Posted Monday, April 25, 2005

First of All: Try this iTunes Smart Playlist, Plus Today's Tunes

Hey, Amazon is finally shipping my book! Many of you have written to say that you've received shipping notification, and I really appreciate it. Be sure to write and let me know what you think of the book once you've received it, and don't forget to watch the DVD.

Alas, Amazon still hasn't restored the nice 34 percent discount that it was originally offering. If you're after a deal, buy directly from Peachpit Press or from Barnes & Noble's site. (See last Friday's post for links.)

To celebrate the fact that Amazon has gotten its act partially together, here's a short excerpt from the smart playlists section of the book's iTunes chapter. I love the way smart playlists let you explore your music library in unique ways, and this excerpt describes a way you may not have thought of.

Want to explore your music library in a completely different way? Try making a smart playlist built around the Track Number field. For example, to create a smart playlist containing the first song in all of your albums, specify Track Number is 1. If one of your favorite artists always starts his or her albums with a particularly cool track, add the artistís name: Artist is George Duke and Track Number is 1.

Today's Tunes: Bebop to Start the Week
How do you jump-start a long week? If you're a jazz lover, try some up-tempo bebop. Today: a few of my favorite bebop horn players.

Say bebop in a word-association test, and most people will reply Charlie Parker. For all practical purposes, bebop saxophone began with "Bird," as he was called, and the iTunes Music Store has an excellent iTunes Essentials compilationicon of Parker's artistry.

But don't stop with Bird. Another master of bebop sax was Gene Ammons.icon While many bebop artists recorded with the big orchestras that helped give birth to bop, Ammons often recorded with smaller bands. One of my favorites is his Sock, which may be about the hottest two minutes and 49 seconds of 'bop ever recorded.

And if you're looking for the hottest two minutes and 51 seconds ever recorded, proceed directly to Red Prysock's Hand Clappin'. Most jazz lovers are familiar with vocal crooner Arthur Prysock, but aren't aware that he had a horn playing brother. He did, and Red was hot.

So many horn players; so little time. Don't forget about Sonny Stitticon, who often recorded with Ammons.

To survey the landscape of 'bop, check out the iTunes Essentials compilation Bebop and Beyondicon. It, like all the iTunes Essentials compilations I've explored, does a great job of collecting the tunes that define a given category or artist.

See you tomorrow!