Austin Clarke's Essential Tunes

Austin Clarke's Essential Tunes

Posted on February 23 by Kyle in News
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The great Austin Clarke was a young man during the golden age of jazz and a witness to live performances today’s music aficionado dream of. While he's no longer with us, we can hit the play button on a playlist with Austin Clarke’s favourite songs (or, in one case, an entire album). Listen to the playlist in its entirety at Dundurn's channel on YouTube.

1. Miles Davis — “So What” 

2. John Coltrane — “A Love Supreme (Part 1 — ‘Acknowledgement’)” 

3. Nina Simone — “I Loves You, Porgy” 

4. Bob Marley — “Redemption Song” 

5. Abbey Lincoln — “Another World” 

6. Thelonious Monk — “Straight, No Chaser” 

7. Nat King Cole — “Straighten Up and Fly Right” 

8. B.B. King — “Lucille” 

9. Sarah Vaughan — “Black Coffee” 

10. Louis Armstrong — “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

11. Mahalia Jackson — “How I Got Over” 

12. Ludwig Van Beethoven — "5th Symphony" (performed by the Vienna Philharmonic) 

13. Charlie Parker — “Compulsion” 

14. Ray Charles — “Georgia on My Mind” 

15. The Mighty Sparrow — “Jean and Dinah” 

16. Max Roach — "We Insist!" (Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite) [full album] 

17. Nina Simone — "Feeling Good"

18. Whitney Houston — “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” 

19. P.J. Perry — “Autumn in New York/Torquin" With Torbin 

20. Michael Jackson — “Thriller” 

Excerpt from ’Membering by Austin Clarke (August 2015)

“Across the street on Asquith, from my house, was the First Floor Club. Sonny Rawlins played there. Art Blakey played there and broke three drum sticks. I caught one and put it in my study like an object to worship, for years; to give me the inspiration to play that driving, heavy bebop beat. Philly Jo Jones, Elvin Jones, and Max Roach. I wanted to be a jazz drummer, when I caught that stick, that night in the First Floor Jazz Club. But I was too shy to approach Mr. [Oscar] Peterson’s house that schooled young ‘musicianers’ in the swing of the times. Before that, I wanted to be a trumpeter. Miles Davis got into my blood, under my skin, and I even bought at the Goodwill — now showing more goodwill than when the same store was called ‘The Crippled Civilians’ — a chair made of cane, and with an iron frame reinforcing the cane. Miles Davis sits in a chair like this, on the cover of his album, Round About Midnight, wearing a shirt made of a material that looks like the blue-jeans cloth, so cool, the shirt open almost down to the middle of his chest. I tried to be cool like this. But I had only the chair.”