As a DJ, the most frequent question I get asked is “What kind of music are you into?”
In my personal time, I turn on my record player, lay down an album, and let it play the way it was meant to be heard: beginning to end.
Here’s a snapshot of what I currently am enjoying, curated to match typical weekend activities:
Starting (or ending) the day off right – CLASSICAL
I’d be lying if I didn’t come clean off the bat and admit that I listen to classical music. Other than the occasional wedding ceremony, this doesn’t factor into my DJing repertoire whatsoever. But the classics of classical do a better job at getting me out of bed fresh and focussed, and an even better job of helping put our baby to sleep when it’s time for a nap.
CLASSIC ALBUM: Classic For Brunch, Various Artists
MORE CURRENT: 2001: A Space Odyssey Soundtrack, Various Artists
ON ROTATION: Cello Suites Vol. 1, J.S. Bach
Reading a book – JAZZ & LOUNGEY HOUSE
Anyone who knew me circa the 90s knows I didn’t go anywhere without my sax strapped to my back. So naturally, when I’m looking to relax at home, Jazz is my go to. John Coltrane, Dave Brubek, and Herbie Hancock. Verve Remixed albums (1 & 2 are best) are mainstays.
CLASSIC ALBUM: Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
MORE CURRENT: Tourist, St. Germain
ON ROTATION: Head Hunters, Herbie Hancock
Cleaning the house – FUNK & SOUL
Before I was a DJ, I was in a band that played Funk. Probably our most common ground between my wife Kim and I is listening to soulful stuff at home. Stevie Wonder, Rick James, Prince, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and modern artists like Alicia Keys and Amy Winehouse. We love slow dancing to Gladys Knight and the Pips.
GREATEST HITS: The Soul Of Nina Simone, Nina Simone
MORE CURRENT: Frank, Amy Winehouse
ON ROTATION: Ray Sings: Basie Swings, Ray Charles + Count Basie Orchestra
Friends coming over – ROCK & REGGAE
My friends and I have always bonded over the bands of our youth: Pearl Jam, U2 and The Tragically Hip, and 70s artists Pink Floyd, The Doors and CCR. We also share a passion for older Reggae vibes, especially pre-Marley stuff from the 60s.
GREATEST HITS: The Big Chill Soundtrack,
MORE CURRENT: Phantom Power, The Tragically Hip
ON ROTATION: Reggae Golden Jubilee, Origins Of Jamaican Popular Music, Various Artists
Making dinner – LATIN
My dad is from Chile, so you could say there is a latin beat in my soul. I love cooking for my family, and latin music inspires me to have fun and be creative.
CLASSIC ALBUM: The Legend Of Cuban Percussion, Patato
MORE CURRENT: Agua Del Pozo, Alex Cuba
ON ROTATION: Chef Soundtrack, Various Artists
Getting goofy with the kids – SOUNDTRACKS & KIDS MUSIC
I love my soundtracks. Back To The Future, Beverly Hills Cop, The Original Muppet Show all put smiles on our faces and help bring out the kid in me. These records have stayed with me forever, and prompted Kim to find me an antique (working) Fisher Price record player as a Christmas present last year. Now that we have our son, we are enthusiastic about sharing our passion for music with him.
CLASSIC ALBUM: The Sesame Street Record, Original Cast
MORE CURRENT: For The Kids, Vol. 1-3, Various Artists
ON ROTATION: Louis Prima Collectors Series, Louis Prima
Disclaimer: Music is so personal, and tastes always changing. On my shelves with limited space, new CDs replace ones I haven’t listened to or have heard too much. Old LPs found at a garage sale knock some of my dustier ones to the basement.
This is by no means a list of the greatest albums of all time, just what we have been enjoying lately.
So what’s on your shelf?