Friday, 11 October 2013

My Jazz Heroes & Playlist !!!!

In this post, I would like to create a playlist of the tunes that I love !! Of course it would serve as a mental note to myself and a reminder as to what I want to achieve in time. This would definitely serve as constant motivation for me as well, to give me positive energy and to remind me to keep working hard :D :D 
So, I hope one day along my career I could reach the standard to play such music, with such world top musicians and to write such tunes !!!! Yes, I have no idea when on earth would I be able to start writing tunes just like those exciting ones that Hiromi wrote and played with The Hiromi Trio Project.

I hope this playlist here would introduce you to more awesome jazz music that you might not have encountered before. So I hope they inspire you & fill your heart & mind.

Okay, since we are on Hiromi, let me start off with Hiromi, also because I've been listening to a lot of Hiromi lately. Her solo piano pieces are totally awesome, but for my preference I prefer & really love the line-up and music of her work with Simon Philips on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass as part of the Hiromi Trio Project (because I don't imagine myself playing solo guitar anytime in my career - I love playing in a band). The songs they played are totally high energy and high passion & induces into me the type of excitement & passion that well, words can't explain, but is fully expressed in the songs. So here we go:

My favourite songs (!!!!!!!!!) from Hiromi, feat Simon Philips & Anthony Jackson:
Somehow I couldn't upload Desire here, but I absolutely love her rhythmic groove throughout. Her lines are insane !! Her dynamics and accents are so so so sophisticated oh yeah ! Her reference to the epic jazz classic Caravan in the song was epic, as a culmination point in her improvisation. Not to mention I would love to improvise phrases like she does <3 <3 And there is so much intensity in the hook of the tune it ignites a burning emotion in me when I listen to it. Also her upbeat part of the song provides a great playful contrast to the rest of the song. Passionate and then playful innocence. Wow ! Too good not to be missed !

Summer Rain

The melody of the song is burning sexy & cool all at the same time. My crush hahah ! The groove gets me shaking my body yeah. Her comping during the bass solo is so passionate and confident, and her lick right at the end of the bass solo was so perfect & beautiful. Great highlights of the song I think would be how she builds up her solo.

IMPACT - that's the word for this song & repetition. The introduction may catch someone off-guard if he ain't wary of what's coming, or it may just shock some people off their seats. The introduction totally sounds like some sort of an explosion, or even armageddon. Dynamic-wise, this song definitely leans more towards the loud end compared to many of her other songs. Her touch is actually really hard in this song, but it really conveys the message of the song totally aptly, especially at 2:22 to 2:40 where she bangs away really really hardly on 2 chords interchangeably. Wow, that is awesome. Then after that, the latin montunos enter. The predominant theme of repetition throughout the song is just brought to a whole new level with Hiromi's virtuosity :D I'm in love with this song !!!!!

Now Or Never
Another fierce and unapologetic tune !

Wow, how breathtaking and how passionately captivating everything is !!!!! The rhythmic patterns, the solo lines, the hook of the tunes, the harmony, everything !

Okay next artist. So how many of you now are mind-f*cked after listening to the above epic songs by Hiromi ? Well, just to caution you just in case you may need it, there will be tons of songs like this for a majority of this playlist of mine because of ONE simple reason - I love songs like this hahah !

So, who out there knows who is Bireli Lagrene. He is another beast. Well I think he plays one of the fastest jazz guitars out there. Well he is categorized under gypsy jazz guitar. His improvisation is absolutely crazy, I can't believe anyone can improvise fluently and legibly at speeds at crazy as that. Well, here is an example of his rendition of Spain. Well, others typically play Spain at 130bpm, but this guy plays Spain at 150bpm !! So, guitarists, listen closely :D

Now, more fast-paced stuff - Michel Petrucciani. Small guy, but awesome piano skills. I love his fast runs on the piano. How I wish I could improvise like him ! Well, in time, in time hahahah !!

I totally adore his rendition of Caravan. And I love Caravan, it is a really beautiful song, not to mention downright cool. It's hard for many people to appreciate the sound of Caravan though because they think it is not melodious. Just Youtube it if you would like a listen.

Now, to another damn cool song: Jazz Crimes by Joshua Redman.

Groove, hot sax lines, interesting rhythmic patterns, all of them really make my day :D :D :D

Okay, want something slightly different ? Yes, it will be different in terms of sound. It ain't going to sound as out as Jazz Crimes and it will be a song featuring a really legendary guitarist plus saxophonist as well. It's Lee Ritenour ! Well I love Ritenour's phrasing. And both his solo and sax solo by Eric Marienthal in this version of Rio Funk totally gets me to the edge of my seat. They get me moving and head-banging hahahah ! Come on, the phrasing is indescribably hot !!! And the emotions induced into me when listening to their solos is just priceless.

