I don’t know why it never occured to me to post sound files for select songs on this blog but hey, better late than never. Shouts to Pop Nose, Fluxblog and Sasha Frere-Jones for the inspiration.

So here’s how it’ll work. I’ll try to post up a song every day or so. They’ll stay up for at least 1-2 weeks and then I’ll cycle them out (I need to be conscious of server storage).

Please do not email me, asking “how can I get this?” Thanks.

Let’s start it like this…

Dizzy Gillespie: Matrix
From The Real Thing (Perception, 1971)

This has long been not only one of my favorite Gillespie cuts of all time but one of my favorite soul jazz tunes, period. Based on the original composition of Gillespie’s pianist Mike Longo, “Matrix” just grooves with a smooth, smoky beauty. The recurring horn riff is super funky and catchy, the main guitar line is similarly memorable and the bassline breakdown? Sublime. Throw in some snappy drumming and you have one helluva dance floor spin not to mention excellent listening material. The Real Thing has been recently reissued as part of a double-CD package along with Portrait of Jenny, another one of Gillespie’s Perception LPs.

Added bonus: Marc Marcello points out that there’s a new Gap ad with Shannyn Sossamon, Rob Swift and Shortkut that uses “Matrix.” How ’bout that?

Crooklyn Dodgers: Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers
From The Clockers Soundtrack (MCA, 1995)

I wouldn’t say this is the best DJ Premier production of all time – there’s just so much competition – but it’s definitely in the top 5. This beat is incredibly beautiful in a melancholy way, tapping into the nostalgia that’s inherent in the song itself. Brooklyn has always inspired a mythology of its own greatness and “Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers” feed directly out of this and into it. Chubb Rock rambles here – I could have done without his unfocused conspiracy theorizing but O.C. brings the song back full force with his caustic flow. And with Jeru at anchor, the song closes with a series of hammer strokes: “Make money money/get money/take money/I can’t understand that concept/’cause Jah rules everything around me/Fire burns the unjust/like arson/larceny/melt MCs/with mental telepathy/with precision/we’re slicing and dicing/peace to East New York/Perverted Monks/and Mike Tyson.” That’s that shit.