30 OCT 2017 - Here's a list of my favorite torch songs. Oh. My. Gosh. I just love these songs.

When riding the bus home from work in the evenings I would sit in back, put my headphones on, and listen to these songs. What I noticed was, more than any other music, I'd have to be careful not to start singing out loud - on the bus. There's something about how deep and mournful these songs are... just want to break out and sing along, they're that good.

BTW, Etta James... the woman absolutely sings her ass off. Unbelievable. And Ella Fitzgerald is easily the greatest female singer of all time.

So here's the list, in alphabetical order. I've linked to a sample of the song on Amazon in case someone wants to listen:


07 SEP 2017 - In honor of Walter Becker, who passed away earlier this week.

I was introduced to Steely Dan in my youth, probably thru the album Pretzel Logic, way back in the 1970s. A couple of the songs were easy to pick up, such as Rikki Don't Lose That Number, Any Major Dude, and With A Gun.

But beyond a few pop hits I can't say I really appreciated them until 30 years later. Sure, I was aware of Aja back then, and even realized it was a beautiful work of art. But it wasn't until later on that I truly listened to the music, to the point that I was in awe of their genius and how the songs are so compositely complete. 

There are a bunch of YouTube clips that analyze Steely Dan's music, but I thought this was one of the better ones. It's not too technical yet still does a good job of revealing the complexity of the music. This video is from The Pledge and is narrated by Nerdwriter1.



More Steely Dan... this is Chain Lightning, a smooth jazz blues number that was the 8th song on the 1975 album Katy Lied. I like this song because there's a sweet little guitar solo in the middle that is actually performed by Rick Derringer. As noted on another review, "...the song is way too short as you want the lead guiter to continue way past the fadeout of the studio cut.":


The guitar solo transitions into the base rhythm of the song, which has a smooth jazz feel to it that easily becomes something you want to hum all day long:



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