Now, now, more cool stuff. How about a Tower Of Power song, What Is Hip with a version played by Marcus Miller. Yes, I love groove and punchiness and attacks. So expect more of these types of songs in my playlist :D 

Yes somehow I have a love affair with unison attacks. I have no idea why, but recently I just listened to Get The Funk Out by Extreme, of course the vocals are awesome and really full of attitude, but the moment I hear attacks in the song, it is like instant affection hahahah !! Anyway, What Is Hip has tons of attacks & I love them. Attacks, Sapphire. Sapphire, Attacks. Maybe we are one. Hahahahah !!

But we can't deny the fact that attacks make a song really fun, especially when it is played really fast. It is excitement. Yes, oh yes, excitement, that's all we need, or rather that's all I need. And I also love how every instrument is just really busy in the song, for example during the sax solo, the bass is just busy slapping away, the organ is playing cool comping rhythms, & the drums is really hyped up. And so I discovered I have a love for complicated stuff. But do not fret, towards the end of my playlist I would feature un-complicated songs that I really love :D

More attacks songs: Paul Jackson Junior - The Workout.
Well, for this song I would proclaim my love for his solo lines.
Couldn't attach the video here though, but don't fret, it's easily found on Youtube.

So here's another great legendary guitarist, Pat Martino for his rendition of Sunny. Really when I first heard this version I got so excited, but the more & more I listened to it somehow I got used to the speed and tempo, and subconsciously or actually consciously, it actually sounds so so SO much slower now. I have no idea whether it's a good thing or bad thing, but it could mean my ears are getting more familiar with the song :D

And guess what, I tried to learn a couple of licks from his solo of this song. And wow, they really are hard, the fingering, the length of the phrase. His long phrases really can span from full 16th notes in for example 4 bars to his epic 3-note sequence that went continuously to more than a minute of the song ! 

I learned a 16th note lick from him that spans 4 bars, I could play it at 115bpm (I actually worked my way up from 95bpm, to 100bpm, increasing by 5bpm every time), but well Pat Martino plays it at 130bpm in that song. I guess I have more practice to go :D :D

So, any John Scofield fans out there ?
Well, Hottentot is another one of my favorite. Seriously, it's so hard to describe the emotions that these songs make me experience. But that's why music was created, so that stuff that can't be explained can be felt through other means. It seems that the only words I've managed to use to describe how all these great music sound like since the start of this post would only be "sexy", "hot", "cool". Well, I shall be a bit repetitive then. This song is sexy yumm yumm.

Okay, here's something that sounds more commercial to the ears, but the attacks on the first beats are totally full of attitude. I love stuff that are full of attitude. They know what they want to say and express and they aren't afraid of it :)

The song is called "Attitude" by Pieces Of A Dream. Just Youtube it.

Now, are we ready for latin sounds ? This song is my absolute favorite. Sensual.

Snarky Puppy feat. Magda Giannikou - Amour T'es Là 

Oh yeah, we shall move into saxophonists now. I absolutely love saxophonists, & saxophone improvisation are always so beautiful I always fall in love with their playing again & again. My favorite saxophonists would be people like Dave Koz, Gerald Albright & David Sanborn.

Lately I love a tune by Gerald Albright a lot. It's called Winelight.

Wow, how sexy it is. I can't believe how sexy his tone sounds like and his phrases are damn hot as well. Ahh, saxophones always induce a sense of romantic-ness into me, such heavenly beauties.

Here is another one of my crushes on saxophone music:
So Fine by Paul Taylor

Oh my gosh, I can hear the saxophone talking directly to me, in fact it sounds like it is flirting with me. Wow, so sexy :D :D

Okay, I shall stop talking to myself for a moment just in case you guys think there's something wrong with me hahahah !! Well, in fact sexy music makes me go crazy or makes me go wild, whatever way, I can't deny it. Oh well, let's continue.

The master Dave Koz, with his song Together Again.

Smooth jazz, smooth, sensual & divine.

Okay, that's about it for this playlist of mine. But this is definitely not a complete list, if you encounter other awesome jazz music & would like to share and would like me to include them here, please do let me know and include the link in the comment boxes below. Thank you ! Share the joy of music :D

Also there are tons & tons of material here for any musician to listen, appreciate & digest. So I really hope you got inspired from all these tunes. So, going to practice soon ? Hahahah !

Okay see ya & Love ya,
Sapphire Love <3 <3 <3

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