Make a commitment to beauty- new playlist etc.

I’m recently watched the documentary Sound and Silence about Manfred Eicher, the founder of the legendary ECM Records.  (short for Editions of Contemporary Music)  Eicher founded ECM to make records that fit his singular vision, and over the last forty years he has made many, many remarkable records, by heroes of mine like Keith Jarrett, Egberto Gismonti, Michael Cain and Avo Part.  ECM records, regardless of genre, have a distinct, almost crystalline sound, one that only comes with tremendous care and devotion.  Manfred is (deservedly) not without his critics, but I am in awe of his commitment to capturing and sharing beauty on tape.

I use the word beauty deliberately.  I know in my life, beauty often feels like it’s in short supply   Which is ironic, because I’m someone who from the time I was 12 was (and am) buying records several times a month because they are beautiful!  Let me rephrase- it’s not that beauty isn’t there, it’s that we have to slow down, and look and listen, and COMMIT, to seeing it.

I love that Ana Forrest, a teacher I love dearly, calls her e-mail and Facebook missives Beauty Reports, and asks her teachers to do the same.

Here’s my latest beauty report- a playlist I made for Sunday’s class, inspired by (but certainly not limited to) spirituals in the African-American church tradition, which were on my mind last week.  I hope you’ll check them out, or if they don’t work, find your own entrance point to the beauty nearby.

Miracle Mile               5:49    James Carney            Offset Rhapsody

Om Namah Shivaya  10:36  Heather and Benjy Wertheimer      Sri

Everytime                  3:20    Bobby McFerrin & Esperanza Spalding      Spirityouall

One Hoop                   4:33    John de Kadt One Hoop – Single     World

Journey Home           9:07    Maria Schneider        Allegresse

Right Here, Right Now          5:57    Cassandra Wilson     Traveling Miles

Great Is Thy Faithfulness     8:18    Miguel Zenon Ceremonial

Traveler’s Blessing    4:29    Becca Stevens            Weightless

Unconditional            4:05    Ron Miles       Stone

Graceland      5:49    Allison Krauss and Jerry Douglas   (that one is here)  man, beauty.

Ode                 6:21    Brad Mehldau Trio   Ode

Lift Every Voice and Sing                 8:16    Orrin Evans   Live In Jackson, Mississippi “White Boy You Don’t Know Nothin’ Bout No Barbeque”

Last Train Home                    4:35    Pat Metheny  One Quiet Night

One Day I’ll Fly Away            4:19    Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden         Jasmine  (ECM)

Red Rock Rain                        4:56    Michael Cain  Circa  (ECM)

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