Thursday, January 17, 2008

...and then we make your happy happy

I finally just finished a CD compilation that I have meant to do for years. The theme is "happy jazz", so I thought I'd share it with you all in the spirit of promoting happiness. Here's the playlist:

1. the spanish flea - trudy pitts
2. the preacher - horace silver
3. cariba - wes montgomery
4. joy spring - clifford brown
5. hallelujah, i love her so - groove holmes
6. flying home - lionel hampton
7. the cat - jimmy smith
8. skad my to znamy? - krzystof sadowski
9. take your pick - hank mobley
10. island lady - sonny rollins
11. in the mood (bis) - rhoda scott
12. happy people - kenny garrett
13. change - donald byrd
14. cold bear - the gaturs
15. be young, be foolish, be happy - booker t & the mg's
16. flute thing - seatrain
17. summer samba (samba de verão) - walter wanderley

In my selection process, "happy" didn't necessarily mean "not blues" or "in a major key". I basically just decided whether the overall "mood" of the piece was happy. It was hard because there were plenty of tracks on my original list that make me happy because I like them, but if I really thought about someone else listening to them I had to admit that they wouldn't necessarily inspire instant happiness. There were also tunes that are pretty happy-sounding but have non-happy names, like Filthy McNasty (Horace Silver), so I eliminated those. And there were some that are super-happy but not really jazz, like Whipped Cream (Herb Alpert) and Soul Finger (Bar-Kays), so those were out.

This whole thing started because one day several years ago, I got home from school and the Admiral said he was feeling kind of depressed. I asked if he knew why, and he said maybe it was because he'd been listening to jazz all day. That got me thinking that, yeah, a lot of jazz is kind of vaguely depressing, but surely there was plenty of jazz out there that could make you happy. Offhand I could only think of a handful of jazz numbers that could legitimately be called "happy", I started collecting them up. I ended up with over 3 hours of happy jazz, but these 17 tracks were among the happiest. I'm listening to them now... and yeah, I'd say they are making me pretty happy.


basman said...

Ah yes, I remember some of these from the pad. I think it's time to expand my organ jazz collection beyond richard groove holmes...

William said...

Man! I really want to hear this - is there supposed to be a download link somewhere? Thanks in advance.

Mary said...

Sorry William, but I don't think I am really allowed to post the actual songs here. :-/