Get rebellious with our new release of “Call Me Irresponsible”, music by Jimmy Van Heusen and John Di Martino as our music director. Live a little, do something daring, exciting, something new. Because that is how this song makes you feel “irresponsible, irresistible and undeniably true that it is bad for you”.
Jimmy van Heusen is claimed as one of the best songwriters in American history. Claiming a total of 4 Oscars and 1 Emmy for “best song”Best Song”, he is truly one of the most decorated musicians in American history. Being that he wrote these absolutely classic songs that should show that You should give this album another listen for the sake of hearing the classics and remembering the old greats.
Our new version featuring John Di Martino, it brings these classic hits into a new era. A full list of musicians is available on our website, nightisalive.com and remember to return weekly for a new blog post.
But that is enough of that why don’t you go back to one of our past releases? Specifically, the Colors of Jazz by the Lorca Hart trio featuring Ralph Moore. This new edition of the classic hit “Here’s That Rainy Day” another Jimmy Van Heusen tune, is much more pleasing to the ear with the soft jazz tunes and is a great choice for when relaxing. Click here: https://nightisalive.com/albums/ for your listening pleasure.
Jazz music has a long and storied history, with its roots tracing back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. It has evolved over time, incorporating a wide range of influences and styles, and has had a profound impact on popular culture around the world.
One of the key events in the history of jazz is the emergence of “jazz age” in the 1920s, which saw the rise of popular jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. These musicians helped to popularize jazz and bring it to mainstream audiences, and their influence can still be felt today.
Jazz has also played an important role on New Year’s Eve, with many people turning to jazz music to help ring in the new year. From jazz clubs and dance halls to television and radio broadcasts, jazz has been a staple of New Year’s Eve celebrations for decades.
One of the reasons that jazz has remained so popular on New Year’s Eve is its ability to evoke a sense of excitement and celebration. The fast tempo and improvisational nature of jazz music make it the perfect accompaniment to the festive atmosphere of the holiday.
In addition to its role in New Year’s Eve celebrations, jazz has also had a lasting influence on other genres of music. Many modern artists, from pop and rock to hip hop and electronic, have incorporated elements of jazz into their music, helping to keep the genre alive and relevant for new generations of listeners.
Overall, jazz has a rich and varied history, and its influence can still be felt today, particularly on New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re dancing the night away in a jazz club or enjoying the sounds of a jazz band on the radio, there’s no denying that jazz is an integral part of the celebration of the start of a new year.
You can ring in the new year by listening to Night is Alive’s new album, Call Me Irresponsible, celebrating the Jazz of Jimmy Van Heusen.
Listen to the entire album on YouTube or on any of the major Streaming Services.
It’s that time of the year again. Whether snow is gently falling on your windowpanes or sunlight is streaming through, the holidays are fast approaching.
If you’re living in the southern hemisphere, it can sometimes be difficult to get yourself into the Christmas spirit. Most of the popular holiday songs and movies out there take place in colder climates—small towns nestled in snow-covered mountaintops, people dressed in hats and mittens, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. So, if your holidays usually consist of beachside barbeques, swimsuits, and sunglasses, you might be feeling a tad left out.
But don’t worry. We know just what’ll do the trick to get you in the spirit . . . baking Christmas cookies! There’s nothing else that can make you feel more like one of Santa’s elves. And some lively holiday tunes will also be sure to get you in the mood for some holiday cheer!
George Strait – Christmas Cookies
I don’t know about you, but country music usually makes me think of summertime. So, if you’re living in a tropical climate during the holidays, nothing can really beat Christmas country music!
This 2021 song is literally perfect for baking cookies because the cute and descriptive lyrics will get you excited and make your tummy rumble! The ones that look like Santa Claus, Christmas trees and bells and stars . . . sometimes I can’t get myself to stop . . .
John Di Martino, Wayne Escoffery & Lonnie Plaxico – Blue Christmas
Did you know that singing, even if it’s off-key, can greatly improve your happiness levels? Yes, it’s true! That’s why this December, you should make sure to belt out the lyrics to your favorite Christmas songs.
I’m sure that this new, jazzy instrumental rendition of Elvis’s hit “Blue Christmas” will prove to be a fan favorite since you and your family can all easily sing along while you bake cookies. Don’t worry, I’m sure no one will notice if you’re not all harmonized . . .
Nat King Cole – Deck the Halls
Even if you’re not much of a singer, chances are that you know the lyrics to this Christmas classic. And the range in tone is pretty limited, so it doesn’t matter whether your voice is an alto or bass! No matter who you are, you can handle this song, so there’s no excuse not to “fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la” along with everyone while you mix up batter, knead dough or cut out cookies.
Bill Cunliffe Trio – It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
This slow and whimsical rendition from Grammy-Award-Winner Bill Cunliffe really lingers in the beautiful details, just like the intricate icing and sprinkles on the sugar cookies you’ll be making. Sing along or even hum softly as you wrap up a lovely afternoon or evening full of Yuletide cheer.
