Playlist help: Jazz edition. Fast and bass-y!
January 30, 2014 7:38 AM   Subscribe

You've saved your money, quit your job, and found yourself adventuring across the country with your lover/best friend riding shotgun. For those long stretches of desert driving and other spans of nothingness, when it's the middle of the night and you can smell caffeine coming out your pores, what is your jazz playlist?

The other night (weeks or months ago...) a radio station was playing such an amazing jazz program, I loved each tune I heard but didn't (*wouldn't) recognize the performers or catch any names. At the time, I thought 'This music is what I'd like to drive to every night.' What it had was a quick tempo, some sexy female vocals, and a driving walking bass.

I've been doing some searching on my own, but hope someone out there would kindly point me toward some suggested listening. This site has some incredible lady singers-- The music I'm looking for doesn't have to have vocals, and any vocals can be male or female.

Apologies if I'm describing this in a way that's too vague or wrong or confusing! But, have you got any help for me in making my late night driving playlist, jazz peeps?
posted by little_dog_laughing to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Try Dirty Blonde by The Bad Plus. It's one of my favorite driving tunes. The bass is a bit more prominent on the album recording than in the live version I found on YouTube.

There are those who consider The Bad Plus to be not-jazz because their music is through-composed (there's no improvisational element) but I personally don't care. Some of their music is less accessible, but they do have plenty of other tunes that might work for you. It's all non-vocal btw.

I'll try to think of more, but Dirty Blonde popped into my head as a bass-forward driving tune so I wanted to get that out there.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:12 AM on January 30, 2014

One of my favorite road tunes is American Garage, among other Pat Metheny tunes.
posted by TedW at 8:22 AM on January 30, 2014

quick tempo, some sexy female vocals, and a driving walking bass

Methinks you would love the entire Verve Remixed line.
posted by jbickers at 8:39 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

time on my hands and meant to be, john scofield
jimmy smith and wes montgomery made a record, can't remember the title, arrangements by oliver nelson. the first track is "down by the riverside." it kills.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:44 AM on January 30, 2014

And echoing the Pat Metheny suggestion: If you don't mind his more synth-heavy stuff (I go back and forth) Beat 70 is pretty solid.

Linked video says it's from Road to You but it's actually the studio version from Letter From Home. Find the Road to You version. It's better.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:46 AM on January 30, 2014

Henry Mancini's The Music from Peter Gunn is fantastic driving music with some great walking bass lines. (The slow tracks are good too. I'll never forget driving through downtown Rochester NY at 2:00 AM with Dreamsville playing on the car stereo.)

Also: Pretty much anything by Medeski, Martin and Wood. (The Dropper, Night Marchers, Chubb Sub, Your Name is Snake Anthony, Ambergris, etc.)
posted by usonian at 8:51 AM on January 30, 2014

I am a jazz bass player, I am not your jazz bass player.

You know, this (A Foggy Day by Rene Marie) was the first track I thought of when I read your description, which is what I'd call straight ahead jazz. The Website you link too has a lot of the great singers covered, but you definately need to add Diana Krall, Betty Carter, Carmen Mcrae as well as Rene Marie to the mix. Instrumentally that's what you're going for you should also check out Oscar Peterson's (Piano player, here's him burning up Sweet Georgia Brown, the man had machine guns for fingers) and Ray Brown's (bass player, here's a great tune called Bam Bam Bam) trios, and Wynton Marsalis has a ton of stuff out there too, although he has a ton of non straight ahead stuff too, so be warned.

If you like driving bass lines in jazz, you may also want to check out hard bop and soul jazz, Stuff like Work Song by Cannonball Adderley. Bobby Timmons, Art Blakey, and Lee Morgan are also good places to start.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:44 AM on January 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Al Jarreau, Blue Skies, from the Glengarry Glen Ross Soundtrack. It has driving fast bass (Marc Johnson, I believe). It's male vocals rather than sexy female, but I bet it still works for you.
posted by crLLC at 7:21 AM on January 31, 2014

Response by poster: Wow. Thank you so much for your responses!
posted by little_dog_laughing at 7:35 PM on January 31, 2014

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