11

069: Catherine Russell, ‘New Speedway Boogie’

In which the daughter of Louis Armstrong’s musical director, Julliard graduate and studio singer par excellence, sparkles up an old Grateful Dead tune backed by a mandoline, string bass and tambourine.
Jerry would have loved it.

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16

064: Janis Joplin & Tom Jones, ‘Raise Your Hand’

My memories of Janis–the interview, the kiss, and especially the TV performance where she brought plastic Tom to meltdown.

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3

228: Roger Treece, Achinoam Nini (Noa)/Gil Dor, Vocalocity — ‘Zeh Po, Zeh Mugan’

I had a dream–that Roger Treece, the mad genius of modern choral music would join up with Israel’s amazing virtuoso singer Achinoam Nini (Noa) and with my 40-voice vocal orchestra Vocalocity, to make a kind of music that’s never been made before.
Incredibly enough, sometimes dreams come true.

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1

061: The Doobie Brothers, ‘What a Fool Believes’

A hopelessly happy jaunt into the 1970s– the sappy grin on the face of lead guitarist, the come-on smile of the backup chick singer gives Michael McDonald, the ‘Oh, I really am cool and hot and couldn’t be enjoying myself more’ look he returns; the illogical, off-the-beat smash of the cymbal on ‘Anybody else would sure-LY know’, the loopy little calliope adornment – every element perfectly enmeshing to form a tapestry of fun-k. And a painfully familiar, seldom-told story. And a crazily cool Italian a cappella version you’ve never heard. Whooo!

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2

056: James Taylor, ‘Secret O’ Life’

James Taylor is a terribly misperceived and underappreciated artist.
That may sound a bit off the mark, seeing as we’re talking about an American Icon, a five-time Grammy Award winner who’s been filling halls regularly for 40 years, one of the best-selling artists of all time.
But thinking that James Taylor is ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ and ‘Fire and Rain’ is like thinking that The Beatles are ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ or Dylan is ‘Blowing in the Wind’.
There’s so, so much more.

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2

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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3

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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1

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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