David Byrne is starting the new year by sharing some of his favorite orchestral jazz performances with a new playlist published by the rock singer earlier this week.
Titled, “DAVID BYRNE PRESENTS: ORCHESTRAL JAZZ,” Byrne’s list of orchestral-based song recommendations was posted to the blog on his website, and is comprised of famous names from throughout the history of jazz including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and more.
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“I’ve been watching and enjoying the Ken Burns doc series on Jazz,” Byrne said in the copy portion of his blog post shared on New Year’s Day. “Lots of folks carp about omissions and biases in this and his Country music series, but overall it’s a pretty good overview and with lots of context. Jazz, like any musical genre, was shaped by external forces- race, wars, technology, economics, laws- it both reflected and was molded by all of that.”
Byrne continued in saying, “I cannot judge. But it is true the room for improvisation is more limited in these pieces, but other qualities come to the fore- sonic worlds on a par with anything classical composers were doing.”
Byrne’s playlist includes Miles Davis’ “Miles Ahead” and “Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)”, Duke Ellington And His Orchestra‘s “The Queen’s Suite: Lightning Bugs And Frogs”, Ornette Coleman & London Symphony Orchestra‘s “Skies of America”, Charlier Parker’s “Just Friends”, Oliver Nelson‘s “Stolen Moments”, and Moondog‘s “Symphonique #6 (Good For Goodie)”, just to name a few.
Byrne’s jazz initiative to start off his new year turns the page on what was a very successful 2019 for the Talking Heads singer. Although there doesn’t appear to be a Talking Heads reunion in the near future, Byrne did spend last year bringing his American Utopia Tour to Broadway in late October, and will look to launch an “immersive experience” in Denver, CO this coming summer.
Scroll down for the full list of artists and songs included in Byrne’s new jazz-inspired playlist.
David Byrne Presents: Orchestral Jazz
“Miles Ahead” – Miles Davis
“Concierto de Aranjuez (Adagio)” [Master] – Miles Davis
“What Reason Could I Give” – Ornette Coleman
“The Queen’s Suite: Lightning Bugs And Frogs” – Duke Ellington And His Orchestra
“Oclupaca” – Duke Ellington and His Orchestra
“Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)” – Duke Ellington
“Skies of America” – Ornette Coleman & London Symphony Orchestra
“The Good Life” – Ornette Coleman & London Symphony Orchestra
“Just Friends” – Charlie Parker
“The Blue Necklace” – The Modern Jazz Quartet
“The Jasmin Tree” (2010 Remaster) – The Modern Jazz Quartet
“Stolen Moments” – Oliver Nelson
“Overture” – Duke Ellington
“Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy)” – Duke Ellington
“We Shall Overcome” – Charlie Haden
“Thelonious” (Complete Version Bonus Track) – Thelonious Monk Orchestra
“Symphonique #6 (Good For Goodie)” [Instrumental] – Moondog