Friday, December 28, 2007

Michael Stratton's End of the Year Show

I am gonna do it again: recommend the online live version of Michael's Sunday night show on WLNZ from East Lansing, MI.

As you can see from his words below--this guy keeps himself really well informed, and he really loves the music. On top of that--like our own Michael Eldridge he has a deep baritone voice that's made for radio.

These guys make me crazy. As Vonnegut once characterized his own vocal apparatus --I myself have a voice like a band saw cutting sideways through corrugated steel. I'd die to have jazz radio chops like these two Michaels.

We got 'em here: Friday nights on KHSU, Sunday nights on WLNZ.

Vinyl Side of Midnight 2007

This is the playlist for this week’s Vinyl Side of Midnight, which can be heard on 89.7fm WLNZ in the Greater Lansing area, or you can tune in internationally on the web on - hosted by Mike Stratton, Sunday nights, 9- midnight, Eastern Standard Time

Here is my list of my favorite recordings from 2007. I’ve listed my “Top Ten” in jazz, but also mention a few pop releases that caught my ear that are worth mention.

This week’s playlist:

GET READY – Carl Allen & Rodney Whitaker (Mack Avenue Records)

Desperate Desire

A Heart Enflamed, A Soul Enchanted

Allen & Whitaker create a work that travels from Motown to the church. Highly entertaining.


Find Me

Doin’ (Y)our Thing

Wynton’s deeply felt statement is political and musical.


Moment’s Notice

Round Midnight

String quartet covers jazz.

KIDS (LIVE AT DIZZY’S CLUB COCA-COLA) – Joe Lovano and Hank Jones (Blue Note)



Four In One

Lovano and Jones have made several excellent records in recent years within a quartet format. This is a wonderful musical conversation between masters.

DEAR MILES – Ron Carter (Blue Note)

Seven Steps To Heaven

Someday My Prince Will Come

Understated and beautiful, this is Carter’s homage to Miles Davis.

LAWN CHAIR SOCIETY – Kenny Werner (Blue Note)

The 13th Day

Uncovered Heart

Werner brings in a bundle of great compositions and a team of ringers, including Dave Douglas, Chris Potter and Brian Blade.

PILGRIMAGE – Michael Brecker (Heads Up)

Five Months From Midnight

Michael Brecker knew he was dying and this would be his final statement. He invites old friends, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny amongst others, to help him make it.

SKY BLUE – Maria Schneider Orchestra (Artist Share)

The Pretty Road

Schneider’s recordings just get better and better. This is her masterpiece.

SONG FOR ANYONE – Chris Potter 10

Family Tree

Chief Seattle

This is the year of Potter. After long associations with Dave Douglas and Dave Holland, Chris is ready to do his own thing. Like Wayne Shorter or Thelonious Monk, his organic compositions perfectly suit his improvisational style.

NIGHTMOVES – Kurt Elling


I Like The Sunrise

I got a chance to hear Elling perform at this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival. A terrific performance enhanced my appreciation of his work. This is a great recording.

In between these sets, I’ll play music from the following recordings as a musical ‘bed’; my other favorite CDs of the year:

BACK TO BLACK – Amy Winehouse (Universal Republic)

INFINITO PARTICULAR – Marisa Monte (Metro Blue)

RAISING SAND – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Rounder)

VERSION – Mark Ronson (Sony)

LA RADIOLINA – Manu Chao (Nacional Records)

KALA – M.I.A. (Interscope Records)

To finish the night I will play a suite of music from some of the artists we lost this year: Joe Zawinul, Alice Coltrane, Frank Morgan, Max Roach, Michael Brecker and Oscar Peterson.

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