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Today is the first day of my favorite season of the year, and I’m thrilled to have recently moved to New York, a city that actually gets autumn: for so many years, I’ve lived in cities with summer temperatures that extended deep into October, sometimes as far as November!
To commemorate the season, I’m offering up this link to “Little Ghost Blues,” a mix of fall-inspired tunes.
If this year’s summer mix was rock heavy, the fall collection is jazz-infused. Of course, there’s Louis and Ella singing “Autumn in New York.” But I’ve also been interested recently in how often Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” is used to capture New York life, whether in cartoon form or in classic celluloid. Here, Duke Ellington kicks things off with a distinctly burlesque rendering, while a more traditional version of Gershwin’s “An American in Paris” closes out the mix. In between, Tegan and Sara walk with a ghost, Jack White makes it with a ghost, poor Billie Holiday doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance with the object of her desire, and Sam Cooke blows smoke rings into Clifford Brown’s and Max Roach’s eyes. In addition to the White Stripes, this year’s collection features one half of the Black Keys (Dan Auerbach). Norfolk and Western turn up with “The Longest Stare” (last year’s fall mix featured their “Shortest Stare”). Rounding out the collection are Cab Calloway, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Frederic Chopin, and the Cold War Kids. It’s a menagerie as mottled and colorful as the autumn leaves themselves — sung about here (in French!) by Nat “King” Cole. Talk about an American in Paris.
I hope you enjoy listening to the mix as much as I enjoyed putting it together.