Category Archives: Jazz

02_Aug_2012_20_53_05_1169765096_tom_jobim

Beautiful Sounds of Bossa Nova | Tom Jobim – Waters of March (Águas de Março)

02_Aug_2012_20_53_05_1169765096_tom_jobimLet’s venture into a different world today…the beauty of Bossa Nova. If you’ve heard the track “Garota de Ipanema” (The Girl from Ipanema) then you should be familiar with the snazzy-jazzy Brazillian vibes that encompass Bossa Nova. But, perhaps you don’t know who the brilliant composer behind it was.

Allow me to introduce you to Tom Jobim, the mastermind behind “The Girl From Ipanema” and one of my favorite Bossa Nova tracks, Waters of March.” He was one of the pioneering artists in the 50s Brazilian jazz era and the evolution of Bossa Nova, and his tracks are timeless staples of jazz history that should be played more often and celebrated.

Every now and then you’ll hear some Bossa Nova on the local jazz stations, but if you truly want to explore the works of Jobim and other Bossa Nova artists, set your Pandora or Spotify station to a radio based off “The Girl From Ipanema.” From the moment you first push play you’ll run across stunning tracks that take you to Brazil, and hopefully you’ll have the chance to fall in love with the snazzy sounds, the beautiful Latin vocals, and the sexy horns and percussion that will make any woman sway her hips.

Do yourself a musical favor, and listen to one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard, “Waters of March.” The arrangement is impeccable and the English version is worth listening to, but the Portuguese  version by Elinas Regina is  an out of this world experience!

About these ads
mark-farina-dream-machine-jt-donaldson-mix

Mushroom Jazz | Mark Farina – ‘Dream Machine’ + Other Jazzy Tracks I ♥

I’m pretty sure if you scanned my Facebook page you could get a general idea of my personality simply by viewing my YouTube likes, page likes, and all my pictures (including artwork I’ve done.) Yet, when I had a Myspace page you could easily get a sense of who I was by listening to my page song, “Dream Machine” by Mark Farina.

The first time I heard the name “Mark Farina” was in 2005 during my high school Myspace days. I had spent a lot of time bouncing from high school to school due to moving around frequently, so the only way I could stay in touch with people was mainly via Myspace. It was so much easier to say, “Hey, do you have Myspace? Let’s be friends.”

Since a lot of people starting friending (can’t believe that’s an actual word) me on Myspace, I wanted to choose a song that would show off attributes of my eccentric personality, yet still remain enigmatic. It seems as though everyone had some type of “popular” song as their page anthem, but I decided to go a different route. So by simply searching Myspace for house/jazz music, I ran across Mark Farina and fell in love with the mushroom jazz sound of “Dream Machine.”

Even though he was born in Chicago and grew up on that Chicago house style, Mark Farina moved to San Francisco in the 90s and began cultivating a new style of music, mushroom jazz. 

Mushroom jazz derives a lot of its influence from acid jazz, downtempo, jazz, hip-hop, latin, and a funky organic fusion of unorthodox sounds. It’s the type of music that you can chillout to, dance a little, bop your head to the funky hip-hop lyricism, and zone out into a world that is essentially a “Dream Machine.”

I’ve always been a big fan of jazz, especially when it involves innate experimentalism, so mushroom jazz surely appeases my musical cravings. “Dream Machine” will always be the first track that introduced me to Mark Farina and the world of mushroom jazz, so it would be a disservice for me to abandon that track and not include it as one of my favorites.

If you’ve never listened to “Dream Machine” or any mushroom jazz, then allow your ears to experience a new level of sound…jazzy-funky-organic-fusion.

Dope lyricism…ah, the yacht club. 

tumblr_lgr3yl0jxn1qh9qrlo1_1280

♥ | Experimental (Fusion, Improv, etc) Jazz, Chillout, & Lounge

I love the beauty of experimentation that music encompasses. There is an infinite amount of arrangement of sounds, and the arrangements aren’t always confined to a specific set of guidelines. Of course, certain genres of music have a basis which allows the music to fit within the defined genre, but then some musicians are experts are defying the guidelines of a genre and creating a unique fusion fueled by experimentation.

