1001 Albums: From Elvis in Memphis

#152

Album_152_Original

Artist: Elvis Presley

Album: From Elvis in Memphis

Year: 1969

Length: 36:42

Genre: Rock/Soul/Country/Pop

“Only the strong survive, only the strong survive
Well, you’ve got to be strong, you’d better hold on
Only the strong survive
Only the strong survive, only the strong survive”

What is it with Memphis? This is two In Memphis albums in a row? What is going on up here? I never know, man. I don’t know much about Memphis and why it is so important (I honestly didn’t do the research to find out, I could have and would be interested to know but I didn’t really dig deep). There’s also a recurring theme form the last one and that is once again, Elvis wanted to reignite his career and have a comeback. It made sense for Elvis to go to Memphis since that’s where he started. That whole idea of returning to your roots and hoping it will inspire you to create something great. Memphis made sense. I mean, after a long stream of doing soundtrack albums (Ok, I did a little research afterall) it makes sense that the King of Rock n Roll who could make women cream their panties from simply talking would want to go back to making a studio album of (mostly?) original music.

Look, I honestly don’t want to waste too much time on this album. Just like the previous one with Dusty Springfield, I share the same sentiments. I’m sure people loved this album, especially Elvis fans. I mean, it was his return to glory, he’s back baby, making women cream heir panties one song at a time. A lot of top album lists consider this one of the greatest albums of all time (I mean sure, I’m no expert so I bet their right… I guess). I don’t really care for it, I found myself bored with it. Not my thing, not interested, zero investment. Elvis is great, I like him, but meh this just didn’t do anything for me. This is Elvis at his most mature no doubt about it, but I think I always preferred a more youthful Elvis, rocking and jiving his way across a stage. Mature Elvis is for a lot of people, not me. But what does my opinion really matter in the grand scheme of things?

I really wish I had more to say about this, I don’t. I’ve been struggling to write. Ever have that moment where you sit down to write and basically nothing comes out? You force yourself to crank out something and just blanks appear in your head. Just a nothingness? I want to write, but physically and mentally feel like I can’t. How can I write anything if nothing is coming out? How can I flesh out ideas if there’s no ideas coming to mind to begin with. I remember when I used to be so creative, ideas just flowed out of me. I didn’t care, I just wrote. Now every time I sit to write that critical part of my mind chimes in, constantly telling me what I’m writing isn’t good enough, sounds dumb, is just terrible. Not realising that first drafts are always terrible. This dreadful feeling of whatever I do won’t be good enough, it won’t be good at all, it’ll just fall in the cracks as another piece of crap written by someone who has no idea what they’re deign (I HAVE no idea what I’m doing, but that’s a different story). How does one shut that little voice int heir head up? You realise the only person in your way is yourself, but how do you stand up to yourself and tell yourself to cut the crap and let you feel you are good enough to do. There’s no fear in just writing your ideas. I mean look at the most confident people out there, they constantly make crap non-stop, but they’re still creating, and I truly admire that level of confidence. I wish I could have some of that.

I’ve tried writing this post on four separate occasions, always adding a little bit every time I sit to write it. It’s been open in my tab for days and days, slowly cranking away at it, slowly being written, but nothing really being written at the same time. Funnily enough, just like Elvis, I sort of went back to my roots last night. I re watched some movies I hadn’t seen n a long time, movies I absolutely loved. Movies that initially had gotten me into wanting to be in the film industry and make movies of my own. There was a strange feeling I hadn’t felt in a long time. That feeling I had when I initially watched those movies. Felt rejuvenated and inspired again. Maybe I’ve been doing this all the wrong way. Instead of continuously trying to discover new things and constantly be watching and listening new media I never have before, I should revisit a lot that initially inspired me int he first place. Watching new movies and listening to new music is great. But sometimes you need to go back to that media that brought you to love it in the first place, the media that holds a special place in your heart to remind you why you wanted to be where you are in the first place.

I think I just need to go back to those things and remind myself why I love it so much. Hopefully that might reignite that spark that feels like it’s been extinguished.

Favourite Tune: In the Ghetto

-Bosco

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1001 Albums: Dusty in Memphis

#151

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Artist: Dusty Springfield

Album: Dusty in Memphis

Year: 1969

Length: 33:31

Genre: Pop/Soul/RnB/Blue-Eyed Soul

“Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes of its face
And the world is like an apple
Rolling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind”

I haven’t really talked about much that is happening in my life recently. Or maybe I have in the last few posts, I’ve just taken so much time between them that I can barely remember what I even said on the last handful of posts. I can’t imagine how much I might be repeating myself to the point that someone who’s reading these in order might feel like I clearly have a weak grasp on reality. You gotta keep in mind, I don’t always write these one day after another (I used to at the beginning) so when I open a new post to write I just go with my current feelings which might be exactly what I said on one of the last few posts… who knows… who cares really?

