Jackie's All-Time Favorites
Buena Vista Social Club (WORLD CIRCUIT) – Ry Cooder’s acclaimed Havana studio sessions, featuring Cuban music luminaries. This is the old-fashioned but always in-style son sound. Irresistible. (ps.- Wim Wender’s film of the same title about the making of the CD is also terrific.)
Introducing Ruben Gonzalez (WORLD CIRCUIT) – An extraordinary Cuban pianist, featured on the Buena Vista CD, here on his own and fabulous. He's been described as a Cuban cross between Thelonius Monk and Felix the Cat.
Cesaria Evora – anything. This woman with an extraordinary voice comes from Cape Verde, off the coast of Africa, singing morna in Portuguese and French. A superstar on the world music scene, she has many recordings available in North America on the Nonesuch label. Her latest, Café Atlantico, was nominated for a Grammy this year. The earlier Cesaria Evora, also on NONESUCH, is outstanding.
Graceland -- (WARNER BROS.) Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and other outstanding South African musicians – Back in 1986 it was a ground-breaking recording, introducing many of us for the first time to the richness of African music. Guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt, the Everly Brothers, Los Lobos, Rockin’ Dopsie and more. It won a Grammy then. It still sounds fresh today. If you missed it then, check it out now.
Getz/Gilberto – Stan Getz, Joao and Astrud Gilberto – (VERVE) This lovely recording of Brazilian bossa nova took the world by storm in 1963. Recently reissued on CD, this is just perfect listening for a summer evening OR a little mid-winter therapy.
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road – Lucinda Williams (MERCURY) – A Grammy winner a few years back. Wonderful voice, wonderful country blues. Worth it just to hear her sing the achingly beautiful "Lake Charles."
Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions -- Linda Ronstadt and EmmyLou Harris – (ASYLUM) - Two gorgeous voices, great songs from many outstanding contemporary writers. A Grammy nominee this year.
Anita O’Day – This is Anita (VERVE) – Recorded in 1955 by one of the great singers, and now available on CD, this is the famous "Anita Album" that had such an impact on the jazz world. Just listen to her phrasing, and to the way she leads the group with her own rhythms.
Ride With Bob – Asleep at the Wheel – A Tribute to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (DREAMWORKS) – Nominated for a lot of Grammy Awards this year, the Asleep at the Wheel band is joined by an incredible collection of mostly country stars including Willie Nelson, the Dixie Chicks, Reba McIntyre, and many more. Great Texas swing, lots of fun, and a worthy tribute to a band that had such an impact on swing, jazz, country and even rock.
Veedon Fleece – Van Morrison – (WARNER BROS.) – A less well known but excellent recording made in 1974. The critics praise this one highly. It should be better known. Both folk and intellectual in its approach, its theme is an interesting merging of music that feels both like Ireland and the American West. Melodic and flowing.