Monday, September 23, 2013

Twisted Mix Tape #26: Slow Jams & Afternoon Wine

Wow!  When I first read what the topic (or "theme" if you will) was going to be for this week, I felt as thought I had to participate, again.  My problem was going to be finding the music on Youtube that I knew could best suit this.  

No, I don't think 
I'm something special ...
just damn eclectic!

There's just so much great music out there hiding in the wings that has never touched Youtube.  I'm not talking the typical Pop crap that fills the airwaves of today.  (If you have no mind and are 13 years old, then you're excused for liking it.)  This music is programmed by producers, tone corrected by machines, and put out to the cattle fed masses that don't feel the need to expose themselves to some real class acts.

No, I'm talking about some of the tunes you normally won't hear.  Tunes that you search for, and once you find and fall in love with them, you never want to be without a copy in your collection ... or maybe, two, just in case something happens to the first!

Like you don't have kids, pets, or friends that could care less about your collection.  "No, Dude, you can't borrow that ... let me make you a copy!"

For fear of not being able to find some of the above types, I'm going to stick with some of the more popular of the past.  These may bring back memories, and then again, may be new experiences for you.  There is no chronological order here, nor specific time period. 

 So, let's grab a glass of wine and jump about as two lovers would 
on a first date.  It's time to experience ear bliss.  

About a decade or so ago, I was turned on to a beautiful blond with a voice so sultry it could curl the beard of a billy goat.  Then I found out she was married and it broke my heart.  Especially, when I found out her husband was Elvis Costello!

Diana Krall makes my insides mushy and my libido stand tall.  She has the ability to take a song that's been done before, and make it sound as though you've never heard it.  Such is the case with my first example of a great slow jam ... "S'Wonderful!"
Okay, back in the late 70's, there was a band that knew how to play music.  I will admit, I wasn't a fan of disco at the time.  In fact, I worked at a radio station where we would break disco singles in half on the air!  So, to me, this was a dance, or disco band that I had no desire to explore further.  Little did I know that they really could play some great jazz and put together one hell of a slow jam.

Earth, Wind & Fire hit the charts with all types of music.  I finally gave in and saw them in concert.  (Talk about a show filled with pure energy from start to finish.)  Out of that entire evening, one particular song stuck with me, and still does to this day.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did then, and still do today.  Here's "Reasons!"
Staying with the R&B vein for a moment, there was once a bass player with a 60's band that finally said, "Where'd the band go?"  Sly & the Family Stone was one of the biggest groups to break the color barrier and be played on all types of radio stations.  A funky sound, controversial lyrics, and a beat that would drive an overweight, grocery store, flip-flop shuffler to mach 3 speed!  A major part of the beat was, of course, created by the original bass player I began to talk about at the beginning of this paragraph.

(Yes, I do ramble at times!  Hang in there, the music will be worth it.)

Larry Graham formed his own band when the Family Stone divorced itself from the music industry.  He called it, "Graham Central Station."  Perhaps, even though it hit the pop charts of the early 80's, this song can be considered one of their best, as well as one of the all time best slow jams ever recorded.  Yep, here's "One In A Million You."
Ever wonder how many babies were conceived to that one?

Now I'm pumped!  I just looked on Youtube for a very special video an found it!  There was a very exceptional CD that came out years ago that branched the roots of country and soul into a tree of blossoming tunes just waiting for exhibition.  What!?!?!?  Country and Soul ... TOGETHER???  You're going to be amazed at how wonderful this combination worked out if you'll only give this song a chance.  It features two superstars: Conway Twitty and Sam Cooke! I know, the idea is mind blowing.  Still, the combination of the two on this classic song works so well, you wonder why more albums of this nature never hit the stands.  Sit back and enjoy this great song "Rainy Night In Georgia!"
Love ... the essence of a true slow jam ... and what better song to describe this essence than the one you're about to listen to ... hopefully.  Yes, it hit the pop charts, and the R&B charts, and just about every chart that it could possibly fit ... and even some that it didn't.  As the world fell in love to Celine Dion's hit from "Titanic" (which we won't include or even name here ... "You're welcome!"), it was nothing like the number of lovers singing passionately to each other in shopping malls, along boardwalks, and, of course, in the front (and back) seats of cars as it played endlessly on the radio.
Here's Diana Ross and Lionel Richie with "Endless Love."
One of the greatest love songs of all times, and also one hell of a slow jam, came out during my senior high school year in the early 70's.  Roberta Flack was a young singer that was compared to the softness and grace of Diana Ross, but with the overall power of Aretha Franklin.  The difference was that Roberta Flack made you feel the song in your soul.  It wasn't just a tune and words, it was an experience that you never wanted to end.  Here's the best of Roberta in a song written in 1957 by Ewan McCall, but never heard this way until she did it in 1972, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."
Okay, I have to do it.  I've tried to restrain myself, but I've got to include a jazz tune here.  And, to make matters worse, this is off an album that was only released a couple of weeks ago.  The album's name is "The Chill Lounge", and was performed by Paul Hardcastle.  Now, Paul made his jump to fame back in the early 90's with the pop song "Nineteen", which concerned itself with the average age of a soldier in Vietnam, versus those of other wars.  It was a catchy tune, and I figured him to be a one hit wonder, or at best, a member of the techno dance crowd.  Okay, I'll admit it, I was far from right.  Paul has become one hell of a jazz musician.  Take a listen to this tune, "Moments In Time" and relax ... or, as Paul would tell you, 
"Chill a Little!"
So, our time together has ended.  The wine bottle is empty, the music has stopped, and the afternoon is fading into evening shadows.  Our spouses will be home soon.  Time to clean up the remaining cheese ball and cracker crumbs and prepare for an evening of reality television.

Or, will you share these tunes 
(and the rest of the cheese and crackers) 
with your spouse?

Promises to be a good evening, doesn't it?