Either way. For past few months I have been rehearsing a play and we finally opened last Thursday to a sold out crowd. It’s been a great experience all around for me, especially since it got me back into doing theatre. The last show I did was over two years ago and around that time I used to do at least one show a year. I was actively on stage in those days and became incredibly accustomed to the stage. But things happens and I didn’t end up doing a show for over two years until now. It’s been so refreshing getting back on the stage, playing a low status character (who thinks he’s high status) that also allows me to use my physical skills, jumping over couches, inch worming my way across the stage, banging into walls, falling into chairs and much more. It’s been a blast and I’m lucky to say the cast and crew has also been amazing. Usually every show you do there’s at least one bad apple or Diva of sorts. This one has none. Everyone is simply amazing and we’ve grown into one big family, looking out for each other and loving each other (at least i think so haha I can be annoying sometimes, hence why I’ve dubbed myself the younger brother of the family).

I only have three shows left and am already starting to sort of feel the post-show blues, even though it’s not done yet. But it just seems to be happening so fast. Rehearsals lasted a few months, you’re with this great group of people for this whole time and the show only lasts two weekends. Done in a flash, a snap of the fingers. Funny how great things always seem to happen so fast, which is a shame because the play has been very helpful in many ways for me. Gaining my confidence back, boosting my self-esteem, socially making me feel better, making me feel like I’m not alone anymore and have people in my life. It’s sad to have it go so quickly, but there’s always another one around the corner so I’ll enjoy this one while it lasts. I’m happy to say getting back on stage was like I never left. Like riding a bike. No performance anxiety except the usual pre-show nerves.

Speaking of performance anxiety, it’s a wonder this album ever got made after what i read about Dusty Springfield and her low confidence in her skills. She was extremely picky and choosy about what songs to use on the album and it got to the point she couldn’t even record in Memphis anymore and had to record her vocals in New York. How does anyone put up with performers like this? I guess if they’re time is being paid for they just shrug it off going “well, I’m getting paid so whatever”. But even then, why would anyone want to work with people notorious for being incredibly difficult to work with, no matter how talented. I mean, this isn’t even Dusty in her prime of what I understood, this was past her prime, heck this was an album being created in hopes of reigniting her career and bringing her back on the map. She really isn’t doing herself any favours by being impossible to work with now is she?

SO to be fair, I can see she must have been under a lot of pressure here. Trying to get back into the public’s mind and get your career reignited is never easy and this was a big task she had on her shoulders. Coupled with the attitude that whatever songs she sings will be stuck with her forever, definitely didn’t help in creating a space for her that would be anxiety free. I can imagine anyone breaking under the pressure easily put into a situation like that. Your career is on the line, that’s a lot to lose and especially for someone relatively beloved to some degree like Dusty who just wants to be noticed again.

Did she succeed in the end?

I honestly don’t know… can’t say I really care either. As a whole I was kind of bored with this album and can’t really say it did anything for me. She’s a talented singer no doubt, but eh… forgettable album as a whole in my books. NEXT!

Favourite Tune: The Windmills of Your Mind

-Bosco

 

 

1001 Albums: Five Leaves Left

#150

Album_150_Original

Artist: Nick Drake

Album: Five Leaves Left

Year: 1969

Length: 41:43

Genre: Folk

“Time has told me
You’re a rare, rare find
A troubled cure
For a troubled mind
And time has told me
Not to ask for more
Someday our ocean
Will find its shore”

 

After being told by a handful of people how great this album is I felt it was necessary, NAY! MY DUTY to really give the attention and respect this album apparently deserves. It’s never been easy for me to talk about Folk music as a whole, as I’ve said many times before, isn’t a genre I’m particularly into or know anything about, thus I don’t really know how to talk about it properly. I really want to give Nick Drake the retrospective he deserves. Even though this album wasn’t praised when it first came out, it seems to have garnered quite a following and mass praise the older it got.

