During these uncertain times, it is easy to rush back to the music, foods, and activities that make me comfortable. It’s time to shake that up!
I need to find a way to stay accountable to listening to “new” music (whether it is recently recorded or something from 100 years ago that I never heard before). After a long hiatus, I started keeping a listening log again and thought it would be fun to start sharing five of my favorite tracks of the week.
This is not a review or critique. I am just going to share five tracks I really enjoyed this week and where to learn more about the artists. Please don’t send unsolicited requests for me to review music.
The tracks are not listed in any particular order.
With all of that out of the way, here’s Listening Log: Week 1!
If It’s Magic – Artemis
I was blown away by this magical track that jazz supergroup Artemis dropped to promote their upcoming self-titled album. The group honored this Stevie Wonder classic, yet found their own voice on it, a magnificent accomplishment.
Cynical Sideliners – Ambrose Akinmusire
This stripped down track from Ambroses Akinmusire’s album on the tender spot of every calloused moment is pensive and haunting. It made me reflect on how critical people are from behind screens in the age of social media without putting anything on the line themselves.
Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Jason Moran
Ain’t Nobody’s Business has been one of my favorite songs for more than a decade now (particularly the Billie Holiday version). It was refreshing to hear Jason Moran’s take – crafting practically a new setting – on this tune in his album ALL RISE: A Joyful Elegy For Fats Waller.
Play Money – Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller
Play Money, the first track on Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s album Parlour Game, is a series of winding melodic lines infused with blues language. I enjoyed the journey of the entire album, and the warm quality the violin brought to the music.
(While there is a rich tradition of violin in “Jazz” and improvised music, it is still a less featured melodic instrument in these idioms.)
Rosetta – Johnny Hodges & Earl Hines
Okay, I’m cheating with this one a little bit because I knew this track and album (Stride Right) before this week. It is a song I know and love that brings me joy and comfort during this time. I’m also including it here because I want more people to know about this album!