Best of 2010: Rediscovered Top 20 Tracks

These are the 20 songs, at least 2 years old, that I re/discovered and played the most in 2010. Non-scientific, mind you.

1. Stanley Jordan, “The Lady In My Life” (1985)
2. Lee Ritenour, “Countdown (Captain Fingers)” (1982)
3. Chuck Mangione, “Give It All You Got” (1980)
2010 was the year I really discovered jazz fusion, and owned the fact that I kinda love “smooth jazz.” The Jordan and Ritenour tracks are total fusion, and the Mangione arguably splits the difference.

4. Boney James f/George Duke, “The Total Experience” (2006)
5. Quincy Jones f/Hubert Laws, Herbie Hancock, and Harry Lookofsky, “Tell Me A Bedtime Story” (1978)
6. Alex Bugnon, “Southern Living” (2003)
Part of my job involves putting together playlists for receptions and events we host; one of these is a smooth jazz playlist (ehllo, background – but not sleepytime background). That’s where I found the James and Bugnon tracks, both of which I catch myself humming. Yes, I know I’m weird. The Q cut I learned from his superb 2001 boxed set Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones, which I picked up during a Quincy binge in the spring. It’s a fairly amazing, lush R&B-feeling jazz cut, mostly instrumental and very Quincy, if you know what I mean.

7. Mary Mary f/Kierra “Kiki” Sheard, “God In Me” (2008)
I only took notice of this gospel smash as its “weeks on chart” column on Billboard‘s Hot R&B Singles chart kept inching closer to the all-time record, Mary J. Blige’s 74-week run with “Be Without You.” This one ended up, I believe, at 72 weeks, which is the second-longest run in the chart’s history, and peaked at #5. It’s also bumpin’, nicely stripped-down musically, and while it’s certainly in-your-face about its Jesus-ness, it’s not obnoxious about it.

8. Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, “Back Together Again” (1979)
Fabulous, soulful disco from two singers who knew what they were doing.

9. Lee Ritenour, “Is It You?” (1982)
10. Ladyhawke, “Dusk Till Dawn (Linus Loves Remix)” (2008)
11. Stephanie Mills, “Something In The Way (You Make Me Feel) (Extended Smooth Version)” (1989)
Essentially, a 9-plus-minute “quiet storm” remix!

12. Ronnie Laws, “Night Breeze” (1976)
13. The Bar-Kays, “Shine” (1979)
“Shine” is edited into oblivion as Sidechains’ “Dr. Funk,” which made my top 20 this year.

14. David Benoit, “Freedom At Midnight” (2005)
15. The Toxic Avenger, “Escape” (2007)
16. Jaytech, “Pyramid” (2008)
The great lost Underworld single.

17. Christian McBride, “Aja” (2000)
18. Micatone, “To The Sound” (2003)
19. Alphabeat, “Boyfriend (Alex Metric Dub Mix)” (2008)
20. Rod Stewart, “Tonight I’m Yours” (1981)
I’d never, exactly, forgotten the Rod chestnut, but had forgotten how fabulously trashy it is. And the video! One night of debauchery at the Chateau Marmont….

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About thomasinskeep

I write about music.
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