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Jeff’s Own Music

Jeff doesn’t only talk about other peoples’ music, sometimes he makes his own. Signon Acher Soloing in “Come Together” Backing my goodfriend Hady Shimon in “Twisted” Singing contrabass in “Sentimental Journey” Jeff’s CD Here’s a CD he made in 2007. It’s called Me & My Guitar 21 Songs Reflecting Various States of Mind and Degrees of […]

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055: Miles Davis/Gil Evans, ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’

Thanks this week to my friend MK, who has so generously and virulently argued with me over the last couple of weeks about the sanctity and inviolability of classical music. She believes in all her heart and soul that it’s legitimate to cover Bruce Springsteen but not Bob Schumann. You know, I pretty much agree […]

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051: The Ross Sisters, ‘Solid Potato Salad’

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Witness the tight shorts, tight smiles, and tight harmonies of the peach-complected Ross Sisters. Watch their hilarious, grotesque, bizarre, bewildering contortions and distortions in the unforgettable ‘Solid Potato Salad’.

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050: The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Kent State)

Forty-two years ago, the day after the Kent State shootings, I walked onto my completely abandoned and unearthly silent campus, and experienced a musical hallucination of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. In the minds of me and my friends and the entire Woodstock nation, it has become emblematic of that terrible time when American soldiers killed American citizens.

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047: Bobby McFerrin, ‘The Garden’ (“VOCAbuLarieS”)

I had the pleasure of seeing Bobby McFerrin in concert last night. I was blown away, as always, by his immeasurable virtuosity; and charmed by his warmth and class. I hardly had time to wonder “Where’s the beef?”

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034: Dionne Warwick, ‘Walk On By’ (Burt Bacharach)

To an absurd degree, the best of popular music in the hundred years of its life has been Jewish men writing songs for and producing black women singers. And it don’t get no better than the Burt Bacharach/Dionne Warwick collaboration on ‘Walk on By’.

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036: Laura Nyro, ‘Sweet Blindness’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

Laura Nyro’s masterpiece, “Eli & the 13th Confession”. She embraces her lover like a god, her God like a lover. It’s a pageant of bright lights and fierce emotions. It’s gospel and doo-wop and a spiritual carpet ride through sex, love, the elation and deflation of relationships, drugs, God, the devil. It’s a trip to the entire gallery of experiences of an eccentric, passionate, spiritual, loving person, and you’ll be a richer person for joining her.

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024: Oi Va Voi, ‘Refugee’

I’m a seriously committed Jew, but I don’t like any flavor of klezmer. I don’t believe in world peace, and I don’t like world music. I don’t believe in leaderless bands with amorphous rosters. But I’ve coerced literally dozens unsuspecting friends and acquaintances to listen to Oi Va Voi’s “Laughter Through Tears”, and nary a one hasn’t apologized for snickering. It’s is an utterly irresistible album.

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