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Mahavishnu Orchestra – You Know, You Know

We’re kicking off August with the Mahavishnu Orchestra featuring John McLaughlin on guitar. Their style could be described as an experimental and acid jazz fusion type thing teetering on avant-garde at times. The piece I’ve shared is one of their more palatable ones. It features a catchy and spacious repetitive theme which gives the musicians a lot of creative freedom for filling it.

Billy Cardine – Oriental Shuffle

The dobro is like a guitar except it has a steel resonating disc on top and it’s usually played with a slide. Billy Cardine is revered as one of the greatest dobro players in the world and I hope this track is a fun doorway into his playing. It maybe has some “Toy Story” vibes to it or sounds like it could be used for a silent film. It’s lazy, whimsical and laid back.

Satomi Saeki & Michia Miyagi – Isuzugawa “The Holy River of Isuzu”

I really love traditional music for all the creative melodies and sounds it brings to my ears. Cultural music from other countries can be very different than the usual structures and harmonies we find in our own music. The “lack” of these elements can make this style of music a little more challenging to listen to but I encourage at least trying, especially if you’re a musician!

The Meters – Look-Ka Py Py

“The Meters” are one of the essential pioneers in the world of funk music. Their drummer Zigaboo Modeliste is a serious innovator in the styles of funk and New Orleans syle drumming. The guitarist has a very distinct kind of splanky sound, the bass is usually jamming out along a similar idea, and the keyboard lays out a groovin counter rhythm or melody. I have an extreme amount of respect for the band but once you’ve heard a couple of their tracks, you get the idea of their music.

Tool – Schism

This post is celebrating the addition of “Tool’s” music to streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple music. Since the creation of streaming platforms the band has refused to allow their music to be listened to as they wanted people to hear their works as a whole instead of only certain tracks. I totally agree where they are coming from but everybody wants something different from music and I do think we should have that freedom to choose. Odd time signatures, heavy distortion guitar, awesome drums, and obscure lyrics – dive in, the water’s fine!

Mengla Huang & Xuefei Yang – Libertango

The composer Astor Piazzolla was born in, died in, and composed in Argentina. There were certain things he did in his compositions that were very reflective of his personality. Usually within just a few measures of hearing it, a musician can recognize a Piazzolla piece. This track is no different and possesses the typical descending guitar harmonies and chromatic motion in the accompanying melody line. Despite having a similar feeling as the “Meters”, Piazzolla is still an extreme joy to listen to!

Lee Ritenour – Fly By Night

I mean this with complete respect and love, but this is the kind of music that would be perfect for the opening credits of an old T.V. show. Just a nice extended collage of all the characters in fun summertime places, or it could possibly accompany the showing of all the prizes for Jeopardy or the Price is Right. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you listen to it and the album, Captain Fingers, should cover all of your listening needs.

Spoonbill – Open Misere

Much like the artist “Tipper that I shared, I really enjoy listening to these electronic artists that put a lot of thought and care into their production. All of the sounds and instruments have a lot of depth and sound like they exist in a three dimensional space, even though they all may be created in the digital universe. The transitions between musical ideas are done very smoothly and make for an interesting ride. This is the opening track of his newest album and I highly recommend letting it play through the rest.

Missy Elliott – The Rain

This track was the first really big one I remember by Missy Elliott. They were wearing these trash bag outfits in the music video and the beat is so milky butter smooth. It’s the perfect style that would have been great for Biggie Smalls to have a guest verse. I feel this song often gets overshadowed by Missy’s other more popular tracks but I think this is her best work.

Judas Priest – Rapid Fire

The worlds of punk, metal, and rock n’ roll would not be the same without the influence of English band “Judas Priest”. Formed in 1970, the band sounds like a blend between Deep Purple, Dio, and Motorhead. They’re the perfect band for any guitarist that has recently gotten their power chords down and is comfortable jamming out a riff or two.