It’s that time again! Give your music player a shuffle and play along!
- A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission – Simon & Garfunkel (The Columbia Studio Recordings 1964–1970). Particularly timely given the exchange between Hillary and Bernie Sanders regarding Henry Kissinger in the Democratic primary debate last night. Remember back when we worried more about McNamara than Kissinger? Yeah, me neither. “The man ain’t got no culture.”
- North of the Sunset – Thelonious Monk (Solo Monk). Killer track featuring only Monk doing his thing and sounding for all the world like the left handed son of Jelly Roll Morton.
- Strange Fruit (live) – Jeff Buckley (Live at Sin-é (Legacy Edition)). It’s hazardous for a white male artist to cover this signature Billie Holiday song, with its resonances of Southern lynching and Jim Crow. That Jeff Buckley’s effort, to which he brings a Chicago-blues inflected guitar and an improvisational vocal, fails is unsurprising, but he gets points for doing something a little different with the song in trying to bring out the pain from its dark corners.
- Whatcha Gonna Do? – Bob Dylan (The Bootleg Series, Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos: 1962–1964). A “Times They Are A-Changin'” era composition that’s a little tighter in scope and execution than that masterpiece. Reminiscent of certain hymns and uncertain blues.
- I Dig Love – George Harrison (All Things Must Pass). One of the more surprising and less spiritual songs on George’s debut, with an opening that sounds like it could have come from one of John’s albums from five years later. Killer rhythm section and what I suppose is Billy Preston (since there were three keyboard players on the track) laying down some fat grooves. Tasty.