Expand your ear!
Graham Central Station – It Ain’t No Fun to Me
Larry Graham is a name that every bassist in the world must know and every musician should know. After his work with Sly and the Family Stone, he started Graham Central Station which is appropriately named after him. It’s songs are political, powerful, and full of heavy funk bass lines. SSSlap-puh da bass!!!!
James Taylor Quartet – Free Your Mind
Not to be mistaken with the folk artist James Taylor, the James Taylor Quartet is a jazz funk band. It’s got that 90’s detective cop TV show kind of sound. At a slightly up tempo pace, this song has all the wah-wah guitar you’ll need for the week.
Tipper – Homage Sliders
David Tipper is an extremely talented sound engineer and artist. His project Forward Escape is something I want everyone I know to experience. Think of every sound effect you’ve maybe heard in a sci-fi movie or video game, then think using those noises to make music. It’s extremely cool to hear all the creative ways sound can be manipulated.
Yasunori Mitsuda – Chrono Trigger
This is the main theme from the game Chrono Trigger, released for Super Nintendo in 1995. I have such wonderful memories attached to this time of my life that make this music really special to me. This superb recording is done by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and I hope it makes you look into the full official sound track or actually play game.
R.L. Burnside – See My Jumper Hangin’ On The Line
Burnside’s history isn’t a story of heroism, stardom, or fame. His initial aspirations of being a musician didn’t quite work out. It wasn’t until later in his life that people started to realize how authentic and true his playing is. American blues is an important part of American history and R.L. Burnside’s work has carried it further.
They Might Be Giants – Particle Man
“Particle Man” is the perfect song to introduce someone to TMBG. It’s completely absurd and can even be so ridiculous it hurts at times. Browse through their catalogue and you’ll find a few “serious” songs mixed among the madness! They’re responsible for the theme song for “Malcolm In the Middle” and the hit track “Istanbul”. (Though I heard it was once Constantinople)
Chucho Valdes – La Comparsa
If you want some of the finest Latin American piano playing in the world, then you listen to Chucho Valdes. In this piece the syncopated rhythms and multi-piece percussion section represent the Cuban sound perfectly.
Zakir Hussein – The Melody of Rhythm, Mvmt 1
The tabla is a traditional Indian drum. It’s pitches can be changed by pressing on the skin and there’s a rhythmic set of syllables that affect the patterns you play. Zakir Hussain is a master at this instrument and has teamed up with Edgar Meyer, Bela Fleck, and the Denver symphony. That’s right! Tabla, cello, banjo, and symphony. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Jam Baxter – For a Limited Time Only
One thing I really enjoy about this song is the instrumental track beneath the vocals. It’s a simple harmony that shifts back and forth a few times to keep it refreshing. There’s a interesting but effective use of ambient talking between verses. Keeping UK hip hop on the map, Jam Baxter is an artist I couldn’t recommend more.
Radiohead – Ill Wind
Radiohead is another already well known band and I really love that, but I want to point out that they have been making music since 1993. A lot of their commonly referred to work is from their earlier albums which I think are great, but their newer work has been heading in a more experimental, ambient direction, and I really want people to explore it more.