August 23, San Francisco, CA: I love music for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of how songs that I associate with parts of my life can evoke emotions that I haven't felt in years. I played trumpet for about 10 years and regret quitting. There are a few songs that really make me wish I were an expert at an instrument. I actually dream about being able to play them. After dragging my feet for a long time, I finally made a playlist of my performance Wish List. Here are some of them, with links where I could find them:
Landed - Ben Folds. Who am I kidding? Ben Folds is probably my favorite musician right now, and I couldn't choose just one song. I also adore Songs of Love.
Baroque Impressions - Cyrus Chestnut (I couldnt find an online version, but here is a great remake of another well-known song.
Just You, Just Me - Bill Evans. I listened to this song for hours at a time in college. Bill Evans is one of my favorites, and this song is just incredible.
Awakening - Ahmad Jamal. Another college staple.
Memphis Stomp - Dave Grusin. This song grabs absolutely every bit of my attention when I listen to it.
Tour's End - Stan Getz & the Oscar Peterson Trio. My favorite song on this list. I just had a dream about playing this in a school talent show. One of my favorite songs of all time. Getz makes it seem SO easy, and Peterson is (I'm listening to it as I type and had to close my eyes to take in the piano solo...its even distracting to listen to this when I drive because I get so into it). I don't know who the guitar player is, but he is also amazing. Like I said, one of my all time favorites.
Jazz Crimes - Joshua Redman. I buy everything album he makes. Amazing. I also love the organ in this. Speaking of organs...
The Cat - Jimmy Smith. No Contest. I admit that the drums and horns on this song are also mind-blowing, but I'm always Jimmy in the dream, so its got to be the organ. I actually had an excerpt from this song as my answering machine message in college.
Calm Before the Storm - Jonathan Butler. My parents bought this probably when I was about 11 or 12. It always reminds me of childhood, and the track title is pretty appropriate, actually. I couldnt find a good link to it, but it is by far my favorite song of his.
Havana Club - Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra. Most people who know anything about my music collection kow that I could have picked almost any Otmmar song, since I own just about everything he's ever done. He is one of my favorite artists. In May of 1992, during Johnny Carson's last month as host of the Tonight Show, I saw Ottmar Liebert for the first time and LOVED the performance. I didn't write down the name, but 6 months later, during my first quarter of college, I walked into a record store and his name jumped right back into my head.
Violin, Viola, Cello:
M79 - Vampire Weekend. Loved it the first time I heard it.
Land of Make Believe - Chuck Mangione. One of the first artists I can remember my dad playing for me when I was about 4 or 5. And technically he isn't playing a trumpet, but flugelhorn is pretty close, so I'm counting it. All 9 minutes of this song are well worth it. My favorite part is how it builds from about 3:00 with the guitar (the solo is nuts) to the symphony at 4:45. This is my favorite arrangement of the song.
I Will Survive - Cake. This one is so easy. I liked the original. Until I went to college and heard it over...and over...and over again. To me, this version is far superior to Gaynor's. This would also be my choice for electric bass. I saw these guys perform in my first semester of grad school back in 96. I just saw them again in the spring. Still amazing.
The playlist has more songs, and I'm sure that I haven't thought of all the ones that belong. What is clear is that I have some sort of fantasy about being a virtuoso on at least one instrument.