Holiday happiness is…

..revisiting my Spotify Yuletide Swing playlist. Always curating, refining, polishing.

While some of the titles may suggest a particular denomination or belief, I’ve included them solely for their musical contribution. This is

Whatever situation the pandemic may have placed you in this year, I hope this brings you some smiles, warmth, comfort, groove, a swing to your step and extra light to your holiday season. We’ve surely needed it more this year than any in my lifetime.

Let me know of any tracks you think should add to this!

Swinging serenity

I can’t believe I haven’t lauded this group yet, after months of savoring their sweet stylings. Like the entirety of the performing arts community, this super suave jazz trio had to scramble to find performance alternatives in the face of the pandemic closures, and began streaming live Facebook sessions on Monday nights early this spring. These have become one of my top psychological palliatives in the turbulence of both the virus and the malevolent insanity of the current U.S. administration. If I haven’t been able to create much music of my own, having these cats remind me of what brilliance and joy is still possible has been mana.

Fronted by their wunderkind eponymous pianist, superbly backed by drummer Kyle Pool and bassist Russell Hall (who has to be the most stylin’ jazz performer currently on the interwebz), these concerts from Emmet’s living room in Harlem include featured guests from across the jazz spectrum. Each week is a blast.

The group has an extensive discography which I highly recommend, but increasingly legendary archive of live performances on both Facebook and Youtube is equally delectable. Donations are requested and I highly encourage it: live music this good and visceral, right in the comfort of your own home, shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Oh happy day

If – like me – you have spent the past few days in a state of bewildered jubilation at the prospect of sanity and decency to the government of the United States, you may have been searching for a means of expression. One of mine has been the creation and continuing curation of this playlist. Here’s hoping it promotes your own mood!

And feel free to send me suggestions for additions.