Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I'm listening to now

As is my wont, The Leopard listens to an enormous amount of music. I find beauty in almost all things, so my taste, I like to think, is fairly eclectic. The only differences I see in music is good or bad. And that, of course, is up to the listener. 

Here's a Leopard's list of what I'm digging now on my headphones. Irregardless of whether the songs are old or new.

1. Ane Brun, "Headphone Silence".  This tune, with its driving electronic beat, is an appropriate start to this list because of its lyrical imagery. It describes the feeling of entering a headphone world where you separate yourself from the reality around you and adapt yourself to your own musical soundtrack.

2. Herbie Hancock, "Sleeping Giant"  From the transitional album Crossings, Herbie continues his bold explorations with jazz and electronics with beautiful, fluid results. Next up was his great Headhunters, an amazing funky album that was one the biggest selling jazz lps of all time.


3. Sam Cooke, "Wonderful World".  A perfect pop song, clever and memorable with beautiful, gospel tinged singing.

4. Talking Heads, 'Sax and Violins".  A track from the Naked was recorded near the end of The Head's brilliant reign and reflects their later sound: epic and laden with majestic keyboards and organs. Boasts clever David Byrne-isms like "We are criminals/that never broke no laws" and "Love will keep us together/and love will drive us insane".

5. Hank Williams, 'I Saw The Light".  A simple beautiful interpretation of a gospel standard by a country great.

6. D'Angelo, 'Chicken Grease".  An ultra funky excursion from the neo-soulster. With apparent writing and arranging help from Prince Rogers Nelson.

7.  Bei Bei & Shawn Lee, 'Hot Thursday".  The fine traditonal Gu Zhen (Chinese zither) player Be Bei and super creative producer/mult-instrumentalist Shawn Lee in a superb collaboration.

8.  John Adams, 'Landing In The Spirit of '76".  The brilliant minimalist composer, often referred to in the same breath as Philip Glass, Steve Reich and John Cage from his 1987 opera "Nixon in China".

9.  Hugh Maskela, 'Fela".  South African Jazz great Maskela homage to the incomparable Fela Kuti.

10. Jose James and Jeff Neve, 'Body and Soul".  Straight ahead vocal jazz from prominent newcomer James. 

For All We Know 11. Beck, 'Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime".  Beck's take on a 70's kitschy classic brings a mysterious dark beauty.

12. Fishbone, 'Where'd You Get Those Pants".  Out of control funk and ska from this high energy long running band, who deserve much, much more recognition.

13. Modern Jazz Quartet, 'Da Capo".  From the album Third Stream Music, with reed man  Jimmy Giuffre. conducted by avant-garde composer/pioneer Gunther Schuller.  Advanced, rewarding music.

14. The Robert Cray Band, 'All The Way".  In 1999, Cray stepped away from his usual Blues leanings and created what was essentially an R&B record, Take Your Shoes Off, with lovely results.

Click title to hear Hank Williams' "I saw The Light". 

No comments: