A new playlist….finally!!

I’ve just discovered Mixcloud, and i’ve contributed my first playlist. it’s mostly avant-garde and/or “challenging” jazz spanning several decades. artists include Sam Rivers, Anthony Coleman, Herbie Hancock, Anthem Subconscious, David S. Ware and others. listen and enjoy!


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #7

IMG_5480Playlist for Friday Mar 28, 2014:

1.  Lost In The Stars by Dave Catney from the album “Jade Visions” (Justice)
2.  Soon After Christmas by Stina Nordanstam from the album “Memories Of A Color” (Eastwest)
3.  Waltz for Debby by Bill Evans & Tony Bennett from the album “The Tony Bennett/Bill Evans Album” (Fantasy)
4.  Us by Regina Spektor from the album “Soviet Kitsch” (Sire)
5.  Make You Feel My Love by Bob Dylan from the album “Time Out of Mind” (Columbia)
6.  Cry (If You Want To) by Holly Cole Trio from the album “Don’t Smoke In Bed” (Capital)
7.  Children’s Song by Frisell, Godsey, Ales from the album “American Blood/Safety In Numbers” (Intuition)
8.  First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes from the album “I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning” (Saddle Creek)
9.  The Trapeze Swinger by Iron & Wine from the album “Around The Well” (Sub Pop)
10.  Who Is It by Björk from the album “Medúlla” (One Little Indian)

Another huge departure this week.  This is my first week of vocal-led performances.  I won’t bother explaining the thread.  I hope you put this list together and listen through.  It’s beautiful stuff.  The Bob Dylan version (AKA original version) of Make You Feel My Love is the only one we need IMHO.


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #6

Playlist for Friday Mar 21IMG_5476, 2014:

1.  The Unaswered Question  composed by Charles Ives, performed by Leonard Bernstein/New York Philharmonic from the album “Symphony #2” (Deutsche Grammophon)
2-9.  String Quartet No.1 “Metamorphoses Nocturnes” composed by György Ligeti, performed by Arditti Quartet from the album György Ligeti Editions, Vol. 1  (Sony Classical)
10-12.  By The Vaar composed by Gavin Bryars, performed by Charlie Haden with James Judd/English Chamber Orchestra from the album “Farewell To Philosophy” (Philips)
13-16.  Cello Concerto composed by Witold Lutoslawski, performed by Mstislav Rostropovich, Orchestre de Paris from the album “Dutilleux & Lutoslawski: Cello Concertos” (EMI Classics)
17-22.  Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, Op. 9 composed by Anton Webern, performed by Juilliard String Quartet from the album “Webern: Complete Works, Op. 1 – Op. 31” (Sony Classical)
23.  Cantus In Memory Of Benjamin Britten composed by Arvo Pärt, performed by Dennis Russell Davies/Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra from the album “Pärt: Tabula Rasa” (ECM New Series)

This week’s list is a departure from the improvisation heavy ‘jazz’ on my previous lists.  Please put this one together and listen closely.  These are beautiful recordings of incredible pieces.


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #5

IMG_5475Playlist for Friday Mar 14, 2014:

1.  Prancing by John Abercrombie from the album “Cloud Dance” (ECM)
2.  Qurb by Anouar Brahem, Dave Holland and John Surman from the album “Thimar” (ECM)
3.  Law Years by Pat Metheny from the album “Questions and Answers” (Geffen)
4.  Games by Chick Corea from the album “A.R.C.” (ECM)
5.  Cascade by Dave Holland from the album “Dave Holland and Sam Rivers” (Improvising Artists)
6.  Phrancing (No Blues) by Joe Henderson from the album “So Near, So Far” (Verve)
7.  101 Fahrenheit by Dave Holland Quartet from the album “Extensions” (ECM)
8.  Under Redwoods by Dave Holland from the album “Emerald Tears” (ECM)
9.  Ana by Kenny Wheeler from the album “The Widow In the Window” (ECM)
10.  Back-Woods Song by Gateway from the album “Gateway” (ECM)

Dave Holland, folks.


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #4

IMG_5481Playlist for Friday Mar 7, 2014:

1.  Arietis by Freddie Hubbard from the album “Ready for Freddie” (Blue Note)
2.  Wild Flower by Wayne Shorter from the album “Speak No Evil” (Blue Note)
3.  Chick’s Tune by Blue Mitchell from the album “The Thing To Do” (Blue Note)
4.  Growing Pains by Lee Morgan from the album “Infinity” (Blue Note)
5.  Venus Di Mildew by Hank Mobley from the album “A Caddy For Daddy” (Blue Note)
6.  Mo’ Joe by Horace Silver from the album “The Cape Verdean Blues” (Blue Note)
7.  Consequence by Jackie McLean from the album “Consequence” (Blue Note)
8.  Caribbean Fire Dance by Joe Henderson from the album “Mode For Joe” (Blue Note)
9.  Three Bags Full by Herbie Hancock from the album “Takin’ Off” (Blue Note)
10.  If by Larry Young from the album “Unity” (Blue Note)

I’m in the mood for classic Blue Note bad-assery this week.  I hope you are, too!


