Every week, CKUA’s hosts submit their songs for our weekly House Blend playlist: an exciting new release, a beloved classic or just an old personal favourite. We mix it all together to create a sonic concoction that’ll help kick off your week. Check out what’s on this week’s playlist.
Amy van Keeken: Himalayan Bear, “Crazy Dreams”
“Crazy Dreams” is from his 2016 EP, Pastoral Memoria, featuring the songwriting and voice of Ryan Beattie with help from Megan Boddy and drums by Marek Tyler (nêhiyawak). I am enjoying revisiting this gem of an EP and really digging its gentle insistent strength. You might know Beattie as guitarist for indie rock band, Frog Eyes, or perhaps as fronting Vancouver Island-based band, Chet.
Orest Soltykevych: Mi-Bemol Saxophone Ensemble, “Saxflight” by Alain Crépin
Alain Crépin is a Belgian composer who was inspired to write this piece after having flown in in F-16 jets with Belgian pilots. The work first depicts a flight coming up from the earth. Peace returns after flying to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, and after coming back down closer to earth, the jet takes one last flight up.
Lionel Rault: Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, “What If You Knew”
Karl Denson and his band, Tiny Universe, are widely considered to be one of the great ‘live’ bands currently on the scene. They bring a whole whack of that great ‘live’ energy to this latest project, Gnome & Badgers, released March 8 2019
Bob Chelmick: Chip Taylor, “Florence Is the River”
Chip Taylor is so prolific a song-writer, that it’s way too easy to overlook some gems. This is one very subtle lovely song. The work of an understated master of the craft and art.
Cathy Ennis: James Ehnes & the Sydney Symphony, “Spring I from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi
Many of us instantly recognize this classic piece of classical music: the opening movement from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons – Spring.” I love it because it’s joyful, energetic and optimistic — just like the season itself!
Kodi Hutchinson: Ed Bickert & Rob McConnell, “Royal Garden Blues”
This is music from a Canadian jazz legend! Guitarist Ed Bickert passed away at the end of February at 86 years old. An international jazz star, he not only recorded with Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass and Moe Kauffman in Canada, he worked with Oscar Peterson, Paul Desmond, Ernestine Anderson, Benny Carter, Rosemary Clooney and many more!
Baba: Rupa & the April Fishes, “Eena Mena Deeka”
“Eena Mena Deeka” is a remake of a 1957 Bollywood hit. It’s mostly nonsensical lyrics and freely-borrowed jazz riffs. It’s silly and fun to an extreme. (Just in case: https://binged.it/2Fs8XOx). Confession: This is the kind of stuff I was listening to in my youth.
Mark Antonelli: Jan Lisiecki (“Yan Lizyetski’), “Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14: Presto leggiero” by Mendelssohn
A new recording by the Calgary-born piano virtuoso, Jan Lisiecki, is always a cause for celebration! The Washington Post called his playing of this piece “sparkling”, “poetic” and “sensitive.” He makes it sound so effortless but we know it’s certainly not. The entire recording is a knock-out!
Lisa Wilton: Joan As Police Woman, “What A World”
Joan As Policewoman, aka Joan Wasser, returns with this soulful, introspective track, which she wrote while staying in a tiny house by the ocean. She told Paste magazine recently that she “took long walks on the beach, singing into the sound of the crashing waves … The feelings there were overwhelming and multifaceted. The lyrics were difficult to write and raw in a way that made me shiver.” “What A World” is from her forthcoming retrospective, Joanthology, which drops May 24th.
Erin Ross: Bill Evans, “Spring Is Here”
A song for the season, “Spring Is Here”, from an interesting pianist with a storied career. He worked with Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly and Stan Getz to name a few. Evans also was an experimenter and innovator in recording. He was one of the first jazz pianists to explore the idea of multitracking for piano — building layers and textures in his sound.
Grant Stovel: Solange, “Way to the Show”
Solange’s new album, When I Get Home, is an amazing start-to-finish experience to immerse yourself in. It is a cascade of groovy, dreamy, impressionistic reflections on and refractions of big concepts like home, self and change. For me, her most personal work to date, yet it is somehow also her most universal. “Way to the Show” is a slinky, fun homage to her Houston, TX upbringing — name-checking the car “candy paint” jobs that are known as a staple of Houston culture.