I don’t know, no matter how hard I try I just can’t get into music like this. I totally get why so many people would love it and why they would. Folk is a genre full of emotions and the best folk singers sing from deep in the hearts and belt out a tune with grace and smooth delivery always having this seemingly melancholic undercurrent throughout. That’s probably one of my favourite aspects of it and I find Nick Drake does this superbly well, each song just oozing with sadness and melancholy, just smoothly leaking out of his vocal pipes. But… I just can’t get into this style of music. Not sure what it is, whether it’s the heavy use of acoustic guitars… but I know it can’t be that because some of my favourite bands have made great music with acoustic guitars and I do enjoy many songs that utilise it as it’s weapon of choice. So, it can’t be that… what is it about folk music I just can’t connect with?

This will be a question that will be on my mind for awhile, because no matter how hard I try to enjoy a folk album I just can’t seem to do it. I’ve had glimpses where I thought I did, especially with Bob Dylan, but it was never enough for me to truly embrace the genre. I mean, to each their own right? But how can I really open my mind to everything out there if I just cant engage with a lot of it out there and especially when it’s for seemingly no reason? I guess that’s part of being an individual, some things resonate with us while others don’t and although sometimes it’s easily explainable why it does, other times it’s a mystery shrouded in darkness that you just can’t explain no matter how hard you try. I guess it comes to a point that you stop trying to dig deeper and just accept that’s how it will be. I just have to accept that no matter how open-minded I am or how hard I try to just can’t get myself to truly invest myself in Folk Music, no matter how much I would like to, you can’t force a feeling. If I feel indifferent to ti as a whole, I just have to accept that’s probably how I will always feel and there’s no other explanation as to why except just… that’s just how it is unfortunately.

It’s strange, as humans we always want to know why why why about mostly everything around us. We want to understand the world, we want to understand people, we want to understand each other. Our attitudes, our mentalities, our tastes and dislikes, our personalities, what makes us tick, what makes us feel, why do we do what we do, our differences and similarities. People have studied this their whole lives and still haven’t come close to getting a full, definitive answer for any of it because individuals are so complex. We as ourselves are so interesting and vastly unique in every way that there are too many factors in each of our lives to really explain why any of it is the way it is.

But of course, being the curious beasts we are, we don’t get satisfaction when someone answers your why? with because… We question that as well. You don’t know why you like/dislike it? How do you not know? And although I can explain for the most part why I enjoy or don’t enjoy most things, Folk is one of those things that just eludes me. I cannot for the life of me explain why I can’t get into it. It’s just how I feel when I listen to it. No matter how good it is, I just can’t. I have no reasons. I have no answers… all I have is an apathetic feeling towards it and that’s as much as I can really explain it.

The good thing though is that every time I listen to any folk music it gets me thinking philosophically and having these deeper discussions. SO maybe folk has a much deeper impact on me than I realise… but that just leaves more unanswered questions… more quizzical thinking… more of the need to understand… NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Favourite Tune: Cello Song

-Bosco

Ps. Interesting coincidence I forgot mention. The name of this album is Five Leaves Left and Nick Drake would coincidentally die only Five years later. A strange occurrence releasing Five Leaves Left when he had Five Years Left… that’s the true power of folk.

1001 Albums: Let It Bleed

#149

Album_149_Original

Artist: The Rolling Stones

Album: Let It Bleed

Year: 1969

Length: 42:21

Genre: Hard Rock / Blues / Country Blues

“No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need”

I have to say, this might be my favourite Rolling Stones album. It’s just such a goddamn cool album from start to finish. Keith Richards just plays his guitar in such a sexy way, with every groove and lick just touching you deeply in your private areas. Mick Jagger sings with such an earnest swagger (unintentional rhyme!) that I have no choice but to succumb to his pure sex appeal. The Rolling Stones aren’t boys, these guys are MEN, such sexy, sexy men and Let It Bleed just bleeds with pure Rolling Stone sex essence that you drown in it with ecstasy. Rolling Stones aren’t sexy in the same way that Elvis was sexy or that music like Barry White is sexy, this is a different form of sexy. It’s a thrusting, gut punching type of sexy that you feel deep in your core, straight through to your heart. These guys are so sexy they can take country music stylings and make that seem sexy!

What I love about The Rolling Stones (other than their oozing sex appeal) is the fact they somehow are able to grow without ever really changing their sound. They know what they’re good at and know what works best in their favour, so instead of experimenting with new sounds and ideas they keep working on their strengths and getting stronger, becoming masters of their craft. I do admire groups like The Beatles for constantly trying new things but that can also create an incredibly inconsistent catalogue of music as if they’re going through a bit of a musical identity crisis but the other extreme can also be said of bands who never change their sound and seem to just make the same music over and over (ACDC has been criticised of this). I find The Rolling Stones were able to take the latter and prove that it’s not a bad thing at all to keep a uniform sound album after album. They are a perfect example of a band that does it well and especially around this time with this run of albums, their identity grows and solidifies itself more and more. They just keep mastering this sound and execute the idea perfectly that you can do more of the same and still be great, as a matter of fact, be amazing.

