Desert Island Discs

2004-01-16

Last night I put all my desert island books on one shelf in my office. In fact I removed two because they didn't seem essential (Rand's Anthem and the poems of Horace). I'd have a harder time coming up with a really short list of music, though. Only ten CDs? Impossible! Certainly Bach's Goldberg Variations, Art of the Fugue, and Cello Suites would be on the list, as would Chopin's Nocturnes and Dvorak's Cypresses. Something from Duke Ellington would be essential, probably And His Mother Called Him Bill (which has a kind of elemental passion that some of his other recordings lack). I'd need some Yes -- Close to the Edge for sure and perhaps a self-made compilation of my favorite pieces from their other recordings. I find myself listening a lot to If I Could Be With You by Marcus Roberts -- it's a great compendium of jazz piano styles (from Joplin and James P. Johnson to Ellington and Monk) -- so I think I'd bring that to my desert island. Well, that's only nine. Maybe I could whittle it down to such a short list. But I'd still be missing Dylan, Aretha, Ella, and so many others...


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