Sleepy Essentials

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Sleepy Essentials

Sleepy Hollow Essentials

Sleepy Hollow, 30 Years of the Quiet Sounds
Saturdays:
6-10am with Chuck Elliot
Sundays:
6-11am with Keith Brand
Sleepy Hollow

The Sleepy Hollow Essentials, as selected by the hosts

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Craig Armstrong - The Space Between Us
Release Date: 1998

Many people came to know of Craig Armstrong from his string arrangements for the Massive Attack CD Protection. Five years later, with the release of the Baz Luhrman film Moulin Rouge, Armstrong gained worldwide acclaim as a film music composer. Craig Armstrong's 1998 release The Space Between Us was a stunning new direction for the innovative composer. Forging a bridge between contemporary rock and classical music, the recording includes collaborations with Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins and Paul Buchanan of the Blue Nile. With The Space Between Us, Armstrong has managed to make classical music accessible for a generation of new listeners.

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Chet Baker - Let's Get Lost
Release Date: 1989

Baker citations by both critics and peers - the James Dean of Jazz, freak talent, idiot-savant, sang like a dream, lived a nightmare - are as colorful as they are numerous. Oklahoma-born Baker began playing trumpet with Charlie Parker in 1952 and later in the 50's fronted a group with Gerry Mulligan. Pronounced personal difficulties, mostly drug-related, saw Baker out of music by the end of the 60's. Only with great difficulty was Baker able to make a comeback as an important and creative force in jazz in the 70's and 80's. Sleepy Hollow essential CD, OST - Let's Get Lost, documents Baker's final years in France (and other European nations) in the mid to later 80's. Baker's hushed and airy vocals, described by some as an 'acquired taste', have been an important part of the Sleepy Hollow soundscape since the program's inception.

Tim Buckley - Dream Letter
Release Date: 1990

Another Sleepy Hollow Dark Angel, Tim Buckley died in 1975 after an all too brief but extremely controversial performing and recording career. His musical influences traveled the timeline from Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams to Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Somewhere in the middle his jazz influenced vocals and musical settings (including Danny Thompson, the Underwood brothers and David Freidman)gave us the sound which is essential Sleepy Hollow. The title song of Sleepy Hollow Essential Dream Letter was written for his son Jeff.


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Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate
Release Date: 1971

In nearly 50 years, Montreal born Leonard Cohen's artistic output has included 9 volumes of poetry, 2 novels, and 14 albums/CDs. He has also appeared on television's "Miami Vice", and received Academy Award consideration for a short film he wrote and directed. In 1968 he declined Canada's highest literary honor, the Governor-General's Award. In 2003 he received the Companion of the Order of Canada Award, Canada's highest civilian citation. As Jikan he's also an ordained Zen monk. Sleepy Hollow Essential Songs of Love and Hate includes "Famous Blue Raincoat", "Joan of Arc", and the "Last Year's Man"... works which have been described as "pop confessional", "self-mortifying" and "psalmic."


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John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman - self titled
Release Date: 1963

No better combination could have been imagined than the tenor sax of John Coltrane and the deep honey-rich voice of Johnny Hartman. One of a trio of all ballad albums recorded by Coltrane in the early sixties, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman is aided by an impeccable choice of covers, including definitive versions of "My One and Only Love", and "You are too Beautiful". The group was rounded out by McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums.


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Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Sessions
Release Date: 1990

Is there such a thing as a Sleepy Hollow rock band? Well, the Cowboy Junkies (and Yo La Tengo), in their frequent quieter moments, might qualify as such. The Toronto-based 'Junkies' cite Dylan, country, blues, and jazz as their musical influences. While they can rock with the best of them, when asked about their slow and dark pieces, they label them as among the 'most interesting' examples of their work. Slow and quiet covers, e.g. Neil Young's "Powderfinger", Hank Williams' "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", and the Elvis Presley version of the standard "Blue Moon" (combined with original material to form a "Blue Moon Revisited" medley have been Sleepy Hollow favorites since the mid-80's.


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Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
Release Date: 1968

One of Sleepy Hollow's Dark Angels... there are certainly others, Drake is one of those musical "what-if's", owing to the shortness of his recording and performing 'career'. Robert Kirby, who has arranged for Paul Weber and Elvis Costello, describes him as a 'lost romantic' and the 'perfect Elizabethan'. Light, airy vocals and transfixing lyrics make him a Sleepy Hollow essential. Nick died in 1974, at the age of 26, two years after the release of Pink Moon, the title track of which was recently popularized by a TV automobile commercial. He had had extended bouts with depression and was always reluctant to perform live. Richard Thompson, Danny Thompson, as well as Fairport Convention's Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg made frequent appearances on Nick's albums.


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Brian Eno - Music for Airports
Release Date: 1978

This recording that gave birth to modern ambient music. Originally written to be played in a particular space, Eno was intrigued with the airport as a point of departure, a place of reunion, where separation begins, and bodies move back and forth. With its repetitive passages, Music for Airports is a work that could reassure, calm, inspire, and even offer a spirit of hope within a space of great movement. Stirring in its sonic depth and influencing many recordings that were to follow, Music For Airports is still refreshingly original.

Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble - Officium
Release Date: 1994
(out of print)

At the age of 14 after Garbarek first heard John Coltrane he went out and bought a saxophone instruction book and acquainted himself with the fingerings. He only later bought the instrument. Garbarek has played with many American jazz greats including Don Cherry and Keith Jarrett. Since its inception, Garbarek has been a cornerstone of ECM, perhaps Europe's most prestigious jazz label. The 1994 collaboration with the Hilliard Ensemble, arguably the world's most renowned early (and new) chamber vocal group, produced Sleepy Hollow Essential and internationally acclaimed Officium.


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Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain
Release Date: 2001

Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory's debut album, Felt Mountain, paid hommage to their musical influences while sounding unlike anything that had come before. Combining the styles of Ennio Morricone with Francois Hardy, adding some icy whistling and effects that sound like electronic noise but are, in fact, Alison's vocal talents, Felt Mountain was the chilliest chill-out to come down the arctic pike.


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Henryk Gorecki - Symphony #3
Release Date: 1992

Born in Poland in 1933, Gorecki is the rare example of a classical composer with a full fledged popular hit. The London Sinfonietta (with soprano Dawn Upshaw) recording of his Grammy award winning Symphony No. 3 added a touch of variety to the British pop charts in the year of its release. Symphony No. 3, including several Polish folk melodies, maintains a quiet subdued demeanor throughout. Gorecki's works also reflected various political influences. Other Gorecki works include a string quartet written for the Kronos ensemble.


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Hem - Rabbit Songs
Release Date: 2002

This lush, organic album is a stunning debut that sounds like it has been around forever. A group looking for their sound to gel found the missing puzzle piece in vocalist Sally Ellyson, a voice as sweet as the violins and steel guitars that distinguish them. A few instrumentals further warm the tracklisting and keep the hypnotic pace.


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Shirley Horn - Here's to Life
Release Date: 1992

There are few people who, by reinterpreting a classic song, can make it original. Shirley Horn is one of those artists. A pianist and vocalist with Miles Davis in the early sixties, Horn retreated from public performing for much of the 70's and 80's to raise a family. Her 1992 recording Here's to Life united Horn with the lush string arrangements of the legendary arranger Johnny Mandel. The result is one of Shirley Horn's most popular and best selling recordings to date.

Walter Hyatt - King Tears
Release Date: 1990
(out of print)

Walter Hyatt comes from a long line of iconoclast Texans such as Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Lyle Lovett. King Tears reflects a startling gift as a songwriter and a respect for the classic American songbook. Produced by Lyle Lovett, King Tears was his major label debut and a stunning yet simple showcase for his laid back Texas style. Walter died in a plane crash in 1998.


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Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Release Date: 2002

Practically no debut recording received as much acclaim as Norah Jones Come Away with Me. Combining influences such as Billie Holiday and Willie Nelson, Jones voice sounds startlingly original. Managing to sound low-key without being boring, the 22-year-old Austin, Texas native won many Grammy awards for this record.


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Kings of Convenience - Quiet is the New Loud
Release Date: 2001

While Sleepy Hollow music is only sometimes recognized by song titles, a CD entitled Quiet is the New Loud all but demands further investigation. This 2001 release is almost entirely Sleepy Hollow in sound. "Kings" Eirik Glambek Boe and Erland Oye were once members of the Norwegian band Skog. They cite Sleepy Hollow favorite Nick Drake as an important influence. The Kings work with the same producer as Badly Drawn Boy and Coldplay.


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k.d. Lang - Drag
Release Date: 1997

Canada's kd lang has won multiple grammys since the beginning of her recording career in 1987. Describing her music as a product of her mood and surroundings, we must assume lang often finds herself in a Sleepy Hollow state of mind. The Sleepy Hollow essential Drag is one of those occasional examples of an almost entirely Sleepy Hollow work. Most recently we've discovered lang the song stylist as reflected in her close performance relationship with Tony Bennett.


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Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden - Beyond the Missouri Sky
Release Date: 1997

Intimate yet expansive, Beyond the Missouri Sky reflects the shared heritage of bassist Haden and guitarist Metheny. Employing various composers such as Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini, Jimmy Webb, and Haden's son Josh as the departure for their acoustic experiments, Beyond the Missouri Sky is a delicate and bold collaboration that further reveals their Midwestern sensibilities. Also voted an amazon.com essential recording, Beyond the Missouri Sky showcases two jazz innovators at their quiet best.


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Thomas Otten - Close to Silence
Release Date: 2001

French artist Thomas Otten possesses an otherworldly contralto voice. Close to Silence, his first CD, introduces us to this extraordinary instrument with a series of Latin titles and outstanding arrangements. Defying and melding categories such as New Age, Classical, and World music, Otten leads us on a modern atmospheric, or perhaps stratospheric, journey.


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Pink Martini - Sympathique
Release Date: 1997

Fronted by pianist Thomas Lauderdale, the Portland Oregon group has managed to move beyond merely flattering the composers and songwriters they employ on Sympathique to create music that is strikingly original. In the years since their only release, Pink Martini has created a cult following while slowly recording their follow-up. Pink Martini has created a unique fusion of lounge music that is serious in its approach, while not losing the fun that is at its core.