I’ve listened to quite a bit of experimental music in the past, but one of my favorite genres that allows for broad experimentation is jazz.

Not only is my nickname Jazz, but I truly am inspired by the intoxicating and often infecting sounds of jazz music driven by avant-garde patterns and surreal experimentation. I even like hints of acid jazz, but as of late I’ve been drowning myself in the sounds of experimental jazz and chillout music. Thanks to Pandora, I’ve been finding more than a handful of delicious tracks that capture organic experimentation.

It’s nice to ease my mind and reflect on abstract thoughts, especially when I’m aided by the sounds of experimental jazz & chillout. The rhythms compel me to reflect on distant memories and visions of surreal daydreams I desperately seek to become tangible realities. Not trying to go all deep and philosophical, but that’s the best way I can some up how some of the tracks below make me feel. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m quite in sync with my imagination and zest for complex surrealism, or perhaps I’m just in this abyss of creativity in search of a sense of peace while dealing with these frustrating allergies.

Whatever the case may be, one thing I know for sure is that the sounds of experimental jazz & chillout are my obsession (of course, house music will always be my number one obsession.)

The songs below are some of the tracks I heard while listening to my Pandora station I created based off the song “Ananda” by Animaya.

“Chance’s End” by Oblivion

http://www.thesixtyone.com/s/F5OYoTjyPPa/

Drum ‘n Jazz Rawhide Tailshake DnB Remix

“Outta Town” by Echophlekz

“Transatlantic” by Quantic

“Clean Living” by RJD2

“Nightmares On Wax” by You Wish

“Sunrise Light” by Panaphonic & Guanavana

“Signs( Bonobo Mix)” by Badmarsh & Siri

“Ike’s Mood” by Visioneers (more like experimental hip-hop, but still a groovy track!)

“A Special Morning” by Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band

“Moon” by Little People

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

510QZNDAJDL._SL500_AA300_

Legendary NYC Street Musician, Moondog

As of late, I’m addicted to chillout/lounge music. Listening to the sounds of Telepopmusik and Cafe Del Mar compilations have lead me to the discovery of a phenomenal homeless street musician that was way ahead of his time, Moondog. I’ve actually heard his song “Bird’s Lament” years and years ago, but never know the title or the artist, just the melody. So hearing the song and finding out it was by an artist named Moondog, lead me on a musical discovery.

Born Louis Thomas Hardin, Moondog was a musician during the late 40s and 70s. Even though he maintained an apartment uptown, he surprisingly opted to live as a street musician. So he wasn’t homeless, but he enjoyed living on the street and wearing viking outfits inspired by Norse mythology and of course, Thor. I wouldn’t be surprised if many folks thought this guy was crazy, but in actuality he was a musical genius!

His musical innovation was so genius that he was even recognized by the New York Philharmonic. His musical was well ahead of it’s time. It has this brilliant fusion of jazz, classic, and a gritty urban street sound (the sounds of urban life passing by.) His ear for composition was quite impeccable, as well as his ability to create several new instruments. In a way, I guess you could say he is sort of like the inventor Leonardo Da Vinci. I mean, they both do have long epic beards, so that is something they had in common.

Moondog wrote a lot of great songs, but by far my favorite is “Bird’s Lament.” The original is less than 3 mins in runtime, but the Mr. Scruff remix pumps up the volume, and it gives it a timeless swing vibe. And if you read my earlier blog posts, then you know I’m a huge fan of swing, so I can’t hate on Moondog and the vibe of “Bird’s Lament.”

Check out some of the timeless compositions by Moondog. He died in 1999, but up until the end of his career and his life over in Germany, he kept progressing as an innovative musician with an ear for experimenting with jazz, classic, and the sounds of the street…

“Bird’s Lament

My favorite!

Mr. Scruff “Get A Move On” (Bird’s Lament Remix)

Chaconne in G Major

One of my favorites as well.

