The Music Tells A Story

Musician, and seven-time Grammy award-winner Paul Winter has a new album out, Light of the Sun, which was release last year. The new record features Winter singing and for the first time being the lead soprano sax player throughout the CD. Winter, during his early college days toured to 23 countries of Latin America and also performed in a jazz performance at the White House during the Kennedy administration in 1962. Thus far he has performed in 52 countries, has released more than 60 records, and still has time to be interviewed by the press the world over.

If you were alone on a desert island which five CDs would you most want with you and why?

I) Por Toda Minha Vida (Lenita Bruno)
This sublime 1957 album, of the early "art songs" of Antonio Carlos Jobim, is the Rosetta Stone out of which the bossa nova genre emerged. Lenita Bruno is a classically trained singer but with an earthy Brazilian soulfulness, and she is accompanied by a small orchestra (no guitar yet). This music is the link between Villa-Lobos, Brazil's great classical composer, and the bossa nova lineage of Jobim and others.

II) Miles Ahead (Miles Davis with the Gil Evans Orchestra)
This is the zenith of American music, to date, and certainly the pinnacle of the entire heritage of jazz. This also was '57. Gil's exquisite arrangements interweave woodwinds and brass in magical ways, and to my ear, are the most soulful ensemble tapestries of musical instruments ever created.
This album was the principal inspiration for my Consort, as it emerged after my year in Brazil during the mid-'60s.

III) Chega de Saudade (Joao Gilberto) 1959
Joao's very gentle and syncopated singing was revolutionary, as was his richly harmonic and rhythmic guitar paying. Combined with these brilliant songs of Jobim, this was the birth of bossa nova, and in some ways, its peak.

IV) Bach Cello Suites (Paolo Pandolfo)
Paolo, from Barcelona, plays viola da gamba, an instrument of 6 strings with a deeper range than cello. He is the Glen Gould of the gamba. These have to be the most soulful and creative performances of these great suites in history. It's hard for me to even listen to them now on cello, as much as I love that instrument. I doubt if any cellist has ever come close to this level of mega-artistry (except for Eugene Friesen).

V) Saudade (Renato Braz)
Renato Braz is an as-yet-undiscovered Brazilian singer, whose parents were Guarani Indians, who grew up in the African heritage of Bahia in Brazil's northeast, and who has lived a long time with the European-driven heritage of Sao Paulo. He is the most complete Brazilian I know.
His voice is like a gentle horn. And the songs he sings on this album are timeless gems.

- Paul Winter

The following hit CDs where chosen by artist Queen Esther.

If you were alone on a desert island which five CDs would you most want with you and why?

1. Love Alive - Walter Hawkins and Love Alive - Every song on this album is canon, the perfect synthesis of gospel, soul, and funk.

2. Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley - Robert Palmer - I love the sound and feel of these songs.

3. Smell of Female - The Cramps - I don’t usually like live albums, but this one always makes me feel like I’m in the room. (Then again, so does Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly, so this should probably be a tie.)

4. James Blood Ulmer’s Odyssey - This music has so much inside of it that it’s always turning into something else whenever I hear it.

5. Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway - This album is pristine, untouchable and just too, too perfect.

- Queen Esther