One of the biggest regrets I have is I once found this album at a thrift store for 1 dollar. 1 DOLLAR! And I DIDN’T BUY IT!! WHY DIDN’T I BUY IT?! When will I ever find it for only a dollar again? It was the deal of a lifetime and I passed it up for whatever reason. For no reason. Probably for a really stupid reason. Right now, I could have this deliciously amazing album in my vinyl collection. I could have a photo of me here holding it and smiling, proud owner of The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed. BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I stupidly let the album sit on that shelf and did not become a proud owner. I instead became a disappointed non-owner in zero Rolling Stones’ albums. Which begs the question… why don’t I own any? Why did I never buy any Rolling Stones albums??? WHAT AM I DOING?!?!?! WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?!?!?! WHYYYYYYYY?!?!?!

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?
WHY?…

Favourite Tune: Monkey Man

-Bosco

1001 Albums: Basket of Light

#148

Album_148_Original

Artist: Pentangle

Album: Basket of Light

Year: 1969

Length: 40:07

Genre: Folk Jazz/ Folk Rock

“A thousand days have come and passed, the Lord returns this night
The victor from the bloody wars proven his fearsome might
As ever he would claim

But fate has played its wanton game, the circle come full turn
The magic horn has done its work, cried “Falseness is found out!”
The sorrowed quest is over.”

You ever get this feeling of listener fatigue? You feel like you’ve listened to so much music in such a short period of time that it all starts to blend together, yet you still want to listen to more because there’s just so much music out there that you want to keep listening in the hopes you can listen to a bit of everything that the musical world has to offer but you know that will never happen because there’s an infinite amount of music that it would be physically impossible for one person to listen to everything so you feel like you’re missing out on something that you will possibly love or that is phenomenally amazing but has been lost to the annals of music history never to be heard by a large amount of people so that just tires you out because you desperately want to listen to it all but know you can’t but it pushes you to keep listening to more and more but your realise you need to listen to things more than once to really have them leave a lasting memory because when you listen to a whole bunch of music only once it can easily be forgotten so not only do you want to listen to everything but you also have to relisten to everything multiple times so you can do more than just say you’ve heard that song, you can also talk about it and recite it and hum it and everything but this all becomes so overwhelming that you don’t know what reality is anymore and what to do?

Yeah…

I’ve kind of been experiencing that sensation of musical fatigue. I’ve been wanting to listen to as much as I possibly can to expand my breadth of musical knowledge, but in doing so find myself not even remembering half of what I listen to, which isn’t beneficial in any way. It’s like when you cram for an exam, only tiny pieces of knowledge stick because you’re jamming too much info into your brain all at once. I’ve listened to a lot of music this past week. I’ve listened to a shit ton of music this past week. I’m almost in a constant state of listening to music, either something new or relistening to albums to get a better sense of them (or jog my memory). As much as I absolutely love it, it does feel overwhelming. I keep trying to find that sense of discovery again like when I discovered a lot of my favourite music for the first time. You all know what I mean, you put on a new tune or band you never heard before and something about it just connects with you, gets your heart-thumping and immediately become your new favourite thing. Asking “where has this been my whole short life?”. With all the music I’ve listened to it’s become more difficult to get that feeling of discovery and sometimes i feel it won’t happen again (but everytime I think that I always find a new discovery). I really hope that can happen again.

I know this sounds like I’m setting up the idea that I had this sense of discovery with this album. I didn’t. Sadly. However, that being said, I surprisingly did enjoy this album despite it being a genre I’m not too crazy about. I’ve already talked bout how Folk music doesn’t really click with me. I don’t hate it like country, but I just don’t really care for it overall. This album I was able to get into. I found myself tapping my foot and genuinely feeling invested in the music. With Bert Jansch returning (we saw him earlier on the list) with a full band, he seems to have brought some nice pep to the Folk genre, which is probably why I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I always enjoyed the mysticism surrounding folk songs, both lyrically and the sort of aura it has. It feels like I’m listening to a bard playing a tune in a fantasy world, which as a fan of fantasy, does tickle my insides quite a bit. There’s a nice sprinkle of sitar as well included throughout which just supports and elevates that sense of mysticism that permeates throughout and it’s a nice touch to an overall enjoyable folk album. Other than that i’ts pretty straightforward as far as folk goes and is more of exactly what you’d expect if you enjoy folk.

