Wednesday, 8 June 2011

While My MP3 Gently Plays

I read all your your blogs and see the love you're spreading/While my mp3 gently plays.

With a little help from my friend George and the rest of his mates, the Fab Four, I hereby introduce a new section tonight. Every now and then I will upload clips of songs that are playing on my mp3 player (exact model on the left). Just because, really. There's no reason behind this new creation other than to share the music I love with you, fellow bloggers and readers. These are the melodies that make me smile, weep or run faster (when I'm out jogging, I must clarify!).

I'll kick this new section off with Gladys "Bobi" Cespedes, a superb Cuban musician, singer, dancer, lecturer and historian. For the last forty-odd years Bobi has been at the vanguard of the Afro-Cuban cultural movement in the States, performing mainly in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, Florida and LA. If you have heard Conjunto Cespedes - fronted by her - then her distinguishable voice will be familiar. A voice that conveys both warmth and depth. Enjoy.

Fiona Apple's songs are always on my mp3 player. Whether I'm walking, or sitting on the Tube, or out jogging, I must have some Apple on (and as GPs usually say "an Apple a day keeps the doctor away"). As an artist Fiona exudes maturity and her innovative and cutting-edge brand of pop is light years away from the bland mix to which we've grown accustomed. Let's share some of her music, shall we?

It was the cover that did it. When I bought Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" some years ago, it was the image of Horace's dad smoking a cigar that made me part with my money for a record that has the last word in swinging, deep groove. Electrifying.

I always make it a point to have an anthemic, hands-in-the-air, lighters-aloft, stadium-filler on my mp3 player. And Oasis ticks all the boxes. Especially their old songs. And it doesn't get more bombastic than "Don't Look Back in Anger". Does it bring back any memories?

These are the tunes on my mp3 player. What are you listening to on your gadget?

© 2011

Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 12th June at 10am (GMT)


  1. Great collection, Cuban.
    I'm a fan of blues, jazz, folk, soft rock, the likes of Django Reinhardt, Sarah Vaughan, Joao Gilberto, Norah Jones and The Comforters.

    For full disclosure, The Comforters's lead singer/songwriter is my very own daughter, Pia Robbins.

  2. What a wonderful collection. Enjoyed my coffee to your superb soundtrack!

  3. Hello! Thank you for your comments on my blog, I didn't acutally think there wouldn't be anyone reading after such a long break... what a nice surprise to prove myself wrong.

    This is a really impressive selection of music that you have on your MP3 - I won't even mention what's currently on my iPod, my musical tastes seem to be rather square, but I also packed it with some quality classical pieces perfect for relaxation

    I'll definitely let you know when I finish The Great House. Wasn't the Orange Prize finale a great surprise? Although I have to say Tea's reading was incredibly captivating and it did make me want to read the book...

  4. Oh Cubano! What a way to kick off my day! Seeing Conuto Cespedes in Chicago was a life changing event for me. I interviewed Bobi shortly after that and Obatala was surely involved. I'm a big Fiona Apple fan as well. I'm afraid I am continuing to reject Ipods Mp3's and all such gadgets. I think they take away from the total experience of seeing the album cover artwork, song lists and notes. On my CD player is Luciano's United States of Africa with IZ Israel Kamakawiwo Ole cued next.

  5. Wow, talk about ecletic tastes, my people! Sarah Vaughan, Joao Gilberto and US of Africa. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Bobi is most impressive – what a cool person! Oasis really took me back. I prefer listening to music on CD as the quality is better. My daughter and I just bought the latest Lady Gaga CD so that is what we’ll be listening to soon. Earlier today we were listening to T-Rex from the soundtrack to Billy Elliot.

  7. what a great sequence of tunes - hope the blog-browsing lived up to them!! Greetings from mexico...

  8. Enjoyed listening to your clips, Cuban - only Oasis was familiar to me, and only then because my youngest likes to have it turned up to the hilt.
    I dusted off my iPod just the other day after a long sleep in my desk drawer. It was fun to rediscover Angel Romero, Carole King, Gipsy Kings and Monica Passos - and made me wonder why I don't use the thing more often. No Tube commuting, for one.

  9. Oh and I LOVED the phrase 'I always make it a point to have an anthemic, hands-in-the-air, lighters-aloft, stadium-filler on my mp3 player. And Oasis ticks all the boxes.'

    Does this kind of thing just pour out of you? I think it must.

  10. Many thanks for your kind comments.

    Greetinsg from London.

  11. I'm always amazed at the breadth of your musical knowledge and taste. I learn something new every time I visit here!



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