Monday’s Music Moves Me: Jazz Randomness

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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25 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Jazz Randomness

  1. Sorry I’m so late I was sleeping most the day… just wanted to stop by & say thank you for playin’ along with us & what a beautiful song you picked out by Chaka Khan, “Between The Sheets”. I haven’t heard that one in like forever, and some wonderful jazz tunes also.. you definitely rocked the house today! Well, I’m sorry, but I have to say goodnight and get more rest. Thank you again my friend. hugs

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  2. John,

    I’m sorry for boogieing by so late in the week. It’s been crazy to say the least. I’d like to say I have things under control but I can’t and I haven’t fully recovered from bronchitis-like symptoms I picked up after my tubal surgery last Thursday. Anywho, I listened to your entire lovely playlist while catching up with bloggers who stopped by on Monday and your mewsic arrangement is just what I needed this morning. It’s purrrfectly soothing and leaves me with this non-hurried essence as I go from blog to blog. 🙂 Thank you for lightening my mood while I try to get back into the groove today. Have a blessed & pAwesome week, my friend!

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    1. “Between the Sheets” is really popular on smooth jazz stations, where they play a lot of songs with vocals (“smooth jazz” generally means “whatever an urban audience in their late 30’s and 40’s will listen to”). On their first album, the vocal number was “After the Dance,” sung by El DeBarge; that was another good one that got played to death… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWr3PxTPQ1o

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  3. Yay! Another Smooth Jazz proponent! Every time I mention me liking Smooth Jazz to a Jazz person I get the same irritable response: smooth jazz isn’t real jazz. Well, it’s my kind of jazz! You have put together a great set here.
    #3 (Up Late) sounds a bit reggae to me for some reason, and another one that I’m not crazy about is Spero one. Sounds kind of in the same vein as Up Late.
    I LOVE Between the Sheets! And the one immediately after that (Hewitt’s Metropolis). My other favs on your playlist are Nils and Lee Ritenour.
    The Emily Remler style got on my nerves a bit (as does a lot of “real” jazz as so many purists like to say. I hate that frenzied kind of jazz that reminds me of how one would react if electricity was frantically coursing through one’s body after sticking a knife in a electric receptacle…If that makes any sense.
    The Oriental Shuffle was — umm, interesting??
    Quincy Jones’ sounded old-timey — I liked it. but it doesn’t seem to go with the others that I like, which are more Kenny G-ish.
    Savanah was pretty cool too and I would include that one in the group that I mentioned above that I like…

    I saw Kenny G several years ago when he came to Austin. That was a nice evening of music…

    Have a great weekend. Sorry it took me so long to get over here. It’s Saturday already so I’ll see ya in a few days for the next 4M post…

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I think I explained my methodology for choosing the songs (generate a random playlist of 25 and choose ten from there). Doing that, I got a pretty representative sample of what I have while at the same time allowing me to bypass a lot of the more “straight ahead” jazz (e.g. Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Barney Kessel, etc.) I have in my collection. That said, I chose some of them because I liked them. Didn’t get any Peter White, Brian Tarquin, Chuck Loeb, or Chris Standring (four of my favorite smooth jazz guitarists), but were I to run it again, I’d see to it that I did. I’m glad there were a few that you liked!

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      1. Yeah, I love the smooth jazz sound. To me, it’s perfection listening to that on a lazy Sunday morning while drinking creamy dreamy coffee and reading the Washington Post…Back then, that was my normal Sunday morning routine, back in the days when people actually read paper newspapers. Thanks for mentioning your favorite smooth jazz guitarists: again, I’m on the fringe of smooth jazz enjoyment, meaning I know the sound that I like and a few artists (like Kenny G and Grover Washington Jr) but that’s it. Beyond that I need education. So thanks for putting for those names and providing your very cool playlist.
        See ya manana…

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