Top 20 albums that inspired/influenced me

In approximate chronological order of my hearing them:

  1. Blue Train by Johnny Cash – one of the few albums my parents listened to over and over again
  2. Whoop De Doo by The Six Fat Dutchmen – we danced to this album in my grandparents living room
  3. 2112 by Rush – my first exposure to the potential for great bass players to shape the music of a band
  4. Heavy Weather by Weather Report – this was on my turntable constantly in my first and second years at college
  5. Streetlife Seranader by Billy Joel – these lyrics really inspired my sense of poetry and storytelling
  6. Kind of Blue by Miles Davis – My very first introduction to Miles – played for me in Des Moines – a vintage album carefully wrapped and carefully played. This was a formative experience for me on many levels.
  7. Offramp or New Chatauqua by Pat Metheny – so many memories, all good!
  8. Body and Soul by Joe Jackson – at Haight and Clayton, then again in Tokyo – most everyone I’ve ever known has been a Joe Jackson fan.
  9. Vergessen by Wim Mertens – names and places withheld…but let it be said – enigma within paradox within mystery – that about covers all my memories of this album
  10. Stevie Wonder’s Journey through the Secret Life of Plants or Talking Book – These albums remind me about many things: especially San Francisco and late night card playing sessions at Haight and Clayton
  11. Graceland by Paul Simon – driving music!
  12. Back on the Block by Quincy Jones – this album energized all those late night office hours at Sanrio Puroland
  13. Ballads by John Coltrane with Mccoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones – this is so lovely – all the tunes full of romance and mystery – I wore this CD out in Japan and after
  14. Bouncing off Satellites by B-52’s – reminds me of one of the best birthday parties ever
  15. Beauty by Ryuichi Sakamoto – reminds me of my courting days in Japan
  16. Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration – I love the Messiah and this interpretation gives me great joy!
  17. Magnificat by John Rutter – this was the first really difficult piece I ever conducted – I mean who composes in 7/8 and 5/8 and 12/8 and 3/8 all in the same piece? I challenge you to find the downbeat!! It has to be danced for full appreciation
  18. O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack – some of our best family memories revolve around this film
  19. Hymns of the 49th Parallel by k.d. lang – this album haunts me
  20. Cantos de Agua Dulce by Marta Gomez – beautiful and poignant reminders of the roots of my beloved husband

If the list were longer, I would include The Cocteau Twins, The New Order, Madeline Peyroux, Eddie from Ohio, Claude Bolling, The Ventures, Norah Jones, Diana Krall and so many more

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