Amy Van Keeken— Glenn Miller (featuring Marion Hutton on vocals), “Bluebirds in the Moonlight”
I listen to a lot of Glenn Miller and have a dream of time traveling and being one of his vocalists, like Marion Hutton, who is featured here on Bluebirds in the Moonlight. Hutton was discovered by Glenn Miller and was invited to join the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1938. She was only 17 so Helen and Glenn Miller had to sign papers to officially declare themselves her foster parents so she could work in the nightclubs the band performed in. Hutton’s warm voice seems so effortless, it’s the perfect accompaniment to these swinging Miller band tunes.
Lark Clark— Stanton Moore/Cyril Neville, “The Beat”
From the fantastic new album: With You In Mind, the Songs of Allen Toussaint. As with all great songs, they come alive under so many different hands.
Baba— Janis Joplin, “Me and Bobby McGee”
Janis passed away on 4th October 1970 (at the age of 27), ‘Me and Bobby McGee’ was recorded only a few days before Janis died, although written by Kris Kristofferson, but the song is strongly associated with Miss Joplin….!
Mark Antonelli— The King’s Singers, “Autumn Leaves by Sir Charles Stanford / text by Charles Dickens”
It’s a seasonal favourite of mine. You can’t really go wrong with the King’s Singers and the text is by none other than Charles Dickens (!?). Withered leaves are the symbol of both “love once true” and “friends once kind”. A classy way to ease into Autumn.
Lionel Rault— Alan Parsons Project, “Eye In The Sky”
Near perfect composition, performance, production, orchestration…80’s pop at its best!
Monica Miller— Dee Dee Bridgewater, “Going Down Slow”
I’ve said it before, Dee Dee Bridgewater is a force of nature. Her new album was recorded in the town she grew in – Memphis, TN. At Willie Mitchell’s Royal Studios. With Mitchell’s son Boo. And it’s a beaut! Ah, but which track to choose? Well, she impressed the heck out of me with her cover of a St. Louis Jimmy tune that has been covered many times but always (as far as I know) by men. BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Howlin’ Wolf… She stands toe-to-toe with all those guys with her version of “Going Down Slow.”
Grant Stovel— Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band, “Heart of Gold”
Given that the late Charles Bradley released his debut album at the age of 62(!)…this soulful spin on the Neil Young classic seems like a particularly fitting way to remember his full-to-bursting generosity of spirit.
David Ward— Bend Sinister, “Be Alright”
An upbeat and positive gospel-flavoured song with the requisite handclaps, tambourine, and a chorus of singers belting out the simple refrain “we’re gonna be alright!”.