166: John Martyn, ‘Bless the Weather’

The most brilliant self-destructive Scottish acoustic folk-jazz guitarist-singer you’ve never heard of.
Watch John burn.

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7

075: João Gilberto, ‘Chega De Saudade’ (Jobim)

RIP João Gilberto.
‘Saudade’ is more than just a word; it’s a mindset.
Here’s the song that started it all.

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8

158: Paul Simon, ‘Surfer Girl’

‘Surfer Girl’ is a schlocky, heartfelt ballad of unrequited teenage love, Brian Wilson clawing his way out of the gooey larva of his California pubescence. Paul Simon works his magic on it, tapping the genius that is Brian, elevating it to a work of great beauty.

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12

139: The Swingle Singers, ‘On the 4th of July’ (James Taylor)

This week we talk about the United States’ bar mitzvah, how we discovered Bach, the history of The Swingle Singers, the marvels of Scandinavian a cappella festivals, and older people falling in love.

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6

141: Joni Mitchell, ‘I Don’t Know Where I Stand’

Joni Mitchell’s songs can be deceptive, because they’re so darn attractive. But she is also a mistressful artisan who happens to possess a magnanimous soul. Her works aren’t merely moving – they’re also marvels of craft.

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3

169: The Mills Brothers, ‘Jungle Fever’

Four Boys and a Guitar. The Mills Brothers sounded so much like a jazz band back in the early 1930s that the company wrote on their record labels “No musical instruments or mechanical devices used on this recording other than one guitar.” And they sang great scat, and great tight harmonies. And they had class, In abundance.

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8

288: Accent, ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ (Vocalmente 2018)

I’ve just returned from the Aarhus Vocal Festival, the most moving musical gathering I’ve been at since Woodstock.

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3

292: My 10 Life-Changing Albums

Ten albums that have shaped my life.

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