For me there are two categories when it comes to my favorite music:  All-Time and Recent.  The difference is an all-timer is one that, over a lengthy period of time, I can return to and listen to each track, know every word and every note, and actually want to listen to.  Something I can see myself stranded on a desert island with.

A recent favorite is something I’ve been listening to recently, and have decided I like.  A recent favorite can become an all-time favorite with repeated listening over a long time.

Examples of Recent Favorites

The last month or so I’ve been getting into the music of Bill Frisell and Cal Tjader, two very different jazz musicians.  I’ve also been listening to progressive rock by Gentle Giant, and blues by John Mayall (among others like country artist Wayne Hancock, and the rock group Dr. Dog).

Of these artists, I’d say Gentle Giant has become my favorite all-time progressive rock group and Cal Tjader is on the short list of my favorite jazz musicians.  Bill Frisell and John Mayall have great music, and I love listening to their work, but I haven’t listened to them enough to call them an all-time favorite, and I doubt I will in the forseeable future.  They’d just be really good and talented artists, in my opinion.  I love their music but it doesn’t “speak to me” like others do.

 In the past year or two or three, I’ve listened to a lot of new music, forming many recent favorites.  Of those, I think the artist that stands out the most is Roy Ayers.  Roy started as a jazz vibraphonist and, in the early 70’s, switched to R&B music. 


All-Time Favorites

Here’s an example of some of my all-time all-time albums:

A very small sample size to be sure, but you get the idea–Rock ‘n roll is my primary music, followed by jazz and R&B.   I could add about 50-75 more if I felt like copying the pictures.  To make it easier for me to list, let’s break up the genres.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, really just the ones that come to my head:

Rock ‘n Roll Favorites

REM–Reckoning   Neil Young–Everybody Knows This is Nowhere   The Kinks–Muswell Hillbillies   Meat Puppets–Up on the Sun   My Morning Jacket–Z   Bob Dylan–Nashville Skyline     Komeda–What Makes it Go   Gentle Giant–In a Glass House   Reckless Kelly–Wicked Twisted Road     Van Morrison–Moondance   Petra Haden–Sings the Who Sell Out   Kraan–Andy Nogger   Stephen Stills–Manassas   Graham Parker–Squeezing Out Sparks  Iman Califato Independiente–Camino del Aguila

Jazz Favorites

Joe Pass–Live at Yoshi’s, volume II   George Benson–Beyond the Blue Horizon   Yusef Lateef–Autophysiopsychic   Bola Sete–Autentico   Cannonball Adderley–Paris Jazz Concert   John Scofield–A Go Go   Bobby Hutcherson–Montara    Johnny “Hammond” Smith–Gears   Jimmy Raney–A     Greyboy All-Stars—West Coast Boogaloo   Antonio Carlos Jobim–Wave   Weldon Irvine–Spirit Man   Gene Ammons–Boss Tenor   Fermata–Piesen Z Hol’    Harry Connick Jr.–20    Joe Sample–Carmel     Herbie Mann–Muscle Schoals Nitty Gritty     Dorothy Ashby–The Rubaiyat of Dorothy Ashby   James Mason–Rhythm of Life  

R&B Favorites

Al Green–I’m Still in Love with You   Curtis Mayfield–Curtis/Live!    The Meters–Struttin’   Buddy Miles–The Best Of    The Blackbyrds–The Blackbyrds     Stevie Wonder–Innervisions     Solomon Burke–Don’t Give Up on Me   Headhunters–Survival of the Fittest     Roy Ayers–Virgo Red     Bloodstone–Do You Wanna Do a Thing   Bill Withers–Live at Carnegie Hall   Otis Redding–Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay   Parliament–Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome    The Fatback Band–Let’s Do it Again


In the Country music genre I love “Honky Tonk Masquerade” by Joe Ely, “Willis Alan Ramsey” by Willis Alan Ramsey, and if I’m in the right mood, it’s “Stardust” or “Night and Day” by Willie Nelson.  When it comes to blues, it’s “USA Union” by John Mayall, Albert King’s “I’ll Play the Blues for You,” “Truckin’ with Albert Collins” or 2 by one of my absolute favorite vocalist–Jimmy Witherspoon’s “Blue Spoon” and “The ‘Spoon Concerts.”  One of my all-time favorites resides in the Electronica genre, it’s by Popol Vuh and it’s called “Einsjager & Siebenjager.”  There’s a fabulous reggae album by a fabulous Jamaican band called the Skatalites–“Heroes of Reggae in Dub.”  That’s great listening.