What fruits and vegetables are harvested in September?

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a record number of Americans planting a vegetable garden for the first time. I guess the idea was, if you’re stuck at home and trying to avoid public places, like grocery stores, why not just grow your own food? There’s also nothing more peaceful, energizing, and therapeutic than planting a seed in the dirt, and waiting for new life to take root and literally emerge from the soil. 

So, now, after all your patience and hard work, comes the fun part: harvest time. There are so many delicious fruits and veggies in season for September, you’ll be smiling and singing as you stroll through your garden, or the local farmer’s market, picking out produce for a scrumptious meal with family and friends. And since no meal is truly complete without the perfect ambience, we put together this playlist of songs to match some of our favorite seasonal September produce!   

Carrots – Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise by Abbey Lincoln

With their slightly sweet flavor and rich levels of vitamin A, carrots are a well-loved and versatile root vegetable that can be used in a variety of fan-favorite dishes, like chicken noodle soup, ginger-carrot cake, and Shepherd’s Pie. Similarly, Abbey Lincoln, a singer-songwriter from Chicago with a career spanning from the late 50s to the early 2000s, also has an extremely versatile voice that excels in not only mainstream jazz but also in more alternative, avant-garde music. 

Broccoli – Sister Sadie by Horace Silver

The thick stalks and round green florets of broccoli have a grassy, mildly bitter, and earthy flavor, reminiscent of the hard bop music of Horace Silver, who was hailed by the New York Times as the master of earthy jazz. During the 1950s, when the soft sounds of cool jazz were soaring the airwaves, Silver came out with tunes that brought jazz back to its basics, with a focus on simple rhythms, blues, and gospel. 

So, why not go back to the basics this September with a tasty broccoli dish like garlic parmesan roasted broccoli or a broccoli bacon salad. 

Blueberries – Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico

Contrary to what you may think, blueberries pack a punch—yes, they’re small, juicy, and sweet, but they do also have a bit of a sour, acidic bite to them, especially if they’re not completely ripe. In the same way, this new, jazzed-up rendition of Crystal Gayle’s 1977 slow, crooning tune has a surprising kick at the end that you won’t want to miss.  

Plums – Duke and Billy by Lorca Hart Trio

These juicy and tart stone fruits can be eaten fresh, made into jam, fermented into wine, or even added to desserts and salads. They’re full of vitamin C, which is great for your eyes, and they can have red, purple, green, yellow, or orange skin. The most common color, and probably the most memorable, however, is the deep purple hue of the plum, which reminds me of Lorca Hart Trio’s new song “Duke and Billy.” This tune represents a pleasant conversation between Duke Ellington and Bill Stahan and signifies the rich and royal color purple. 

If you’re looking for more jazz tunes to hum along to while you harvest September produce and cook up some farm fresh meals, check out our albums Cryin’ in My Whiskey and Colors of Jazz, which are both available in our store and on all major music platforms.  

What jazz song matches your favorite ice cream flavor?

From Baskin Robbins to Braums, Halo Top to Tilamook, Haagen Dazs to Carvel, gelato to sundaes, rolled to fried, keto to vegan, mochi to kulfi, there are seemingly infinite possibilities when it comes to ice cream. One thing’s for sure, Americans sure are crazy about this soft, frozen food!

No matter how old you are, when you hear that classic jingle of the ice cream truck coming down the street your instinct is to grab some cash, fly out the front door and flag them down. Or maybe that’s just me… Well either way, there’s nothing like ice cream to remind you of your childhood, or to put a smile on your child or grandchild’s face, so why not find that perfect jazz song to pair with your favorite tasty, icy treat?

Rocky Road – Goin’ to Chicago by Jimmy Rushing

With its roasted almonds, walnuts and diced marshmallows, Rocky Road ice cream has a nice, varied, and gravelly texture to it, just like the voice of Jimmy Rushing. The swing singer, popular in the 1950s, is renowned for his rough-textured tone and wide range of voice, which was able to rise above the boisterous instrumentals of big band ensembles. 

