Jake Shimabukuro – In My Life

The ukulele is an instrument that is often looked at and thought of as a toy despite it’s capability of functioning exactly like many other instruments. It’s capable of harmony, melody, and dynamics and also requires practiced techniques like all other instruments. Jake Shimabukuro is an ambassador for the ukulele, it’s history, and it’s appreciation. This beautifully done cover of the Beatles song, “My Life”, should be a great start to your listening journey this week.

Kraftwerk – Numbers

Kraftwerk is a very well known name to the world of electronic music and deserve a spot on this playlist considering how influential their work is. Formed in 1970 and hailing from Germany, Kraftwerk used science and technology to create new sounds and styles that changed music forever. You’ve heard it in funk, disco, and hip hop, now get ready to hear one the first occurrences of the classic b-boy style drum rhythm.

Elmore James – Something Inside of Me

Only someone who has spent a substantial amount of time listening to blues music would know the name Elmore James. He was a pioneer for blues slide guitar and had a signature lick which will be replicated forever. If you didn’t pick up the lick from Elmore himself, you’ve picked it up from another blues guitarist who heard it from him first.

Theo Katzman – Good to Be Alone

Making huge waves in the funk world and on YouTube with their creative videos, Vulfpeck has been innovative in their collaborations with Theo Katzman. Whether he is on vocals, percussion, or guitar, Katzman shows his talent. This particular track is from a live studio session when he performed with guest artists who are all very tasteful and thoughtful with their playing. My girlfriend loves this song.

Galactic – Hey Na Na

It’s about time!!! Almost every week I mention the band Galactic and the time has finally come for legends themselves to grace this list. This band has been spreading the romp shaking sounds of New Orleans style music for over 2 decades. I’ve seen them live 4 times and hope to see many more of their concerts. They just released their 10th studio album and deserve as much recognition and love as possible.

Cal Tjader & Eddie Palmieri – Guajira en Azul

My father recommended Cal and Eddie to me when I was a teenager. He probably mentioned their names before, but I was just starting to get into more Jazz artists and this time it finally stuck. The album El Sonido Nuevo literally translates to “the new sound” and tastefully blends Latin with Jazz for the entire 31 minutes and 30 seconds.

Gabriel Bianco – Violin Sonata No. 3 BWV 1005

Currently brewing at the studio is some type of bedlam…pandemonium…madness!! The quite literal definition of chaos is “complete disorder and confusion” which is accurately represented at the studio when we hear a student say they don’t like Johann Sebastian Bach. I hope this superb recording of the 3rd violin sonata helps to rekindle the light in your baroque-en soul. (I’m hilarious!)

Punch Brothers – Julep

The Punch Brothers are a recent discovery of mine as I’ve been looking for more artists to feature in these weekly playlists. While they have a folk-bluegrass sound, this track is an exception. They’re, of course, using the same instruments but the composition of this particular track feels a little different. It’s simple and passive yet catchy and engaging.

Cake – Comfort Eagle

I still have this CD somewhere in a box of stuff I haven’t touched for years. The album goes by the same name and to this day I’m not entirely sure what it means. The entire project is a fun and light listening experience. The track “Arco Arena” precedes this one and it transitions us to a Middle Eastern-ish influenced sound. Cake is a band that does a wonderful job of creating great music while keeping the subject matter playful.

New York Jazz Lounge – Cold Duck Time

Closing out this weeks playlist is a catchy tune that was shown to me by the awesome Phil Goldenberg who recently performed for the studio. It’s a lesser known piece but I was tickled to find it recorded by the New York Jazz Lounge. They have an unbelievably large collection of works which are mostly comprised of standards and reworks of popular songs.