I recently noticed an iTunes playlist comprising the 25 tracks I’ve played the most since it was reset, maybe a year and a half ago. It’s as odd as you’d think.

Number 25 is “Rhythm and Romance” by Ella Fitzgerald, which I think we could broadcast to the Taliban from a drone and they would come out smiling. Number 24 is Ella and Louis Armstrong singing “You Won’t Be Satisfied.” Exquisite.

Numbers 21, 22, and 23 are the three movements of Mozart’s third violin concerto played to a fare-thee-well by Itzhak Perlman. The Adagio makes me cry, so I avoid operating heavy machinery with Number 22.

Number 20 is “Ti Mon Bo” by Tito Puente. When Herb Kent, the deejay of my youth, would play this in the midst of all the Motown even the lames would dance.

Number 19 is tenor Thomas Young’s “Nessun Dorma!” from Puccini’s Turandot. I’ve heard a couple of recordings of Pavarotti singing this aria, and he should be holding Thomas Young’s coat.

Number 18 is “Gaucho,” by Steely Dan. If you know, there’s nothing to say; if you don’t, there’s still time.

Number 17 is “Going to Chicago” by Joe Williams, with Count Basie and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. I’ve heard others try to sing this, but it’s like redoing the Sermon on the Mount.

Number 16 is “Unomathemba” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. See note for Number 18.

Number 15 is “Autumn in New York” by Sarah Vaughan, who is still divine.

Number 14 is the Gayatri mantra by Deva Premal, Number 13 is “Canadian Sunset” by Gene Ammons (as I recall, fresh out of prison for self-medication), Number 12 is Loon Talk, a track from “The Sounds of Nature.”

Number 11 is a live version of “Angel from Montgomery” by Bonnie Raitt and John Prine. Bonnie Raitt is the funkiest white woman on Earth.

Number 10 is “You Can’t Fool the Fat Man” by Randy Newman, a brilliant composer.

Numbers 9, 5, and 3 are the three movements of Brahms’s Violin Concerto, in reverse order because I seldom get to listen all the way through.

Number 8 is “October Road” by James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks (mostly Natalie Maines). Number 7 is “Northwoods Night,” from “The Sounds of Nature.” Number 6 is “Chan Chan” by the Buena Vista Social Club. Number 4 is “Hide nor Hair” by Ray Charles, a jewel by the man.

On top, ahead of Bonnie Raitt, Itzhak Perlman, Ella Fitzgerald, Brahms, and Ray Charles, are Numbers 1 and 2—“Hallelujah” and “Chico Gospel” by the incomparable MaMuse.

Posted Thursday, February 11th, 2010 under appreciation, happiness, Uncategorized.

One comment so far

  1. A superb list of music; some by artists with which i am not familiar, but wish i had time to listen. And some by artists i am familiar with, but not the specific song (like the Ray Charles and Randy Newman tunes).

    Thanks also for being so honest about crying while listening to some of this music. The world is full of tragedy; much never recognized or acknowledged. Some music addresses some of this.


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