It’s some solid Folk for solid folks.

Favourite Tune: Light Flight

-Bosco

 

1001 Albums: Odessa

#147

ALbum_147_Original

Artist: Bee Gees

Album: Odessa

Year: 1969

Length: 63:49

Genre: Pop / Baroque Pop

“Freezing,
Sailing around in the North Atlantic,
Can’t seem to leave the sea anymore.
I just can’t understand
Why you just moved to Finland.
You love that Vicar more then words can say.
Ask him to pray
That I won’t melt away and I’ll see your face again.
Odessa, how strong am I?
Odessa, how time goes by.
Oh oh
Fourteenth of February, eighteen ninety-nine,
The British ship Veronica was lost without a sign.”

With every album I get one step closer to the end of the 60s. I feel like I’ve been stuck in this decade for years (roughly 2 to be exact). It feels never ending, and each decade only gets longer from here, which is reassuring. AT least I’m in the final year, 1969, which means the 70s are right around the corner. I mean, If I look over the horizon I can see the tip of it peaking out a bit. Oh, how I yearn for the 70s to come, which is one of my favourite decades of music. But until that day arrives, I get to enjoy one of the biggest bands of the 70s, The Bee Gees…

Wait…

THE Bee Gees? Those disco dancing, high singing ducks? If you’re expecting some disco fever, you will be gravely mistaken, because this is the Brothers Gibb before they immersed themselves into the world of Disco night clubs. Heck, Disco wasn’t even a thing, not even a concept, not even an idea or a twinkle in the eye of the creator. It was a nothing at this point. Were night clubs even a thing yet? Probably, I’m sure they had swing clubs in the 20s, so some variation of dancing must have been happening during the 60s. I wouldn’t know and ma too lazy to do my research at this moment.

So, how were pre-disco Bee Gees exactly? Well, for starters, they definitely weren’t as exciting as their disco-era. I mean, exciting is flexible as a term, someone might find this album exciting for it’s sweeping soundscapes and ambitious ideas. What I meant by exciting was you can’t really dance your pants off to this… ok maybe some slow-dancing for sure… what I’m trying to say is, it’s not this upbeat tempo that I knew the Bee Gees to be. I was only ever exposed to their disco hits, so this comes across as a glaring juxtaposition to what I am normally used to with music tied to their names. The Bee gees here are less goofy and playful and seem to be striking a more emotional chord overall. If you had shown me this album without context and told me it was the Bee Gees, there’s a good chance I would not have believed you. But this is also from the perspective of someone looking back on musical history and not from someone who lived through it. My parents probably would have recognised it as a pre-disco Bee Gees and told stories of how they remembered them before they became so hip and fun. But as someone who wasn’t there and only lived through the legacy of the Disco era Bee Gees, this is a unexpected contrast. I’m very curious how they made that transition, but that’s for another time.

This album is mostly forgettable for me. It didn’t really leave any lasting impact on me and is one of those albums I almost immediately forget about once I’ve finished listening to it. Which is a shame, I wanted to enjoy it and I do relatively like the music on here. But after listening to it three times and still not really feeling anything, I have to accept the fact this album just doesn’t do anything for me. I don’t think I’m the only one either. When it first came out it wasn’t liked. The public hated it, the music press hated it… even the band had major disagreements over it to the point one of their members left the band for a period of time. If this is the case… then why is this album on the list? It seems to have garnered some critical acclaim over the years. Liked more in a retrospective way than when it was initially released… which I guess I can see why. The concept of the album is pretty good and they are very talented overall and the songs are fairly decent as a whole… but that’s it for me. I didn’t find it to be particularly engaging in any way but did find it fairly decent overall, so there’s that at least.

