Fiona Apple is one of a few dozen artists featured in Victoria contributor Mary McAlister’s playlistCONTRIBUTORS
Victoria’s Joy Andrews and Mary McAlister are two ardent and committed music fans. Both of them walk a unique path to their passion
In her spare time Andrews sings, practices and studies jazz with friends and colleagues while also attending summer band camps and concerts.
McAlister is an avid listener and voracious collector of song titles. As she wrote to Kurated: “I make a playlist for every season—songs that I collect by shazaming in stores, TV show soundtracks, Apple Music recommendations, friend and teacher recommendations, and leads from Kurated!“
In today’s post Andrews contributes a version of the enchanting Nature Boy – a song first recorded and made famous by Nat King Cole in 1948 – which she is working on with a band.
McAlister presents her wildly eclectic 53-song Fall 2022 Mix “… my favourite so far,” she says. A sampling of some performers you might know includes Fiona Apple, First Aid Kit, Echo and the Bunnymen, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, Big Thief, Norah Jones, Brian Eno, Mazzy Star and Nelly Furtado. Lesser known names are Avishai Cohen, Tigran Hamasyan, DJ Fleg, The Mars Volta, Devon Gilfillian, Aaron Parks, Le Tigre, Liam Bailey and Dijon.
The 5th Annual Readers’ Choice
Kurated readers share their favourite music of the last year in the annual Readers’ Choice series. Anything musical is welcomed whether its new, an old favourite, something self-composed and more. Thanks to all the contributors!
08 January 2023
One song: Nature Boy
It turns out that I do have a top song this year: Nature Boy, written by eden abhez.
Two artists do a rendition that has inspired the version I am now working on with our band:
• Lorraine Nygard performed this at Hermann’s Jazz Club with an amazing quartet
• And the great Kurt Elling does a strong rendition performing it with muscularity and delicacy. And, it includes an inspiring scat solo.
The song means a lot to me because it reminds me of my Mom and speaks to me as a person often living in the liminal.
About Joy: Joy Andrews is a distance runner, a jazz lover and developing vocalist who draws inspiration from the greats!
(ED. NOTE: Nature Boy has an interesting back story. A couple of lines from Wikipedia: “It was written by eden ahbez as a tribute to Bill Pester, who practiced the Naturmensch and Lebensreform philosophies adopted by ahbez. The lyrics of the song relate to a 1940s Los Angeles-based group called “Nature Boys”, a subculture of proto-hippies of which ahbez was a member.” American Songwriter presents a longer narrative.
Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan is a featured artist on Fall Mix 2022
Fall Mix 2022: a 53-song playlist
The common denominator for these songs is they all make me feel more alive. I’m noticing how music opens the channels between the often closed-off parts of myself. My ordinary drive to work hard and then zone out in front of the TV, is disrupted when I attend to something generative. It’s not about avoidance about the devastation in the world. It’s about getting out of the drama-entrenched/numbed out reaction, so that life (and death) can flow through.
I want to explore this more. What else can come into being, with music as transit?
(Speaking of TV, a bit of the soundtrack to Station 11 is in the playlist, which was my favourite series this year.)
About Mary: Mary McAlister, writing from Victoria BC, where I am currently serving unhoused folks in the city on an Island Health outreach team.