“Do Your Thing”

Feel free to check out more of Moondog’s music by simply searching YouTube. I’m warning you, you’re going to fall into a whole new world of music, so be prepared for hours of magical discoveries. :)

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

 

 

Chuck Mangione

Truly Timeless | Chuck Mangione – “Feels So Good”

Often my thought process is very intricate or borderline abstract. Many who have had the chance to experience my conversations in person and on the phone call me “random.” Yeah, I am random, but I’m able to divert from one track of the conversation, go to the moon, then come back to the main track and still have it be this abstract parallel connection. It’s weird, but eh, it’s who I am.

So last night I was up till 4am watching the Alfred Hitchcock classic film The Birds. I’ve seen this film so many times and I never get tired of watching it, it’s truly timeless. So last night due to the air of nostalgia in the atmosphere, I randomly started humming the melody to Chuck Mangione’s timeless song “Feels So Good.” Mind you, I haven’t heard this song on the jazz station in years, and yes they play it on King of the Hill sometimes, but I haven’t watched that show in about a year.

“Feels So Good” is one of my favorite songs by Chuck Mangione, and my mom used to always blast the jazz station whenever it came on in the car. My nickname may be Jazz, but I truly do love the sounds of jazz and smooth jazz. So every now and then a random melody that has been lying dormant for years will pop in my head, and that’s what happened last night. In the middle of watching The Birds and have a slight conversation with my mom, I began humming the melody to Chuck Mangione’s timeless track “Feels So Good.”

I guess some tracks just stay in your head. Even if you don’t push play in that compartment of your brain, one day they just randomly pop up. It’s quite fascinating. But at least I had a good song stuck in my head and not some crappy track. Ugh, now that right there is the worst; songs stuck in your head that are horrible.

If you’ve never heard of Chuck Mangione, then you’re missing out! He’s got that awesome 80s smooth jazz sound, sort of like Herb Alpert, but still unique.

Ah shucks, it’s Sunday…so might as well be gracious and post Herb Alpert as well. “Rise” is one of my favorites.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

234771814_640

♥ | Najee ft. Phil Perry – “Just To Fall in Love”

As of late, I find myself daydreaming and drifting away in a cloud. Perhaps it’s because I find myself intoxicated with the thoughts of this charming guy I’ve been spending time with, or maybe I’m just drifting away to the sounds of music. Eh, whatever the case may be, I know that lately I’ve been feeling very emotional, passionate, and oh so creative.

It’s nice to spend time with a man that actually praises & inspires my creativity. We write songs together (he’s an amazing singer,) we discuss my paintings, and we even have time to play Mortal Kombat (he always kicks my butt when he plays as Noob Saibot, but I’m nice with Kratos.) It’s just a lot of fun getting to know one person and not having to stress out about dating around, guys not calling me back, and having to impress a bunch of people; I only have to focus on impressing one guy.

I’m not really worried about where this could lead or not, I’m just taking it one day at a time. Yet I do find myself listening to a lot of romantic & soulful songs lately, probably because he does sing R&B and gospel. So we always discuss music, melodies, and the direction his album will take. But one thing that we both have in common is a love for that soulful/jazzy sound, and Najee’s song “Just To Fall in Love” is a track that I think he will love.

I’m a huge fan of Najee, and his new album The Other Side of Soul will be officially released 3 days. I can’t wait to get a copy from iTunes, and I’m anxious to fall in love with more soulful-jazzy tracks. The best part of his single “Just To Fall In Love” is the amazing flute player. I played flute for 7 years and was playing it the other day, so I’m a huge fan of a beautiful flute on a smooth jazz track. It just takes over and sends you into a dreamlike state; a place where true love is possible & happiness is always just right around the corner.

If you’re looking for a great track with that romantic vibe, then check out “Just To Fall In Love.” It’s smooth-romantic-jazz that can speak to your soul, and perhaps be a soundtrack for those out there in “young love.” You know, the type of love that is fresh & still unexplored. But yet it feels right “just to fall in love,” even if you don’t know where you’re heading or what will happen next. The uncertainty is what makes it so exciting!

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Related articles