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170: Laura Nyro, ‘Luckie’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

50 years ago this week, Laura Nyro’s “Eli & the 13th Confession” was released. The unadulterated passion—pain and ecstasy–the ebullience, the brilliance, the humor, the candor, the funk, the mystic and the mythic of this masterpiece have been an integral part of my inner world ever since. It’s guided me and inspired me and comforted me and intrigued me through so many of the hills and valleys of my entire adult life. Laura, on this yovel (jubilee) birthday, I embrace you and salute you. Thank you for this music.

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279: Ásgeir, ‘Torrent’

Can you imagine a budding rock star who prefers to spend his summers in his home village of 40 old people, in a bleak and remote grey landscape, planting trees during the day and collaborating on writing songs with his father during the long Icelandic evenings?

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102: Netanela, ‘Shir HaYona’ (Matti Caspi)

In 1974, while working with an IDF entertainment troupe as his reserve duty, 25 year-old composer/singer Matti Caspi discovered the 19 year-old singer/soldier Netanela. He composed ‘Shir HaYona’ (Song of the Dove) for her, a secular peace prayer which still resonates today.

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278: The Danish String Quartet, ‘Sønderho Bridal Trilogy – Part II’/Dreamers’ Circus, ‘Kitchen Stories’

A classical string quartet and a roots trio. Six (sic) shaggy, hunky young Danish musicians exploring their roots with such panache and skill and joy that you can’t not love it. I guarantee you.

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277: Joni Mitchell, ‘Electricity’

Why Joni Mitchell isn’t relevant in a world of Millenial zombies.

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099: Luciana Souza, ‘Baião à Tempo’ (“An Answer to Your Silence”)

I get that not everyone needs to go hacking through impregnable jazz jungles or crawling across atonal minimalist deserts or getting lost in endless Nordic a cappella virgin forests. But believe me, Luciana Souza’s “An Answer to Your Silence” is vocal jazz of singular, innovative genius – groundbreaking, underappreciated, and regretfully unknown. It is THE most interesting CD I’ve heard in the last decade.

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276: Leo Kottke, ‘Eggtooth’ (New Acoustic)

Remember Paul Simon’s ‘Anji’? Remember Pentangle?
Call it what you want–New Acoustic, Fingerpicking, American Primitive, Folk Baroque–there’s a whole world out there of intelligent and sophisticated. virtuosic guitar music fingerpicked on a steel string guitar, using old blues and country techniques, full of fascinating directions.

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107: The Association, ‘Everything That Touches You’

Glorious? Pop pap? I’m not sure whether I should be shouting the praises of The Association’s ‘Everything That Touches You’ or hiding from anyone whose opinion I value the fact that I’ve been listening to it daily for the past few years.

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