"Such an offering of lush phrases, of calls and responses, which build off each other through the eerie tension in the melody as it climbs little by little…then towards the end it just all spills over the soft drums slowly carrying it off into the most satisfying fade. It’s a relatively short song but has a soaring epic-ness that seems to bend time a little. I have sampled this song more than any other track and it continues to inspire me in different ways."
2. Sister Sledge - Somebody Loves Me (4'17" - 4'27")
Sister Sledge – We Are Family (1979)
"Simply so tender and painstakingly heart aching at the same time haha. It just flows and grows like some kind of still body of water moody with mist, oranges and pinks. Kathy Sledge’s vocals are so strong in their gentleness. When she hits that gorgeous peak note at the end and the run cascades it’s so stunning I feel it on the back of my neck, and like I have to make a wish before the song ends."
The Roots – ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (2014)
“I receive this song like a prayer from a close friend, a reminder, that reaches out in the middle of our everyday. The melody is simple and familiar, and steady, it’s the release at the end that feels like the possibility of a transcendence through the little things right here right now. This song is like a medicine for me on days I’m struggling to feel grounded and be grateful for all that is here today."
4. John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman - Lush Life (0'43" - 0'53")
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (1963)
"When it comes to telling a story, setting a scene/a mood, vocal technique and poise, I feel this is one of the most enchanting, curious and lulling, songs I’ve ever heard. It feels like a new wave film following the protagonist through different scenes of melancholy and defiant hope. It’s a movie."
5. Tyrone Washington - Universal Spiritual Revolt (0'13" - 0'23")
Tyrone Washington – Do Right (1974)
"Strangely enough, this is a song that when I began to explore it more I discovered a strange sense of inner peace within it. The energy is there from the very beginning and Tyrone Washington bursts through like a bright determined light. The energy then unfolds into an intensity that is most definitely a little difficult, within that though there’s this pulse to the chaos swirling around you. Growing with this song over many years it’s a warm and supportive chaos I find, a release and redirection of energy. It’s a song that is a journey and about journey. Recalibration/transformation is difficult, and also necessary."
6. Takashi Yoshimatsu - The Age of Birds: III. The Sun (3.50-4.00)
Takashi Yoshimatsu -
The Age of Birds, Op. 25 (1986)
"Being the 3rd part of a suite, ‘The Sun’ follows ‘The Sky’ and ‘The Tree’. It masterfully evokes the movement of hundreds of little birds sweeping through the sky completing the cycle of their day. Kinda takes my breathe away. Sounds amazing while walking around food shopping. Trust me the contrast is wonderful."
7. Roy Ayers feat Merry Clayton & Sylvia Fox - Brand New Feeling (3'50" - 4'00")
Roy Ayers – Virgin Ubiquity (Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981)
"This is off of Virgin Ubiquity Unreleased recordings 1976 - 1981, and the whole thing may very well be some of my favorite Roy Ayers. When listening to this record, particularly this song, I can hear why it may have not been released. It’s ‘unpolished-ness’ with the length and space given to explore (even if not to a place of what may have felt ‘complete’ to the artist or label at that time) is exactly what makes it astoundingly beautiful to me. It’s free, bold, sincere. Listening to this I can imagine what the energy in the recording space must have been like as Sylvia Cox and Merry Clayton journeyed to deeply raw and dynamic places of vision, feeling, and longing. Makes me feel a little more fearless about the strength of my own feelings when I listen to this."
8. Sam Rivers - Beatrice (2'14" - 2'24")
Sam Rivers - Fuchsia Swing Song (1964)
"I choose Sam Rivers' 'Beatrice'... There's one phrase in particular. The build is so lush and it reaches a sweeping state like the breeze climbing up a hill and finally cascading over the top of that mound. It catches the pieces of that peak and unfurls it into the air and away... in my 'over-imaginational' mind at least."