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #3


Playlist for Friday Feb 28, 2014:

1.  Compulsion by Andrew Hill from the album “Compulsion” (Blue Note)
2.  Triptykon by Jan Garbarek from the album “Triptykon” (ECM)
3.  Just For Now by John Surman from the album “Adventure Playground” (ECM)
4.  Mr. and Mrs. People by Ornette Coleman from the album “Beauty Is A Rare Thing” (Atlantic)
5.  Tait’s Traced Traits by Farmers By Nature from the album “Out of This World’s Distortions” (AUM Fidelity)
6.  Dharma Days by Fly from the album “Sky Country” (ECM)
7.  Shift by David S. Ware, William Parker, Muhammad Ali & Cooper-Moore from the album “Planetary Unknown” (AUM Fidelity)
8.  Lachish by Masada from the album “Volume 2: Beit” (Tzadik)
9.  Turning by Paul Bley from the album “Turning Point” (Improvising Artists)
10.  The Law of Falling and Catching Up by Chick Corea from the album “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” (Blue Note)

This playlist has a lot of guts and freedom.


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #2

Mike's Weekly Playlist #2

Playlist for Friday Feb 14, 2014:

1.  In Memoriam by Don Cherry from the album “Dona Nostra” (ECM)
2.  Death In the Carwash by Eberhard Weber from the album “Later That Evening” (ECM)
3.  484 Broome by Zorn, Horvitz, Sharpe and Previte from the album “Downtown Lullaby” (Depth of Field)
4.  Unseen Sea Scene by Krakatau from the album “Matinale” (ECM)
5.  Wires by Jan Garbarek Group from the album “Photo With Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows And A Red Roof” (ECM)
6.  Lincoln Reviews His Notes by Lyle Mays from the album “Fictionary” (Geffen)
7.  Song of the Shadows by Ralph Towner from the album “Solstice – Sounds and Shadows” (ECM)
8.  Outward Bound by Ketil Bjornstad from the album “The Sea II” (ECM)
9.  Flying, Pt. 2 by Keith Jarrett Trio from the album “Changes” (ECM)
10.  Note Police by Paul Bley from the album “In The Evenings Out There” (ECM)

This is another ECM heavy playlist, but it’s where my head is right now.  Enjoy.  Share your thoughts and reactions.  Listen more than once.


Mike’s Weekly Playlist #1

IMG_5367Playlist for Friday Feb 14, 2014:

1.  Face In the Water by Bill Connors (with Jan Garbarek, Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) from the album “Of Mist and Melting” (ECM)
2.  Sad Twilight by Don Byron (with Bill Frisell, Drew Gress and Jack DeJohnette) from the album “Romance With the Unseen” (Blue Note)
3.  Nicolette by Kenny Wheeler (with Lee Konitz, Dave Holland and Bill  Frisell) from the album “Angel Song” (ECM)
4.  Cry, Want by Jimmy Giuffre (with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow) from the album “1961” (ECM)
5.  Creeper by Gary Peacock and Ralph Towner from the album “A Closer View” (ECM)
6.  Requiem for a Dreamer by John Taylor (with Julian Arguelles, Palle Danielsson and Martin France) from the album “Requiem for a Dreamer” (CAM Jazz)
7.  Article Four by Paul Bley (with Gary Peacock, Tony Oxley and John Surman) from the album “In the Evenings Out There” (ECM)
8.  Bird Song by Paul Motian (with Chris Potter and Jason Moran) from the album “Lost In a Dream” (ECM)
9.  Silence by Charlie Haden and John Taylor from the album “Nightfall” (Naim)
10.  Hot Blood by Craig Taborn Trio (with Thomas Morgan and Gerald Cleaver) from the album “Chants” (ECM)

This playlist is mostly mellow and admittedly quite ECM heavy, though most of the artists are American.  This being the first playlist in what I intend to be an ongoing weekly project, I’m sure I thought WAY too much.  I don’t mean to do that.


Welcome to Mike’s Weekly Playlist…it’s like a mix-tape.

IMG_5316Making playlists reminds me of making mix tapes for friends (especially the special lady friends) back when I was a kid and on through young adulthood.  I have always enjoyed sharing beloved music with people, but there was something about making a mix tape on cassette that was truly special to me.

For one thing, there were 2 time limits, one on each side of the tape.  I had to plan it out and then find something short, but fitting, in order not to leave too much dead space at the end side A and then side B.  That challenge forced me to dig a little deep in my collection to find just the right piece.

Another part of the experience I enjoyed was that I had to make the thing in real time.  You couldn’t drag and drop back then.  You had to start playback from the original source and hit record on the capture tape.  I’d adjust levels from one track to the next so that the final tape was decently ‘mastered’ and no one song was too loud or too soft.  If some of the songs were ripped from the radio (old-school illegal downloads), I might have to fade-in in order to cut out the DJ intro or the previous song’s cross-fade.  It required time and care.

Finally, I enjoyed making suitable artwork for each tape.  There was a message behind each tape, and it had to be captured in the artwork.  I used drawings, magazine and newspaper clippings, fortunes from fortune cookies.  It had to look right, like an album cover, because it was the first impression as well as what the recipient might look at while listening.

Since these are just playlists, and not technically bound by any limits, I’m creating a limit of my own.  I plan for each playlist to be no more than 10 songs.  I may have way fewer when I include long movements from classical works.  I’m doing this to spark my own creativity and hopefully to also spark a few conversations with some of you.  Also, I’m writing a lot of new music these days, and I need the inspiration and focus.  I have so many records on my iPod that it’s overwhelming sometimes.  Whenever I thoughtfully create a playlist, I have something to listen to that carries a theme while offering variety that will keep me from looking for the next thing while still listening to the current thing.  I’m going to make artwork each week to accompany the playlist using photos taken on my iPhone…yep, I’m a New World Man (from Signals by Rush – sure to be on a playlist at some point!).

So, I hope you all enjoy it.  Stay tuned for the first installment tomorrow morning, and come back every Friday morning for the new list.


Check out this album announcement on All About Jazz.  Fortunes and Hat-Tricks, Vol. 2 available tomorrow, folks!

– M