Ok, to make up for the fact I was gone for almost three weeks, I’ll hit everyone with three songs this time around.

Gary Bartz: Celestial Blues
From Harlem Bush Music – Uhuru (Milestone 1971)

This song is beautiful. BEAUTIFUL, you hear me? Andy Bey on vocals, Bartz on sax…a song that manages to personifies the idea of “soul jazz” to the fullest. Bey also has a super slinky cover of the song on his own solo album but you can’t beat this Bartz’ version for purely sublimity (is that even a word?).

Henry Mancini: Lujon.
From Mr. Lucky Goes Latin (RCA 1961)

“Lujon” has been on at least two soundtracks: Sexy Beast and The Big Lebowski (can you imagine two more different films?) and it’s easy to see why. There’s an intense, dreamy quality to this song, as if you’re floating on those gorgeous, ethereal strings. For some reason, I feel entirely nostalgic listening to this, yearning for an era that probably never existed. Still, I imagine a penthouse with perfect martinis, beautiful women, and a skyline view of the city that will just break your heart.

Brief Encounter: Don’t Let Them Tell You.
From 7″ (Seventy Seven 1972?)

Another soul slicer off of seven-inch for the kiddies. The lead singer doesn’t have a great voice but this Curtis-influenced ballad moves with a nice, understated funky flavor that’s been my prime aesthetic of late.