1. “Boplicity,” Miles Davis I love this song because it speaks on so many levels. Emotionally, it makes me feel a sort of bittersweet happiness. If you listen to it, you’ll hear what I mean. Intellectually, it’s great because Miles composed this jazz standard with an uncharacteristic emphasis on strong beats instead of off-beats, but in a way that stays true to the genre. It’s just one example of Miles’ ingenuity and knack for novelty.2. “OK,” MuteMath A close friend that I’ve known since the Spice Girls were popular turned me onto this stellar group of musicians. It’s one of those songs that lets you just relax and feel good.
3. “Juicy,” Notorious B.I.G. This song gets you groovin’ right away; the beat is so tight. It always makes me laugh when I hear it. Great car song.
4. “Waltz for Debby,” Oscar Peterson Trio As any jazz pianist will tell you, this guy is one of the greats of the instrument. Oscar’s harmonic language is very “inside” and, I think, accessible to the casual listener as well as the discerning one.
5. “Scar Tissue,” Red Hot Chili Peppers Man, the ’90s were great. Songs like this bring back some sweet memories. Mostly, though, it makes me want to turn the volume way up and sing along with what my mother calls “the most beautiful voice in the world.”
6. “The Joker,” Steve Miller Band Shout out to Jake Crowe for the awesome way he’ll bust out into song. Always puts me in a happy mood. Yeah, I have a man-crush on Jake. If you get between us, I have a pair of cement shoes for you that come with a complimentary one-way trip to the Fox River.
7. “Every Morning,” Sugar Ray I bought this album at the end of last summer. It’s strange, but it reminds me of a friend who kindly made me aware of a HUGE spider on me by screaming at the top of her lungs.
8. “Deep Inside of You,” Third Eye Blind Pretty self-explanatory.
9. “A Child is Born,” John Allred John is such an unbelievable jazz trombone player. My dad and I absolutely love this guy.
10. “O be joyful in the Lord,” John Rutter and The Cambridge SIngers My dad and I burned this CD for my grandma when we were staying with her this summer. Now whenever I listen to it I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Well, now she knows how to use her CD player thanks to us. You’re welcome, Grandma!