Say “Hello” to Hagerty Media!

I have a new writing job, and I am having lot of fun with it.

I have started writing a column for Hagerty Media, the media and communications division of the Hagerty collector-car insurance business. My new column is called “Music for Your Road.” The (Somewhat) Unique Selling Proposition of my column is that all the recordings I recommend are gathered in a public playlist hosted by the Qobuz streaming service.

So, if you go to Hagerty’s Media website (which is public-access) to read my new column, at the end there is a link that guides you to my first “Music for Your Road” Qobuz playlist. More after the jump!

My playlists will try to balance my idiosyncrasy and subjectivity on the one hand against the desires to be accessible and to expand “cultural literacy in music” on the other. And you can see that at work in my first playlist, which consists of:

1. Miles Davis: the Birth of the Cool sessions (1949/50)
2. Clifford Brown with Strings (1955)
3. Ella Fitzgerald: The Cole Porter Songbook (1956)
4. Michel Legrand: Legrand Jazz (1958)
5. Oliver Nelson Sextet: The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961)
6. Bill Evans: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961
7. Paul Desmond: Desmond Blue (1962)
8. Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd: Jazz Samba (1962)
9. Hubert Laws: The Rite of Spring (1971)
10. Jim Hall: Concierto (1975)
11. Tommy Flanagan: Lady Be Good… for Ella (1994)
12: Aaron Diehl: The Bespoke Man’s Narrative (2013)

That’s a list that combines awareness of the canonical, iconic, or, “everyone should know this music” titles with subjective and sometimes off-the-beaten-path picks. The first six albums consist of four unquestionable selections (Birth of the Cool; The Cole Porter Songbook; The Blues and the Abstract Truth; and The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961) with two perhaps-arguable ones (Clifford Brown with Strings; Legrand Jazz). Not that there is anything “wrong” with those last two. It’s just that I can foresee someone’s saying, “Hey… those are nice to listen to, but, are they important enough?” To which I would reply that beauty is its own justification.

It’s the second set of six I think will be the lightning rod. “THREE albums produced by Creed Taylor???”, some will ask. To which I reply, count your blessings; it could have been four! (Kenny Burrell’s Guitar Forms is a great Gil Evans collaboration which, marvelous to behold, was produced by Creed Taylor.)

Qobuz is a wonderful streaming service. My favorite feature is that Qobuz streams high-resolution PCM digital audio (when they have access to it for a particular recording) that does not require any special equipment to decode. E.g., the Birth of the Cool is a 24-bit/192kHz title. And, there are Qobuz apps for smart phones and portable devices.

Qobuz offers a 30-day free trial. Go for it, I say!

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