"George Floyd’s murder I started listening all the time to Gil Scott-Heron. His music and message is still so relevant. I found this hidden gem on the album Pieces of a Man. It’s not actually him singing, it’s from his college band ‘Black & Blues’, but he wrote the lyric. I remember the first time I heard the first note of the singer Victor Brown …. It gripped me completely."
2. Terry Callier - Cotton Eyed Joe (3'44" - 3'54")
Terry Callier - The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier (1968)
"Terry Callier is one of my favourite artists of all time. I actually found out about him from hearing his obituary on the radio, which is a classic case of my tragic timing. I feel that if more people knew his music maybe the world would be a better place. I feel he’s criminally underrated, and sadly he gave up being a musician towards the end of his life to support his daughter.
I love his original music, which is so filled with spirituality and love, but this is from his debut album ‘The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier’ recorded in the 1960s folk revival craze. I only knew Cotton Eyed Joe as that stupid Rednex song, but this version is so beautiful, and that line in particular ‘dying is easy, it’s living that’s pain’, is so heartbreaking."
3. John Coltrane - Wise One (2'30" - 2'40")
John Coltrane - Crescent (1964)
“Last summer was a pretty difficult time for me and I listened to
John Coltrane’s album ‘Crescent’ all the way through on most days.
Something in this album is really healing. Wise One is such a tune."
"Court and Spark is my favourite Joni Mitchell album, and I think this line might be my favourite Joni Mitchell lyric. Joni Mitchell is queen, don’t think I really need to go into it. I’m definitely getting a Joni Mitchell lyric tattooed onto my body at some point in my life."
5. Jeff Buckley – Je N’en Connais Pas La Fin (3'42" - 3'52")
Jeff Buckley – Live At Sin-é (2003)
"Jeff Buckley Live at Sin-e is one of my favourite albums of all time. I can recite the monologues between tracks. Hard to pick my favourite ten seconds of the album, but this is a cover of Edith Piaf, another gem for creating beautiful moments in music, so this track wins.
As well as his angelic voice, Jeff Buckley was a sick guitarist. I’ve still never heard anyone else play guitar like that to accompany themselves. I also love his pure joy for music. In this ten second clip he does a little hum along to the guitar melody and it’s honestly too much."
6. Charlie Parker – Ballad Medley (36'28" - 36'38")
- Jam Session (1952)
"This is from ‘Jam Session’ from a 1952 jam session with Parker and a completely mad line-up (Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, Ben Webster, Ray Brown…) And Johnny Hodges just swoops in with this note. Johnny Hodges remains the one horn player who’s ever made me cry. Although I know I sound hella old fashioned, I love back in the day when sax players used to play with all the vibrato and try and emulate the vocalists. Ironically I think Charlie Parker was the one who made it unfashionable. I love ballads. Much as I love the London jazz scene I do wish people would play more ballads and get in their feels more."
7. Led Zeppelin - Since I’ve Been Loving You (6'45"-6'55")
Led Zeppelin III (1970)
"Instead of being a normal angsty teenager who liked Green Day or something I’d shut myself up in my room and blast Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin all day. I developed a bit of an obsession. This track is filthy."
"Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone are who brought me over to the dark, dangerous world of jazz. They are goddesses. I have a very strange relationship with this song. It’s so powerful and I love it so much I genuinely feel very uncomfortable listening to it, and barely every play it. But I don’t need to listen to it again, it’s lodged in my soul somewhere. It’s mad how much music can mess with your emotions – that’s its power. Her last note gets my ten seconds."
9. Sergei Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2 Op. 27 III. Adagio: (7'05" - 7'15")
Written in 1906-1907
"This is the Adagio from Symphony Num. 2 in E minor by Rachmaninoff, played by the Philharmonic Orchestra. I have a soft spot for Russian romantics. Him and Tchaikovsky are my favourites. They have simple melodies but gorgeous, moody chords and simmering, dancing textures in their arrangements. I think this is a ridiculously beautiful piece of music. I saw the LSO do the whole Symphony at the Barbican last year and it was incredible."