10 Fall Essentials: A Playlist

October 21, 2015

10 Fall Essentials: A Playlist

Turtlenecks, corduroy, brogues, OK, we get it; fall clothing is amazing. But I bet you already have plenty of sweaters (if not, we have some recommendations). What do you really need this fall? A stone cold groove. Derek and I (mostly Derek) put together a list of 10 tunes that are as seasonally appropriate as flannel trousers and suede chukkas, and that go a little deeper in the catalog than the jazz albums at the Whole Foods checkout. Everything will look a little better on you with the needle scratching out these classics on the hi fi (or autoplaying our playlist on your MacBook).

Ahmed Jamal–Poinciana (1958)

A hit for pianist Jahmal in 1958, this subtle piece is rooted in Cuban folk song. You will be positively compelled to nod your head.

Horace Silver–Song for My Father (1965)

Horace Silver (pictured) was a pioneer of “hard bop,” which I take to be the jazz version of “rugged Ivy.”

Bill Evans–Waltz for Debby (circa 1960)

Wait til this one kicks in at about 1:14.

John Coltrane–Central Park West (1964)

The musical equivalent of a late afternoon stroll on a sun-dappled park trail in shoes too nice to be hiking in.

Miles Davis–Nuit Sur Les Champs Elysees (take 1) (1957)

Followed by the musical equivalent of watching passersby from a cafe window on a drizzly November day. Miles was 31 when this was recorded.

Yusuf Lateef–Love Theme from Spartacus (1961)

This is the coolest you will ever hear an oboe sound.

Nina Simone–Mississippi Goddam (1964)

I don’t know if it says more about jazz or our culture, but it’s true that one of the most common experiences of jazz is as background music–comfortable, unobtrusive, music to buy clothes to. If jazz has you in a reverie, let Simone break it with a protest song at one point banned in several states.

Stan Getz–Indian Summer (1949)

A great and thematically appropriate standard recorded by, among others, a young Frank Sinatra.

Chet Baker–I Fall in Love Too Easily (1953)

Baker’s melancholy vocals lend a particular wistfulness to this song, which if I’m reading it right is about buying a really cool vintage coat on ebay.

Overton Berry Ensemble–Superstar (1972)

Jazz funk banger sampled by The Coup in 1993 and used in Satva Leung’s classic Welcome to Hell part.

Pete (and Derek)