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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Music Review

There are usually two internet radio stations I listen to at work; either Pandora or Dave Koz.

Pandora is a great site my boss told me about last year. It's a site where you can explore artists that share similar musical qualities. Par example; if you like Leo Kottke (which I highly recommend) but aren't sure if there are any other artists that have his particular sound you would created a station and Pandora (through the Music Genome Project) will pull up a whole slew of artists that are similar in sound and you can vote 'yes' or 'no' if you like the song. I have discovered so many different artists and my mp3 collection keeps getting bigger. I highly recommend this site if you want to expand your likes.

The other one I like is the Dave Koz Radio Show; a weekly, two-hour smooth jazz radio show hosted by Dave Koz who is a phemon on the sax. On the internet the show is sans commercial (a bonus) and he brings in guest artists and plays new stuff, old stuff, smooth R&B. A nice mixture.

I try to keep up with smooth jazz artists and this is one station that helps me out. A few weeks ago he played a song from Ray Charles called, "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" from "Oklahoma!" His version was so swingy and happy you couldn't help but tap your feet and sway like Ray. The cut is from the album "Ray Swings Basie Swings" and, as the story goes, this was a European concert of Ray's from 30 years ago.

This was previously unreleased and undiscovered until a few years ago. The tapes had good vocal quality of Ray but the music bed wasn't very good. SO! The still-touring Count Basie Orchestra re-recorded the music bed of the concert. Producers did a PhotoShop of the music and vocals and VIOLA! made a whole new album. There may be a few times where Ray might sound a little dull compared to the new music bed.

To the purist this is blasphemy. But to the everyday listener (like me!) this is incredible and I play it often and I play it loud. If you are a fan of Ray I would recommend this album.

Another album/artist I discoverd just last week on Dave's show is a 19-year old singer by the name of Kelly Sweet. I don't normally "highly recommend" albums or get all excited about any particular artist but her voice is the most clear voice I have heard in quite some time. She's too young to have a voice like this. She's too young to be singing what she sings about.

The song Dave played is called "Raincoat" and it's Nora Jones-lite. Twelve tracks on the album and all are very mellow; a good relaxing CD or a Sunday morning coffee and newpaper CD. On her website (previously linked) four songs play; "Raincoat," "We Are One," "I Will Be Waiting," and her version of Aerosmith's "Dream On."

When you go to her site and "Dream On" plays (the first to play), I want you to stop what you are doing and LISTEN to this song. You may need a kleenex. She has completely redefined that song and with her voice she makes it so hauntily beautiful.

Song #4 is in French; can't understand a single word but it's beautiful.
Song #7 is in Italian; can't understand a single word but it's AMAZING!
Song #9 is in Sanskrit; can't understand a single word but it's incredible.
Song #12 just flat-out makes me cry as I think about my girls.

There is not one song I dislike on this album. Remember, she's only 19.

And she's GORGEOUS!! Give this album a go; you won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

Ace said...

Thx for the music reviews - not my cup o tea musically but a good read!