Archive of posts with tag 'favorite songs'

Best Songs, Pt. 8: Death Letter

October 4, 2019 • #

I don’t listen to a lot of modern blues artists. The lo-fi, minimalist sound of The White Stripes was always the best format for a blues act, in my opinion.

I love this rendition of Son House’s Death Letter Blues. This also appeared on the studio recording of De Stijl, but I like the live take:

Also check out this phenomenal clip of the original.

Best Songs, Pt. 7: The Only Moment We Were Alone

August 22, 2019 • #

I still bring out Explosions in the Sky’s 2003 album The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place periodically, my favorite from their catalog by a wide margin. I remember seeing them at a live show for the first time on the tour for this album, probably 2004, where they played this song somewhere in the set. In their shows I’ve seen in successive years, it’s one of their encore numbers.


Best Songs, Pt. 6: Montara

June 2, 2019 • #

The title track from vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson’s 1975 album Montara. I love the gentle electric piano, muted horns, and of course Bobby’s vibes.

Madlib also sampled this one on his album Shades of Blue, which remixed tons of the great hits from the Blue Note catalog.

Best Songs, Pt. 5: I Remember Clifford

April 24, 2019 • #

There are several excellent renditions of this tribute to the late trumpeter Clifford Brown, originally composed by saxophonist Benny Golson (well known for his time with the Jazz Messengers).

My favorite version is this live cut from Freddie Hubbard, 1984. Captures the soul of the original perfectly, on stage and with little accompaniment.

See also the excellent original studio recording from Donald Byrd’s Jazz Lab, 1957.

Best Songs, Pt. 4: Blade Runner Blues

February 21, 2019 • #

Blade Runner is one of the best movies, but I actually enjoy the soundtrack even more. This one is my favorite, probably the centerpiece of the score that embodies the vibe of the 2019 dystopian Los Angeles from the film. This whole album is in regular rotation for me.

In searching for a good video version, I also ran across this ambient “streets of Blade Runner” version. Should make for excellent focus tunes on the headphones.

Best Songs, Part 3: Moanin’

January 28, 2019 • #

This live rendition by The Jazz Messengers is a great version of an even better song. It was composed by Art Blakey’s sideman and pianist Bobby Timmons (on the keys in this session). I love the blues-infected build and refrain. Lee Morgan’s blasting first solo is one of the best out there.

Best Songs, Part 2: My Philosophy

January 18, 2019 • #

In college I’d listened to KRS-One’s solo albums before I ever heard his original work with Boogie Down Productions. One of my top songs is the landmark track from their 1988 album By All Means Necessary:

“My Philosophy” is the opener that sets the tone for the record, just like “Poetry” from their first album.

I love how the verse just keeps coming — no chorus, no language, just a chain of rhyming (even across bar lines) for five and a half minutes.

Best Songs, Part 1: Chameleon

January 10, 2019 • #

My dad has been putting together a playlist of all-time great songs, and mentioned to me and my brothers that we should do the same and share with one another. “Great” songs in this case don’t have to be by any particular measure other than personally important to yourself — either ones you got enjoyment out of when younger, ones that have an emotional connection, or just fun favorites you always tune in to when you hear it come on.

I started putting together my own playlist and thought I’d share them here in no particular order.

The first on...