This week Today’s Top Tune embraces a wide variety of sound from Mavis Staples collaborating with Benjamin Booker to a meditation on the beauty of the ocean by El Niño & the Southern Oscillations. Robyn Hitchcock goes electric on his 21st album – and he’s got a date at the Troubadour on May 3. We’ll highlight an outstanding emotive song by SYML, and celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane.
Monday, April 24
El Niño & the Southern Oscillation: Number Stations (a Record Store Day release)
Brooklyn musician Sam Posner’s creation El Niño & The Southern Oscillations is not just a definition for global weather patterns but a band that meditates on the beauty and power of the ocean in an ambient and upbeat way. “Number Stations” was released on Record Store Day.
Tuesday, April 25
Benjamin Booker: the title track from Witness (feat. the great Mavis Staples)
While on a writing trip to Mexico City, Benjamin Booker came across James Baldwin’s observation that, “once you find yourself in another civilization you are forced to examine your own.” That led him to wonder whether he was going to be a witness and to question whether that is enough. The title track to his album Witness, features the legendary vocals of R&B gospel singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples.
Wednesday, April 26
SYML: Where’s My Love (radio edit) from Hurt for Me
Translating to ‘simple’ in Welsh, SYML is the moniker of Barcelona’s founding member Brian Fennell. “Where’s My Love” is a stylistic example of the band’s name with its minimal yet textured sound.
Thursday, April 27
Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane: Freight Trane from Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane (Rudy Van Gelder Remasters)
Just in time for Jazz Appreciation Month we feature a composition from an album that was recorded in 1958 but not released until 1963. At the time of the recording saxophonist John Coltrane was with Miles Davis and guitarist Kenny Burrell was a highly respected sideman. Punctuated by gorgeous solos by both legends, “Freight Trane” features Paul Chambers on bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Tommy Flanagan, who wrote the tune, on piano.
Friday, April 28
Robyn Hitchcock: Autumn Sunglasses from Robyn Hitchcock
English troubadour Robyn Hitchcock describes his 21st studio album as “an ecstatic work of negativity.” It marks a new chapter in the singer/songwriter’s long career after relocating to Nashville where he was able to cherry pick his band. Hitchcock straps on a Stratocaster for “Autumn Sunglasses.”