjoys the indie band Fleet Foxes.

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143: Christian McBride, ‘Killer Joe’ (Red Sea Jazz Festival, 2012)

Jazz isn’t all atonal and brainy and inaccessible. It is more often fun and intelligent and wise and witty and playful and passionate, and open to anyone who is willing to expose himself. It’s that wonderful place which presents you with the present of the present. Christian McBride at The Red Sea Jazz Festival last week: “Rarely do you see this anywhere else in the world, but we saw teenagers dancing to jazz, moving, screaming, running up to the stage. You guys made me feel like Paul McCartney last night. We love your enthusiasm.” Yet jazz is also a place where young people learn respect for The Tradition.

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