I had such fun a couple of weeks ago choosing rock songs at random from my huge music collection (now close to 8000 songs) that I thought I’d do the same with the jazz songs. I avoided the temptation to change some of these out for songs by other artists, and ended up with a list I think you’ll enjoy, even if you aren’t a jazz fan. My taste runs mostly to the “smooth jazz” arena, so you’re not going to hear a lot of bebop here.
- Fourplay featuring Chaka Khan, “Between The Sheets” Fourplay consists of keyboardist Bob James, bassist Nathan East, and drummer Harvey Mason, and has had a revolving door of guitarists, starting with Lee Ritenour, then Larry Carlton, then Chuck Loeb. When Loeb died last year, they replaced him temporarily with saxophonist Kirk Whalum. They’re currently looking for a new fourth. This is from their second album, 1993’s Between the Sheets, and features Nathan East and Chaka Khan on vocals.
- Alan Hewitt, “Metropolis” Keyboardist Alan Hewitt is from Petoskey, Michigan (I’ve been there!) and graduated from the Berklee School of Music. He’s been playing with The Moody Blues since 2010. This is the title tune from his 2006 album.
- Jeff Linsky, “Up Late” Fingerstyle guitarist Linsky plays mostly Latin and Brazilian jazz. He learned from Joe Pass and Vicente Gomez, and since 1988 has lived in San Francisco. This is the title tune from his 1988 debut album.
- Nils, “Last Night” Nils is a fantastic smooth jazz guitarist who’s also a producer and teacher. This is from his 2006 album Ready To Play.
- The Christine Spero Group, “Magic Eye” I first heard of pianist/vocalist Christine Spero on SmoothJazz.fm, where they were advertising her 2007 album My Spanish Dream. This is from her 2002 album We Call It Music. Her latest album is Spero Plays Nyro, where she covers songs written by the late Laura Nyro.
- Lee Ritenour, “The Kiss” From his 1989 album Color Rit, when Lee was heavy into his Latin period. Lee’s one of my favorite guitarists, who started as a session player at 16 backing The Mamas & The Papas.
- Emily Remler, “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise” Guitarist Emily Remler is another Berklee graduate. She had a brief career that was cut short by her addiction to heroin. “Softly” is a jazz standard by Sigmund Romberg that was more recently covered by George Benson.
- Quincy Jones, “Desafinado” Producer/arranger/bandleader Quincy Jones needs no introduction. The song was written by bossa nova great Antonio Carlos Jobim and is from Quincy’s 1964 album Big Band Bossa Nova, on which you can also hear “Soul Bossa Nova,” the theme song used for the Austin Powers movies. Shagadelic, baby!
- Django Reinhardt, “Oriental Shuffle” One of the greatest Gypsy jazz guitarists of all time — hell, the best guitarist of all time, as far as I’m concerned, simply for his influence on other guitarists as diverse as B. B. King and Chet Atkins. This is an amusing little tune that plays off the Oriental fetish of the 1930’s.
- Joyce Cooling, “Savannah” Guitarist Joyce Cooling has kind of dropped out of sight since her 2009 album Global Cooling; it doesn’t look like her website has been updated in some time. This is from her 1997 album Playing It Cool.
And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 20, 2018.