III is the first BADBADNOTGOOD album that is all original work. As much I love  jazz covers of alternative hip-hop songs, hearing BADBADNOTGOOD branch off into their own compositions is far more interesting as a listener. III obviously stays more on the jazz sides of instrumental jazz hip-hop, but there’s still plenty of hip-hop inspired moments to be heard on this album. Although III lacks the energy of its predecessors, it’s nothing to be brushed aside. BADBADNOTGOOD takes this album to explore more of the trio’s talents, and the result are extended jams and jazzy beats that do not disappoint.

Choice Cut: Since You Asked Kindly

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Sunday at the Village Vanguard – Bill Evans Trio (1961)

Sunday at the Village Vanguard - Bill Evans Trio (1961)

Today, I’m thankful for jazz. Well, more so than usual, anyway. Good jazz knows how to push the boundaries of music, while still remaining classy. That’s how we get good but weird stuff like BBNG2. But sometimes, you need jazz that feels like what you think of when you think of jazz. That’s what this album is: class act jazz. I’d put it up there with Kind of Blue, which Alex and I could both gush about.

Choice Cut: My Man’s Gone Now
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Cowboy Bebop – The Seatbelts (1998)

Cowboy Bebop - The Seatbelts (1998)

Man, Cowboy Bebop… there’s a good reason why pretty much everyone agrees it’s one of the best anime ever made, maybe even the best. Great writing, awesome characters, gripping action scenes, fantastic animation… and the music. The music was a big mix-up of everything – jazz, blues, rock, soul, folk – and you can bet that every style that Yoko Kanno and her band tried was a runaway success. Especially of note for me is Bad Dog No Biscuits, which covers the Tom Waits composition Midtown. It’s the most badass soundtrack known to mankind and works just as well outside of context as it does in.

Choice Cut: Choosing a favorite song from this is like choosing your favorite Cowboy Bebop episode.
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Come Away with Me – Norah Jones (2002)

Come Away with Me - Norah Jones (2002)

Looks like I’ve tapped into the “impress women” side of my collection. My reasons for liking this album are not so superficial, though. This is a beautiful blend of jazz, country, and blues, all with a touch of pop. The vocal delivery is from a divine plane of existence, I swear. This album exudes classiness and feels like a smooth, delicate listen. It’s also a very good way to broaden your horizons from adrenaline-soaked music to something more musically demure.

Choice Cut: Don’t Know Why
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All ‘n All – Earth, Wind, and Fire (1977)

All 'n All - Earth, Wind, and Fire (1977)


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If you are new to R&B and looking for easy starting points, this album should be added to your list. I was new to R&B when I first listened, and I had no problem getting into the songs on this album. The album starts off very strong with two of my favorite R&B songs of all time, “Serpentine Fire” and “Fantasy”. All ‘n All is an album of many strengths, and the elements of R&B, soul, jazz, and funk shine through beautifully to create a masterpiece in the R&B catalogue.

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