Just like great sex and fine foods, music is one of those things that can send chills up my spine. What songs do that to you? Here’s a partial list for me:
[li]Water Song[/li][sup]HOT TUNA[/sup]
The introduction’s false crescendo breaks perfectly into the more complex mainline of the song.
[li]Lady Goes To Church[/li][sup]JOHN RENBOURN[/sup]
The central passage of this acoustic piece contains an intricate combination of harmony and melody line.
[li]Take Five[/li][sup]Dave Brubeck[/sup]
Composer Paul Desmond’s immortal saxophone riff so perfectly embodies a sense of pure elation.
[li]Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
The term “pull out all of the stops” was invented to describe this specific style of Bach’s organ works.
[li]Brandenburg Concerto #3 in G Major[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
The rubbing of the basses in the fast movements lifts the flute solo to make your heart soar.
[li]Fugue in C from Volume 1 of The Well Tempered Clavier[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
Glenn Gould’s second track on the A side is some beautifully intricate piano work.
[li]No One Like You[/li][sup]THE SCORPIONS[/sup]
The dual unison guitar work during the introduction breaks down into a pair of superb solos in the heart of the song.
[li]Always With You Always With Me[/li][sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]
The classical phrasing of the fundamental melody line is almost painfully lyrical.
[li]Bulgarian Dance[/li][sup]DAVY GRAHAM[/sup]
The guitarist’s complicated and nearly atonal “Turko-Arabic” motif resolves in and out of harmonic phase.
[li]Definitely Maybe[/li][sup]JEFF BECK[/sup]
Seeing him play this by making slide excursions directly over the guitar’s pickups with perfect voicing reinforced the beauty of this song for me.
[li]Cliffs of Dover[/li][sup]ERIC JOHNSON[/sup]
Rock-solid meter and harmony almost mandates the blistering transition passages in this rock instrumental masterpiece.
[li]The Crush of Love[/li][sup]JOE SATRIANI[/sup]
What seems to be an almost classical rock piece suddenly cranks over into ripples of pure speed metal.
The fluttering fretwork of this fleet jazz gemstone sparkles with a crystal clarity.
[li]Brandenburg Concerto #6 Allegro[/li][sup]J.S. BACH[/sup]
The flute line interweaves with the strings with all of it mantled by crisp brass ornamentation.
The harmonica and guitar crescendo near the end pour on the coal to superheat this bit of molten blues rock.
Jaqui M[sup]c[/sup]Shea’s angelic vocals front one of the most versatile European bands ever.
This slick blast of boogie woogie glides down the scale in perfectly interlocked licks.
[li]Fanfare for the Common Man[/li][sup]Aaron Copeland[/sup]
The dignified scrolling of the brass section comes into a final resolution that sets the soul to keening.
[li]Now That We’ve Ended As Lovers[/li][sup]Jeff Beck[/sup]
An almost weeping electric guitar suddenly flares with daredevil virtuosity in this unabashed jewel of hotshot jazz rock.
[li]Whammer Jammer[/li][sup]J. Geils Band[/sup]
Magic Dick’s stellar harmonica work is unrivaled in this scintillating old fashioned rock and roll treasure.