Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summertime Sunday

Sunday often means a day of listening to WPFW, a great jazz-oriented community radio station here in DC. The Sunday line-up is killer (in fact it is the whole reason I am a member and I suspect others are as well). It starts with Tom Cole and his show "G-Strings" focused on guitar and other string-driven jazz--perfect for a Sunday morning paper and a cup of coffee. It is followed by "Sunday Kind of Love" hosted by Miyuki Williams who tends to focus on vocals, particularly women vocalists. Then you get "Guy's Groove" with Guy Middleton in the afternoon with a great mix of bop and R&B. And finally, there is "Sound of Surprise" with Larry Applebaum who spins lots of new releases and reissues.

I find the whole day perfectly timed--particularly for a cool fall or winter Sunday--or even a warm summer day when you are trying to get the basement refinished (like today). I would definitely suggest you check it out if you are in town or hanging around your computer on a Sunday (link to the main page over in the right hand column).

I was particularly glad that I tuned in today as when I did I immediately noticed that they were playing a bunch of Eva Cassidy. It soon became clear that the reason was that a new collection of previously unreleased tunes were being released today on a new disc entitled Somewhere. For those who don't know Eva's music and her story, she passed in 1996 at only age 33, but left a serious imprint on the music scene with her amazing vocals.

My first experience with her music was on a beautiful November morning driving home from a meeting in downtown DC about 6 years ago. As I drove north on 16th Ave., her rendition of "Autumn Leaves" from Live at Blues Alley came on. It didn't hurt that the sun was slanting through the trees lining the street and colored leaves were floating gently to the ground. Needless to say, that album was quickly added to my collection and I would recommend it to anyone--great live music that ranges from Irving Berlin to Curtis Mayfield to Sting to Al Green with a tight band.

Miyuki had the new disc in the studio along with Eva's parents who were there for an interview. The samples were all solid--but I particularly found the arrangement of "Summertime" both wonderful to listen to and heartbreaking as I imagined her folks listening to these lyrics. The arrangement was caught on Live @ Pearls (a bootleg as far as I know) and is used here on this YouTube contribution--I recommend closing your eyes and listening.

1 comment:

Lisa B. said...

Love Eva Cassidy--very sad how early she died, but how great is it that more recordings keep turning up? I will definitely pick this one up.