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Songs For A Hot Summer Night

August is a month for moving at a relaxed pace, so it's a perfect time to seek out a tall cool one and some music to go with it. Below are five tunes to help you find the happily you're ever after.

Songs For A Hot Summer Night

Shirley Horn

"Return to Paradise"

From 'Here's to Life'

When Shirley Horn phrases a thought, we all get to come along. Johnny Mandel's arranging ensures a quiet ride.

Miles Davis/Gil Evans

"Summertime (Miles Davis)"

From 'Porgy and Bess'

There are many treatments of this Gershwin classic, but none makes you reach for the ceiling fan quicker than this Miles Davis and Gil Evans collaboration.

Joe Locke Quartet

Moment To Moment
Moment To Moment

"Slow Hot Wind"

From 'Moment to Moment'

The book of Henry Mancini has gems for each season. Joe Locke gives us a quartet breeze to please, exchanging ideas with pianist Billy Childs, bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Gene Jackson. It's not slow, but it sure is hot.

Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Ron Carter, Tony Williams

"Cantaloupe Island"

From 'One Night With Blue Note [DVD & CD]'

After a period of inactivity, the Blue Note label returned to the front line with an all-star concert on Feb. 22, 1985. After the concert's opening selection, heard here, it became clear that the world would welcome this new energy from one of the premier labels in the world of jazz. The entire concert, with many more fabulous musicians, is out on DVD.

Joe Henderson

"Lush Life"

From 'Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn'

The scene was Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. It's the end of the session, with the music of Billy Strayhorn: duets, trios, quartets and quintets. For the finale, all the lights in the studio were turned off. You couldn't see Joe Henderson through the glass, but you could hear him — more than four minutes of pure magic with a man and his horn. It's the perfect companion to any hot August night.

Copyright 2008 WBGO

Gary Walker
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