I find it funny that the album is called Odessa and they even have a song about it. Odessa is a city in Ukraine which is rather fitting you see because I am dating a girl from Ukraine. I didn’t realise how many references to Ukraine there were in the media until I started dating a Ukrainian. Since then, I keep noticing Ukraine popping up everywhere. Not everywhere, but more than I did before that’s for sure. Maybe it’s because before Ukraine was just a country that I just knew about but didn’t really care for, but since I started dating a Ukrainian I’m more aware of it as a whole thus start noticing it more. One of the great things about it is it’s giving me the chance to add a new accent to my repertoire of accents (I do a lot of theatre and improv and having accents in my backpocket to pull out is always an asset). She doesn’t like it when I start mimicking her accent though, I think she thinks I’m mocking her. I know it seems that way, but I’m not I genuinely want to learn the accent! I’ve found it’s an incredibly difficult accent to learn, I just can’t seem to figure it out so either I double down in getting it right or I just accept I might not be able to do it (But quitting is for quitters!). Although I have learned a few Ukrainian words, like how to say Hello and Just a little bit (which is obviously useful) so that’s cool! When I asked her what she thought of Odessa all she said was that it was a port city and it was ok. Fantastic, sounds like great grounds for an entire album. Unless it wasn’t about the city and I just wasn’t paying attention, but seeing as Odessa is a port city and the album is about a missing ship… the connection seems to make sense.

That’s it.

Favourite Tune: Lamplight

-Bosco

 

1001 Albums: In a Silent Way

#146

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Artist: Miles Davis

Album: In a Silent Way

Year: 1969

Length: 38:09

Genre:Jazz Fusion / Jazz Rock

“You and I both know there aren’t any lyrics on this album but I still feel the need to add a section with lyrics because it’s the format of each post and it gives a nice separation from the album details and my long winding paragraphs about nothing in particular. So take this lyrical section for what it is and enjoy it… or don’t. I don’t really care, do what you want, it’s your life.”

Shit….

Just when I thought they were done they creep back up on me. Another Jazz album has appeared on the list and it was just when I was sure that I was done with them. I like Jazz, I really do and I always get aural pleasure from listening to a great jazz album (and this is Miles Davis so it’s definitely no less than great) but. BUT! BUT!!!!!!!!!

I have no idea what to say anymore. I’m sorry but the well has run dry in terms of my feelings towards Jazz and what I can express. I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, I have no understanding of Musical Theory and thus cannot dig deeper into what makes jazz music so great. I can only say how it makes me feel, but at this point jazz just seems to blend together into a mish-mash of sounds and noise that I have literally nothing new to say about it all. I can’t seem to say what I need to say without repeating myself so extensively. It’s almost as if every time I hit a jazz album I’m just reiterating exactly what I’ve said before but in different words. I have no more words to express. I am done. Jazz, our relationship is now a dead horse being beaten to the ground. I love you, Jazz but I just cannot continue like this anymore. I have reached my maximum and you are expecting me to keep going. I cannot, I have hit the glass ceiling of what I can say and there’s no more to say.

Please.

Just let it end here.

Although I will say I am happy it was you Miles Davis. I do love your jazz stylings and how melodic they are compared to most jazz musicians who sound like they’re just bashing random notes on their instruments (Looking at you Charles Mingus). Miles Davis has definitely become one of my favourite jazz musicians out there. I know that seems like an easy pick, and possibly cliched as an answer, but when it comes to the world of jazz I don’t have nearly enough knowledge to be able to dissect each and every jazz musician, so the easy and obvious pick is the best pick for the casual jazz listener (like myself).  Id I have to listen to another Jazz album off this list, I hope it will be Miles Davis again.

For once, I actually understood the names given to the jazz songs. Shhh/Peaceful is very descriptive of the piece that’s being played. It asks you to be quiet and enjoy the peaceful notes of the song, losing yourself into pure meditation, relaxing your body and mind into pure bliss. In a Silent Way captures Miles Davis playing style, that smooth, melodic jazz that toots out of his horns like honey. These titles are pure description of the song that’s being played and I feel there is no better way to name a jazz song than that way. I think I’ve finally stumbled upon the perfect jazz song names (I’m still wildly confused by the name Brilliant Corners, but that album was so long ago, that I really don’t care anymore (but I secretly still do)).

Honestly, there’s no better way to enjoy these albums than as background music to dong tasks, work or even just chilling, reading a book. The music puts you in such a mellow mood that you can’t help but feel relaxed and like everything is a-ok. I always listen to music to help me focus on tasks, but can get easily distracted by certain tunes (especially if they are very danceable or I know them so well I cant help but perform them myself as they play). But with Miles Davis, there is none of that. This isn’t music that’s distracting but instead music that supports, music that helps, music that guides you.

You know, Jazz is really something special and I may have possibly taken it for granted the last few times… I’ll be sure to give it the love it deserves in the future.

But for now, let’s keep jazz in the past, it’s done it’s dues, and move onto something new.

Favourite Tune: Shhh/Peaceful

-Bosco