Chocolate and Vanilla – What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

There’s nothing more classic than two scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream in a cone, just like there’s no jazz song more classic and well-known than Louis Armstrong’s 1967 hit, “What a Wonderful World.” Enjoy the last warm days of the season a delicious dessert and dreamy song. I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom… I see skies of blue and clouds of white…

Strawberry – Doop-Doo-De-Doop by Blossom Dearie

Strawberry ice cream is sweet, soft, and light just like the girlish vocals of Blossom Dearie, who playfully sings about love, and not being a party poop, in this song from her 1959 album, Once Upon a Summertime. 

Pistachio – Introspection by Lorca Hart Trio

The first thing that everyone usually notices about pistachio ice cream is its bright green color, which, initially, can even be a bit unnerving. But then your taste buds become tantalized by the smooth, earthy, and distinct flavor of the pistachio nut. Similarly, this new song from the Lorca Hart Trio evokes earthy images of rolling hills and swaying trees, green grass, and beautiful leaves, while also communicating a direct message: that today, in this present moment, the world is wonderful. 

If you’re looking for more bold jazz tunes to bob your foot to while you lick up a delectable scoop of ice cream, look no further than Lorca Hart Trio’s newest album, Colors of Jazz, which will add color to your life with a vibrant rainbow of classic and contemporary compositions. Colors of Jazz is available in our store and on all major music platforms. And if you’d like to book one of our lovely musicians, please contact us today. 

Why is Labor Day celebrated?

We all love that day off from school or work, that long weekend to go to the lake house, have a barbeque and visit with relatives, but let’s face it, most of us don’t really know why Labor Day is celebrated, or the history behind the holiday.

Labor Day, which is celebrated on the first Monday in September, honors and recognizes the American labor movement and the role of laborers in the development and achievements of the country. The holiday originated in the late 1800s, after the Industrial Revolution, when trade unions were growing steadily. Unionists thought that there should be a day to recognize labor, so the first parade was organized in New York City, and it became an official holiday in 1894.

You may be wondering, what kind of music did people listen to back then, in the late 19th century? Well, we’ve compiled a short list of historical tunes that are sure to impress your friends and family at your Labor Day celebration!

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad – 1894

With its lyrics about rising early in the morn to go work on the railroad, this American folk song embodies the spirit and history of Labor Day. Railroading was a career that many young men took up at around age 18 to 20. They began as shop laborers with the possibility of being promoted to the positions of skilled mechanic, brakeman, freight conductor and passenger conductor. And not only did the explosion of railways create jobs, but it also transformed many sectors of the U.S. economy, such as manufacturing, agriculture, and finance. 

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – 1872

This African American spiritual song was originally composed in 1865 by Wallis Willis, a Choctaw freedman, who had probably been inspired by the sight of the Red River, where he worked alongside. The river may have reminded him of the Jordan River and the Prophet Elijah, which are referenced in the song.

A minister at the Choctaw boarding school heard Willis singing the song, so he transcribed the lyrics and melodies, and sent it to the Jubilee Singers of the historically black Fisk University in Nashville, who popularized the song in the early 1900s.

While Strolling Through the Park One Day – 1884

Originally written and published by vaudeville performer Ed Haley, this tune has been featured in many films and was sung by Judy Garland. Interestingly enough, a few bars were also sung by the NASA astronauts when they landed on the moon with the Apollo 17 mission. I was strolling on the moon one day…” 

Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue – Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico

The oldies are neat and everything, but after the novelty wears off, they’re probably not the type of music you want to listen to for hours on end. After the collective ride down American memory lane, maybe it’s time to change the playlist up and play something a bit more modern, like this 2020 jazz rendition of Crystal Gayle’s country hit!

If you’re looking for more jazzy country tunes to play at your Labor Day party, our new album Cryin’ In My Whiskey is available in our store and on all major music platforms now. And if you’d like to book one of our wonderful musicians for your event, please contact us today.