201602 bigwinky.com Monthly Playlist for February 2016

201602 –  bigwinky.com Monthly Playlist – February 2016

Rather than attempting a Lincoln and Washington themed playlist this month, I’m going with a Valentine’s vibe and lining up a couple hours of lovey-dovey songs or otherwise heart tweaking entitled tracks.

My Baby Just Cares for Me – Nina Simone

Here’s some really fun piano, globally warm vocals and, superb shuffle.

I Wish You Love – Gloria Lynne

Landing in to the groove following the rubato introduction is such a nice feeling. Somebody please tell me which rhythm this is. Sounds similar to Mancini’s Lujon.

Makin’ Whoopee (Instrumental) – Oscar Peterson and Stéphane Grappelli

Kenny Clarke and N.H.O.P are freaking in the pocket! Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen gets a sound out of his bass that was “it” for me as a teenager. I believed other bass players weren’t doing it right if they didn’t get that kind of bite and sustain

The Look of Love – Stan Getz

It’s the mid 1960’s! The vocal backing sounds synthetic almost to me. Now, for comparison….

The Look of Love – Diana Krall

Originally intended to be an instrumental, Diana Krall sings the Hal David  lyrics added to Burt Bacharach’s tune. That’s the London Symphony Orchestra laying down the Claus Oberman sustained, gentle, aural tensioning. Presumably, those are  Ms. Krall’s fingers on that reverberating piano.

If You Really Love Me – Stevie Wonder

I love the first four notes of the recording. Start out with the phrase-glue. Brilliant! Wonder’s vocal rubatos provide an alternating contrast to the groove. Clap along on two and four on the last chorus through the fade out.

I Loves You Porgy  – George Duke

This has elments so much like Oscar Peterson’s treatment of the same song but, it is very much George Duke, who passed away a year or two ago.

Easy to Love – Gene Ammons

Alright, let’s settle in for four and a quarter minutes of straight ahead swing.

Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Suite No. 2, Op. 64: I. Montagues and Capulets – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

If Shakespeare could have somehow stolen the Romeo and Juliet story from West Side Story, Montagues and Capulets might be inspired by The Jet Song. here is a short excerpt from the Prokofiev piece that highlights the forte fortissimo parts!

Crazy on You – Heart

A pretty tight arrangement is heard here, Heart’s debut release.

Strawberry Letter 23 –  Shuggie Otis

A very interesting and listenable recording. The story is that the title refers to the scent from strawberry perfumed love letters. The other story is that the first story is not true.

You Don’t Know What Love is  –  Sonny Rollins

Precise and soulful playing. You may have heard the stories of Sonny Rollins practicing on the Brooklyn Bridge. I don’t know if they are exactly true but, there is no doubt that a monster of a player, a colossus, is at work here. 

When I Fall in Love – Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae has what it takes! Her phrasing is stunning. The open spaces between words as well as the unexpectedly long notes knock me out! Listen for “when I give my heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart”

The Man I Love – Peggy Lee

Believe it or not, the Nelson Riddle arrangements heard on this album were conducted by Frank Sinatra.

All You Need is Love  – The Beatles

All you need is to count some of the meter here. If you don’t, you will probably not notice the Bacharach-like departures from common time.

Lover Man – Marian Petrescu

A luxury vehicle to showcase the virtuosity of Rumanian pianist Marian Petrescu. Anyone else hearing echos of Oscar Peterson? Andreas Öberg on guitar. 

Genius of Love – Tom Tom Club

Two words for you “Smokey RobBINson”

Where is the Love – Bobby Broom

The love is all over this playlist. I know I’ve heard the popular version of this song but, I can’t tell you anything without looking it up. Alright then, to the Wiki I go…So it was Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway singing this in 1972. What interests me, is that this cut is in three quarter time.The original was in common time and, quite a bit more up tempo.

I’m in the Mood for Love – Julie London

I just want to hear more of the consonant blends captured from Julie London’s voice situated inches from some very nice ribbon microphone. Oh yeah, the vowels are awesome too!

Strawberry Letter 23 – The Brothers Johnson

The more popular rendition of the Shuggie Otis hit. Oddly, it is a full minute longer than the Shuggie Otis original. I have not done the analysis to tell you what is in that one minute.

What the World Needs Now is Love – Sergio Mendez

Holy uptempo Sergio! Alright, I don’t even like this recording but, I was struggling to hit my two hour duration target for this playlist so, at press time, this one is staying in.

Sunshine of Your Love – Mongo Santamaria

Yes, this one displaced the Cream original in this playlist . This Mongo Santamaria rendition sounds more like sunshine than the original. Barry sax baby, I wish the mix had the big horn a little more in front. Christopher Walken would be happy, we have plenty of cowbell here.

Love for Sale – Toni Harper with the Oscar Peterson Quartet

You have to hang in through two and a half minutes of rubato before gently swinging with the quartet for the remainder of the track.

May This be Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience

I don’t know how I discovered this one. I have the feeling the metadata is wrong and that this song is really entitled “My Waterfall” I enjoy how Mitch Mitchell’s drumming contributes to the psychedelic feel.

My Funny Valentine – Sarah Vaughn

I have to include at least one rendition of My Funny Valentine in the February playlist.  I had considered Elvis Costello’s, Chaka Kahn’s and Carmen McCrae’s treatment before settling on this one.

