What’s on your iPod?
I recently noticed an iTunes playlist comprising the 25 tracks I’ve played the most since it was reset, maybe a year and a half ago. It’s as odd as you’d think.
No. 25 is “Rhythm and Romance,” by Ella Fitzgerald, which I think we could broadcast to the Taliban from a drone and they would come out smiling. No. 24 is Ella and Louis Armstrong singing “You Won’t Be Satisfied.” Exquisite.
Nos. 21, 22, and 23 are the three movements of Mozart’s third violin concerto played to a fare-thee-well by Itzhak Perlman. The Adagio makes me cry, so I avoid operating heavy machinery with No. 22.
No. 20 is “Ti Mon Bo,” by Tito Puente. When Herb Kent, the deejay of my youth, would play this in the midst of all the Motown, even the lames would dance.
No. 19 is tenor Thomas Young’s “Nessun Dorma!” from Puccini’s Turandot. I’ve heard a couple of recordings of Pavarotti singing this aria, and he should be holding Thomas Young’s coat.
No. 18 is “Gaucho,” by Steely Dan. If you know, there’s nothing to say; if you don’t, there’s still time to learn.
No. 17 is “Going to Chicago,” by Joe Williams, with Count Basie and Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. I’ve heard others try to sing this, but it’s like redoing the Sermon on the Mount.
No. 16 is “Unomathemba,” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. See note for No. 18.
No. 15 is “Autumn in New York,” by Sarah Vaughan, who is still divine.
No. 14 is the Gayatri mantra by Deva Premal, No. 13 is “Canadian Sunset” by Gene Ammons (as I recall, fresh out of prison for self-medication), No. 12 is “Loon Talk,” a track from The Sounds of Nature.
No. 11 is a live version of “Angel From Montgomery,” by Bonnie Raitt and John Prine. Bonnie Raitt is the funkiest white woman on Earth, and I wish I’d met her when she was drinking.
No. 10 is “You Can’t Fool the Fat Man,” by Randy Newman, a brilliant composer.
Nos. 9, 5, and 3 are the three movements of Brahms’ Violin Concerto done by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in reverse order because I don’t usually get to listen all the way through.
No. 8 is “October Road,” by James Taylor and the Dixie Chicks (mostly Natalie Maines). No. 7 is “Northwoods Night,” from The Sounds of Nature. No. 6 is “Chan Chan” by the Buena Vista Social Club. No. 4 is “Hide nor Hair,” by Ray Charles, a jewel by the man.
On top, ahead of Bonnie Raitt, Itzhak Perlman, Ella Fitzgerald, Brahms, and Ray Charles, are Nos. 1 and 2—“Hallelujah” and “Chico Gospel,” by the incomparable MaMuse.