Picking music to listen to while working is like picking your nose, you aren't proud of how long it takes you but you're satisfied when you finally find the one. That being said, it can be hard to navigate around the endless supply of music circulating around the web at any given time. That's why I am here to shed some light, err music, on your workflow.
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Born To Run
Clarence Clemons died this weekend and I’ve been thinking about his music; his playing touched me and made me smile. I remember being blown away by Born to Run – the album cover: this dude with a telecaster – clean and white – simple typesetting – a handful of songs and a big ass black dude with a saxophone. I sat up half the night listening to it
And the music; strings, guitars, stunning piano playing, that amazing horn and the stories…the stories were pure genius. I wanted to be the Rat, I wanted to be the Poet, I sure as hell wanted the girls and ended up marrying a Wendi.
I fell over laughing listening to New York City Serenade from The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle. The first three minutes of that song let me be a piano player in a rock band – it enabled me to pursue music in a way that made sense to me. David Sancious – and Bruce Springsteen – thank you too!
Bat Out Of hell
This Sunday morning’s playlist included Bat out of Hell; if you haven’t listened to it for a while – go take 45 minutes out of your day and crank it up - Paradise by the Dashboard Light taught me everything I needed to know about rock and roll.
More amazing music – more E street band players – and similarly to Born to Run – long songs. Funny that two of the best selling albums eschewed the single format.
It was Richard who left me alone with Born to Run 25 years ago – one of those evenings that imprinted hard on my 16 year old brain. He’s a super guitar player, singer songwriter and I love to play music with him.
We haven’t played together for a year – possibly more – but we grabbed an hour the other week – iPhone recording in the room...
Noah Baerman is one of my heroes - not that I'm really into heroes or putting people up on ridiculous pedestals so we can feel better about ourselves when they fall off - but hero as in someone who walks the walk and who's piano & composition chops I am in awe of.
Noah's latest record Know Thyself isn't just for Jazz fans, it's for music lovers. If you dig Coltrane, Evans (Gil & Bill) or even if you don't really get "Jazz" but want something hipper than hip for your next party playlist - check it out - stick it on and you'll find yourself being blown away by the musicianship.
As Noah writes:
"Have sweeping journeys lost their place in the era of the cute little web video? Is the in-depth musical exploration of intense personal transformation irrelevant when one could instead condense those experiences into a text message? Is spending an uninterrupted hour-plus listening to an intricate and ambitious piece of instrumental music a waste of time in the era of the ringtone? If your answer is no to any of these, I’m glad you’re here."
Delivered as one track coming in at just over 65 minutes, it is funny, thoughtful, evocative and definitely hip - I've been listening for several days now and I tell you - it is killer music to work to as well.