Love Train – the O’Jays

I admit it. I watched Soul Train on at least a few Sunday’s as a young teenager.

Moody’s Mood for Love

The key to listening to this, is to hear the singing for what it is, lyrics set to a melody that is really an improvised saxophone solo from another recording

You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine – Lou Rawls

I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a voice like Lou Rawls. You’d wake up in the morning, get in the shower, open your mouth and four octaves of amazing, soul healing sounds come out! Dig the percussion at the beginning as well as the iconic, rumbling ascending piano glissandos.

O Grande Amor –  Stan Getz with A. C. Jobim

Oh, the upper register of Getz’ tenor is  unique and it’s placement with Jobim’s voice on this quiet tune really works. I heard that Getz adopted the style of playing up there so that his sound would cut through the other instruments in larger bands. Here, his sweet edge sparkles on the Brazilian background. Amazing really.

There is No Greater Love – Gloria Lynne

To close us out this month, how about vibes, brushes, guitar and bass behind Gloria Lynne’s magnificent voice fed through some dripping wet reverb?


201601 bigwinky.com Monthly Playlist

bwmp 201601  – bigwinky.com monthly playlist – January 2016

Now that rdio seems to be fully offline, i thought I’d contribute something to the internet in the form of monthly playlists. Here are selections from my favorites. Since January is a cold, dark month, I’m going with a theme of nighttime, dreams, and sleep. Here are notes for this month’s playlist:

Sleep Walk

Our night-dream themed playlist starts out with the Venture’s classic treatment of Santo & Johnny’s steel guitar tune.

Aquarela do Brasil

Let’s take an early break from this playlist’s theme and add some Brazilian flavor from Rosa Passos.

La Valse

While we’re diverting from the theme, a small recognition of conductor Pierre Boulez, the French composer and conductor who passed away earlier this month. This is a recording of Ravel’s La Valse by the Berliner Philharmoniker with Boulez at the podium

The Night We Called it a Day

Returning to the theme of night and dreams, here we have the 1941 Matt Dennis, Tom Adair composition set to a sparkly and smooth arrangement by Claus Ogerman.  Diana Krall sings and plays with the London Symphony Orchestra. From her Look of Love release.

A Hard Day’s Night

This is  live recording of the Ramsey Lewis Trio and their treatment of the Beatles classic.

Night Train

The unmistakeable sound of the Oscar Peterson Trio. I heard a story how this recording inspired Diana Krall. I love how this performance develops with increasing tension, especially the final turns through the chorus.

Krewe Kut

You don’t have to sleep at night and, you can’t if you crank this selection from The New Orleans Night Crawlers. (I’m using the band’s name to connect to the theme here.)

Midnight Sun

Sarah Vaughan sings the song with the most clever lyrics ever.

The Way You Look Tonight

The Frank Sinatra recording of this tune gets plenty of play. On the recording on this playlist, the tune is a vehicle for Stan Getz who, had said that he never played a single note that he didn’t mean to play!

The Artist’s Rightful Place

Once again, some relief from our theme for January as we hear a somewhat political statement from Oliver Nelson. That’s the 35th president of the United States we hear at the beginning of the recording.

‘Round Midnight

Betty Carter covers Thelonious Monk’s Bop era tune with her most unique vocal style.

Holst: 1st Suite for Military Band in E-Flat Major Op. 28

If you played a band instrument you may have played this. I did. Many may know Holst for The Planets but, this one isn’t heard enough so, here it is, without regard to the theme of this month’s playlist.

You Stepped Out of a Dream

Sarah Vaughn is telling the object of this song, that they have emerged from the perfection of fantasy.

Night and Day

I like Tal Farlow’s guitar playing as he hits this Cole Porter number.

Stella by Starlight

I have come to appreciate Gloria Lynn only a couple of years ago. i don’t remember how I made my personal discovery of her singing but, I think some rdio browsing following looking up songs from Mad Men led me to her. Contrary to my recollection, I can’t find any indication her recordings were used for the show’s soundtrack.


This Henry Mancini piece is included here because it is the soundtrack to the nighttime scene in The Big Lebowski that was filmed at the Sheats Goldstein Residence. If you’ve seen this scene, do you get the reference to Hitchcock’s North by Northwest?

Teach Me Tonight

Here’s a live showcase of Amy Winehouse’s undescribable power.


If you like unusual meter, you’re enjoying this two minute Dixie Dregs recording. It kinda does sound like sleep.

We are the Night

In 2007, this track was one from the Chemical Brothers Grammy winning studio album.

The Night We Called It A Day

The mix on this Celso Fonseca recording is huge! The really hot piano level reminds me of Jobim on the Getz-Jobim collaboration of the 1960’s.

Rodrigo: Concerto Serenade for Harp and Orchestra

I’m thinking you don’t hear enough Rodrigo nor, harp serenades so, this track covers both issues. Enjoy this light momentary departure from the night time themes of this playlist. Some of the upper register arpeggios might be twinkling stars


The net effect of this arrangement and mix is a wonderfully lush sound without being too thick. It is from Andy Williams’ Canadian Sunset album.

You Stepped Out of a Dream

Alright, Tal Farlow is over represented on this list but, who cares?

Tim Tim por Tim Tim

A Rosa Passos recording to close this out January 2016 bigwinky.com Monthly Playlist. I like every version of this song that I’ve heard.