The Line-Up 12-4-2009 by retronius

It's a hard job being a DJ.  You have to put together what you think would sound good whenever you construct a set.  Some sets are more inspired than others.  Still, the strength of a DJ's library makes a world of difference.  I'm blessed not only to have this show and the pleasure of putting on show I love to do every week (and that folks enjoy hearing), but also to have a strong library of music from whence this show originates, along with a few choice songs of my own that I bring to the station and hope others appreciate.  Sometimes I just let the computer that holds this library do the picking and after I hear what it has to offer, I'm pretty pleased with what it suggests.  Some shows are more dependent on the computer than others but for the most part, I put my seal of approval on each show, including the things I have to say (on which I'm extremely critical).  Tonight, ye olde KRTU library made a lot of the choices with the exception of me doing a  little swapping around of some songs and plugging in a couple of tracks.  Still, I think this should be a good set for the week.

Stefon Harris and Blackout - The Afterthought
Harris's album, Urbanus, was just nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.  I've got high hopes.
Pat Martino - Door
Joshua Redman - Put It In Your Pocket
Redman and one of my favorites (if you didn't know already) Brad Mehldau played at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree last night.  Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau have a long history of playing together.  That history has little if anything to do with this song selection, I just wanted to throw that tidbit out there.
Gilfema - Salome
The Crusaders - Eleanor Rigby
This truly is my favorite song ever.  I strongly believe Joe Sample is the greatest man ever to lay hands on the piano.  He has always had a heavy handed sound in his playing, remarkable phrasing, blues backing, a chord heavy style, and some of the best evolution of a musician I have ever known.  Sample is as brilliant a pianist with The Crusaders in this 1968 cover of the Beatles standard as he is now doing the arrangements for Willie Nelson's jazz album.  Yet, he's best when he's given room to shine, which is why this is my favorite song ever.  The Crusaders are typically a quintet or sextet depending on the song but after the melody is established with the whole group, the horns fade away and Sample heads a basic trio of piano/bass/drums in order to give arguably his strongest recorded solo in his career.  Like I said, it's my favorite song and I am constantly in awe of its greatness.
Madlib - Young Warrior
I can never not talk about how great Madlib is as a producer and musician.  When I was talking with my friend, Shaneka, the other day about how much I love Madlib for his musical skills (to the point that they overshadow lyrics if his beats back a prominent rapper like Mos Def or DOOM), I resolved to play a selection of his tonight.  This was the only song of his in the system that I didn't know so even I'm hearing something different tonight from someone who I've loved for quite a bit in the hip hop/jazz world.  Here he remixes a Bobby Humphrey tune for yet another Blue Note remix compilation.
Ben Allison - Emergency
Following Allison's "Emergency," I intended for Grover Washington Jr.'s "Away in a Manger" to play from his last recorded album, Breath of Heaven but something messed up somehow and Galen picked up the slack quite well with a new track from Vampire Weekend.  I found it jarring too, but I love his show so I say all is well.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit peeved but I'll get over it.  On your own, I would suggest you play Grover Washington, Jr.'s version of "Away in a Manger," which stands not only as a great reinterpretation of a traditional Christmas song but also as just great jazz in general.

"The Line-Up," in case you didn't know, was crafted before me by a pair I rather respect and do all I can to make sure I'm taking good care of the show.  It was designed to compliment its following show, "The Distance."  Since, Galen started his show early, I figure I should say the songs that overlapped.
Vampire Weekend - Cousins
I think I like Vampire Weekend as much as most others like me and I'm waiting as anxiously as everyone else is for their new album, Contra.  In the meantime, if songs and videos like this keep springing up, I should be relatively happy.

Grizzly Bear - Knife
This isn't off their latest album, Veckatimist, but that doesn't matter.  Find that album and listen to it immediately.  If you haven't yet, get like Nebuchadnezzar and wear sack cloth and cover yourself in ashes for realizing you've done wrong in your life all along for sleeping on Grizzly Bear.  Seriously, I'll wait.

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