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Jane Siberry - Hush
Release Date: 2000

Canadian Jane Siberry has that sotto voce which lends itself to the Sleepy Hollow soundscape. As a recording artist, Siberry has made the transition from indie to major label and back to her own indie company. "This Taxi Ride" was a Sleepy Hollow favorite in the late '80s. "Calling All Angels" featured in the Wim Wenders film Until the End of the World also became a Sleepy favorite. More recently Siberry has recorded more traditional material such as "Jacob's Ladder" and "All Through the Night" as well as centuries old hymns by Handel, Bach and Holst.


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Frank Sinatra - Frank Sinatra Sings Only the Lonely
Release Date: 1958

You've been there. You've experienced heartbreak. You've interfaced with the ice at the bottom of your glass. Frank is sitting at the end of the bar, telling his story but it sounds like yours. This album of deliberately contemplative ballads teams him again with Nelson Riddle and gives us what becomes one of his signature pieces: "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)".


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Tim Story - The Perfect Flaw
Release Date: 1994

Although currently living on Northwest Ohio, Tim Story was born in Philadelphia and his music has been a part of Sleepy Hollow since he first gained attention and a Grammy award for 1988's Legend of Sleepy Hollow. With influences as diverse as Bela Bartok, Eric Satie, Miles Davis, and Robert Wyatt, Tim Story's The Perfect Flaw combine acoustic and electronic instruments for a work of haunting elegance and grace.


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Jubilant Sykes - Wait for Me
Release Date: 2001

Sykes is an example of the Sleepy Hollow staple of an artist known for his work in one genre testing the waters of another. This classically trained baritone, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1990, lends his vocal prowess to songs by Bruce Springsteen, Robert Johnson, with a result that is captivating.


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This Mortal Coil - Blood
Release Date: 1991

4AD label head Ivo Watts-Russel and producer John Fryer's studio-only supergroup of revolving musicians final album. Continuing their otherworldly sound of strings lightly seasoned with electronica, varied but distinctive vocals, and sublime choices of cover material, this album moves seamlessly like a dream sequence. Kim Deal, Tanya Donnelly and a host of other 4AD artists guest on this masterpiece.


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Tuck and Patti - Tears of Joy
Release Date: 1988

Guitarist Tuck Andress and vocalist Patti Cathcart have created what is sure to become a jazz vocal classic recording. Tears of Joy combines Andress' funk-inspired fretwork with Cathcart's soulful vocals. Add that to their unique take on songs written by Bob Dorough, Cindy Lauper, and Wendy Waldman and you have a wonderfully essential Sleepy Hollow essential. Tears of Joy was their first recording for Windham Hill Records and still remains one of the finest records to date.


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Tom Waits - Small Change
Release Date: 1976

Tom Waits has that voice we've all heard at some point or another whether we know it or not. Simply produced singer/songwriter endeavors evolved into more theatrically influenced material through the 80's and 90's. As movies and the theatre became more a part of his palate, Waits has also acted on stage and screen. His 1992 release Bone Machine was a Grammy award winner.

Rob Wasserman - Duets
Release Date: 1988
(out of print)

San Francisco Conservatory graduate Rob Wasserman has never seen himself as a sideman. One of todays most in demand bassists, Wasserman has played with Lou Reed, Rickie Lee Jones, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello and long time collaborator Bob Weir. The Grammy Award winning and Sleepy Hollow Essential Duets was also cited by Billboard Magazine as Vocal album of the Year. Rob Wasserman's duet with Jennifer Warnes on Leonard Cohen's "Ballad of the Runaway Horse" has long been a Sleepy Hollow classic. Wasserman describes his approach to the bass as "playing it like a cello." His latest project takes up the gauntlet of Billy Bragg and Wilco in composing music to Woody Guthrie's lyrics.


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George Winston - December
Release Date: 1982

Possibly Sleepy Hollow's seminal non-jazz, non-classical solo instrumentalist, Winston cites the instrumental rock/pop groups and artists of the 1950's as his earliest musical influence. Winston calls his music "rural folk piano", incorporating traditional American folk themes. The Montana born Winston's earliest CDs, most of a thematic nature were based on the seasonal (December, Winter Into Spring, Autumn and Summer) and topographical (Forest, Plains) of the land where he was raised.


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Yo La Tengo - Summer Sun
Release Date: 2003

USA Today has described Yo La Tengo as "one of rock's last visionary bands". They have also been called one of New York (City's) most cherished unknown groups. Guitarist Ira Kaplan's playing ranges from wild and throttling to "playing the perfect few quiet notes". Fortunately, for Sleepy Hollow listeners (and programmers), the group's last two CDs - 2003's Summer Sun and 2000's And the nothing turned itself inside out - included liberal samplings of the latter type of playing. The group's stretching out, constantly restructuring, and jazz-influenced playing on these two CDs make for long stretches of great Sleepy Hollow listening.

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