the giddy vol. 8 - st. patrick's day edition

i don't own much in the celtic department (except for a couple of larry bird trading cards), so here's a st. patrick's day playlist that keeps the theme going.

love-cars lucky you - chump lessons
an early, more rock oriented incantation of halloween, alaska. james diers' lyrics are windy and wise, dave king's drumming is on point, and the record flows nicely.  i've always been much more of a closet hip-hop fan, slow to embrace rock music as it were.  i came to this band late but hell - at least i showed up.  my favorite part hits around 1:48, when james references a kool-aid smile and james brown as only he can.

keith jarrett wild irish rose - the melody at night, with you
i saw the keith jarrett trio back in my minneapolis days. i was nervous about how the show would go, knowing that he is temperamental and fussy.  the set was going great, and then somebody requested "poinciana".  i thought that was gonna be the end, but instead keith talked a bit about ahmad jamal and proceeded to play the tune.  he was very gracious (and a little quirky) when i met him backstage. he is an incredible musical talent, and i don't mind his vocalizing one iota.  my favorite part comes early, with the d-c/7-6 resolution on the cadential Eb major at 0:14. how does he see this far ahead?

shirley horn green - light out of darkness
my friend katrina, whom i met while in vocal jazz school (i know, i know), was a big shirley horn nut.  shirley was a gem in the rough for me, a life preserver in the sea of singers that surrounded me.  she sang with a comforting huskiness, painting around the lyrics with empathetic voicings and lines while perched behind the piano. this record is a ray charles tribute album.  i love 1:47 when she concludes the bridge with "green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree." right up there with kermy & ray's duet.

willie nelson i'm looking over a four leaf clover
this track comes from willie's album "rainbow connection". i grew up listening to country music, and have always loved willie's delivery.  he is brutally honest and artful. his guitar playing stretches the time, but in a way that leaves me lenient and forgiving.  the vh1 storyteller album with johnny cash is one of the best records of all time. this tune strikes me as a short little ditty, maybe an afterthought for the session.  my favorite part in all of its nerdy glory first happens at 0:04 in the 5 of 5 (secondary dominant, ladies), when willie drops the octave and runs up to the c#.

john scofield guinness spot - meant to be
i love this quartet.  bill stewart, marc johnson, and joe lovano at his best (and sometimes with jack and/or dennis irwin).  my buddy matt bernemann turned me on to these records.  i think the writing is so strong on all of these albums (but the song titles are too figure-of-speechy).  my man jay cook really had a sco thing going back in college. it's always those guys, right?  the ones that didn't go to music school per se, and it all just came so easy to them. lovano is killing here, giving me my favorite part in the out at 6:00 when he fragilely goes up in the altissimo.

chick corea leprechaun's dream pt. 1 - the leprechaun
dave stuart, musical guru and walking encyclopedia, hipped me to this record.  dr. stuart is a trombonist and music historian, one of the coolest guys around.  he definitely knows his shit.  this tune is pretty out there, with the choir and ring modulator and string group and jazz flute. chick is a tremendous musician, never one to stand pat while the world kept revolving.  my favorite part is at 4:40, when chick's rhodes solo takes over.

they just don't make them like this anymore.  slash's intro, duff's opening line, axl's swaying, those big downbeat cymbal crashes, and the video!!!  the best part is at 4:39, when the bottom drops out, leaving axl & slash to bring it back.  maybe i sound like an old fuddy duddy, but this stuff on the radio today doesn't hold a candle to guns & roses.  plus, i'd take this band over those goofs from nickelback in a fist fight, 10 times out of 10.  why hasn't anyone put this idea together for pay-per-view? celebrity deathmatch, without the claymation.

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