John Di Martino, Wayne Escoffery & Andromeda Turre – Happy Hanukkah
Unfortunately, amid all the images of Santa Claus and baby Jesus in the manger, Hanukkah tends to get overlooked sometimes. But not anymore! This new song, featuring the stunning vocals of Andromeda Turre, shines light on the Jewish holiday.
If you’re looking for more holiday songs to listen to while you bake cookies, we recommend checking out our holiday album collection, which features stars like Andromeda Turre, Bill Cunliffe & John Di Martino.
With the schoolyear starting back up again, you might be thinking about how to improve your study skills. Maybe you want to try out meditating to declutter your mind before hitting the books. Or maybe you’re one of those people who motivates themselves with an M&M after each page.
Some people like to study early in the mornings, others like to stay up all night, and some prefer silence while others can’t stand it. Well, if you’re someone who likes noise, you might be glad to find out that jazz music is excellent for studying because it helps reduce stress!
One neuroscientist found that the improvised nature of jazz engages the brain and minimizes stress in ways that classical music does not. And stress, as you may already know, is the enemy of memory ability. The happier and more relaxed that you are, the more likely you are to remember an important fact or vocab word. And we all know that the swinging style of jazz always puts a smile on your face!
The only thing to possibly be wary of is jazz songs with singing because the lyrics may confuse and distract your brain. The best jazz to listen to while studying is definitely instrumental.
So, sharpen your pencils, get out your highlighters and headphones and turn on these snazzy instrumental tunes!
WJ3 All-Stars – Broadway
This vibrant, fast-paced 2022 tune will warm up those brain waves. Your eyes will glide easily through the dense paragraphs as you listen to the dazzling sax solo.
John Di Martino, Joe Magnarelli & Wayne Escoffery – Tell Me Why
Now that you’re in the groove, you’re probably becoming more curious about what you’re studying and learning. Like this jazz song, you’re digging deeper into the layers of meaning that exist in the world and you’re wondering, why? Why are things the way that they are? Well, keep up the hard work and contemplative thought and soon enough, you’ll be the expert with all the answers!
WJ3 All-Stars – I Should Care
I don’t know about you, but after studying for a while, I can start to get into a slump. Maybe you’re getting a bit drained and apathetic. But don’t worry, this song will give you the second wind that you’re craving! It’ll make you remember why you care so much about your studies.
John Di Martino, Joe Magnarelli & Wayne Escoffery – Please Don’t Go
The backbone of this song is definitely the energetic drumming, which creates an upbeat tempo that’ll perk you right up and get you through that last assignment. And then, once you’ve completed your work for the day, you can celebrate by dancing a little jig! The librarians will be so entertained that they just might not want you to go!
If you’re looking for more spunky instrumental jazz tunes to listen to while you study, check out our albums My Ship and Old New Borrowed & Blue, both of which are available in our store and on all major music platforms!
I don’t know about you, but I start to feel a bit of ennui during the late part of the summer. Especially when I was a kid, out of school for months, I’d start to feel a bit restless by mid-to-late August. Maybe this is why August is such a popular month for people to take a trip out to the American West?!
The American West is filled with unparalleled natural beauty that is sure to satisfy your craving for the picturesque. The pristine lakes and remarkable mountains of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. The stunning red rock landscapes of Moab, Utah. The hot springs, mud pots and fumaroles of Yellowstone National Park.
And with all the outdoor activities—hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, just to name a few—the West is definitely the place to go to find some adventure!
Now, the most important question: what music should you listen to on your road trip out to the great American west? Don’t worry, we got you covered with the best tunes to get you in the mood for your vacation!
Marty Robbins – Ballad of the Alamo
This song comes from the epic 1960 historical war film, “The Alamo,” which stars John Wayne as Davy Crockett. Listen to this ballad before you tour the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas and as you’re walking around, you’ll notice that between the setting and the rising of the sun, you can hear a ghostly bugle as the men go marching by . . .
Eddy Arnold – Cattle Call
As you’re driving out west in your car or RV, you’re going to see plenty of open spaces, fields and, of course, cattle! This fun 1934 tune will be sure to put a grin on your face as you admire the cows and oxen.
Maybe if you’re feeling especially frisky, you can stick your head out the window and say hello to the livestock! Moo! Who knows, maybe you’ll help scare away the howlin’ coyotes!
Sons of the Pioneers – Tumbling Tumbleweeds
First recorded in 1934, this western ballad captured the spirit of the Great Depression. Following the Dust Bowl, the “Dirty Thirties” saw many men wandering around the country looking for work, drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds.
And did you know that the Sons of the Pioneers, founded in 1933, are actually still around today? Of course, the membership has changed frequently over the years, but they are now one of the longest-surviving country groups in the world!
Harve Presnell – They Call the Wind Maria
This song was written for the 1951 Broadway musical, Paint Your Wagon, which takes place during the California Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. The driving, staccato rhythm of the tune, played on the string instruments, creates a sense of restless, unending motion, as if one is riding a horse or cowboy all day and night long!
Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Always on My Mind
A classic tune performed by everyone from Loretta Lynn to Elvis, and, of course, the figure of outlaw country himself, Willie Nelson, this iconic ballad just had to be included on our list. The strong sense of bittersweet regret is simply timeless.
But have you ever heard a jazzy rendition of the song? Boy are you in for a treat with this new recording that features an impeccable flute solo by Aaron Heick!
“Always on My Mind” comes from our country jazz album, Cryin’ In My Whiskey, which is available on all major music platforms and in our store today.
Did you know that the more heat and humidity there is in the air, the stronger and wetter a thunderstorm will be? Yup, that’s right. The hot, humid draft rises to a point where it eventually condenses and forms a cloud, which grows until it’s ready for a torrential downpour.
But a summer storm doesn’t have to be a downer or disappointment. Rather, the overcast skies and rain can be a nice break from the seemingly relentless sun! And what better way to enjoy a later summer storm than reading a thrilling novel while you sip on a nice glass of crisp white wine and listen to some soft jazz?
Lorca Hart Trio – Here’s That Rainy Day
I don’t know about you, but there’s something about those gray clouds in the sky, obscuring all the blue, that calms me. Ah, there’s nothing like the smooth trinkle of raindrops sprinkling against the windowpane and the musty smell of a well-loved book with worn, dog-eared pages.
This new 2021 tune really captures the spirit of a cozy rainy day. Ralph Moore’s smooth, buttery saxophone really takes the edge off and makes you want to kick back and relax.
Stormy Weather – Etta James
This 1960 ballad is heart wrenching in its exploration of sorrow following the dissolution of a romantic relationship. The speaker’s heart is full of stormy weather since she and her man are no longer together.
She feels like she just can’t go on, yet, at the same time, James’s powerful, sunny vocals and the lyrics about praying to walk in the sun once more seem to hint at future hope. Because remember, after a rainstorm always comes a rainbow.
Come Rain or Come Shine – Ray Charles
Whether we like it or not, there are many ups and downs in life. But without the alternating rain and shine, we would all just be bored, wouldn’t we? The so-called rain is what makes us stronger, and, like Ray Charles sings in this song, it also shows us who is really there for us when it matters.
As you enjoy your later summer storm, why not celebrate love with this beautiful 1959 tune? It’ll remind you of all those people who have stood by you come rain or shine.
John Di Martino, Joe Magnarelli & Wayne Escoffery – Hudson River Wind
Maybe you’ve been having a difficult time lately. Misfortune just keeps knocking at your door and it won’t stop. Well, you know the saying—when it rains it pours, meaning that when things go wrong, they do so all at once.
Challenging periods like that may seem unbearable and insufferable, but if you’ve ever been to the Hudson River in eastern New York, you know that it can actually be quite magical to watch the storm stir up the water. This lovely 2022 song will inspire you to change your perspective and view your setbacks not as reasons to cry but as opportunities to grow.
If you’re looking for some more relaxing, instrumental jazz tunes for your rainy afternoon or evening, I’d recommend our new albums Old New Borrowed & Blue and My Ship, both of which are available in our store and on all major music platforms today!
This post was written by Digital Marketing Manager Jacqueline Knirnschild.
Have you spent too much time out in the sun this summer? Between camping, boating and paddle boarding, I know that I’m a bit toasted and could use a rest from all the rays and heat.
And what better way to rest than with a cozy girls’ night in? Staying in is also a good way to save some money! Grab a few friends, a few bottles of booze and enjoy the air conditioning in the basement. While you’re at it, why not grab some aloe to soothe that nasty sunburn? There’s nothing like the salve of cool conversation with friends to revitalize you for the second half of this hot summer!
Of course, as you can probably already predict, we at Night Is Alive put together a fun playlist for your girls’ night in. These tunes will make you want to cry, laugh, and, hopefully, by the end of the night, dance and sing along!
Janis Siegel, John Di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Face it, after going through a grueling heartbreak, there’s no one you’d rather talk to you than your best gal pals. And as the lyrics of this country classic point out, sometimes it’s really hard to accept that a relationship is over. You might cry so much that your brown eyes turn blue, but your friends will be there to wipe away the tears and pick you back up, so let it all out on girls’ night.
Respect – Aretha Franklin
This 1967 R&B hit is just what you need on a girls’ night because everyone is sure to know the words. From the moment that melody starts to the first vocals, this song is instantly recognizable and will make you tap your toes, or, at the very least, nod your head.
Because at the end of the day, all that we’re asking for is just a little respect when you come home—isn’t that right ladies?
Carole King – Where You Lead
If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, you’ll know this 1971 tune, which is the theme song of the cult classic TV show. Like Rory and Lorelai, your best girl friends will always follow where you lead. If you need them, they will be there for you, and they will go to the ends of the earth ‘cause darling that’s what you’re worth.
And don’t worry, we won’t judge you if you and your friends belt out all lyrics and sway together with your arms entwined. We’ve all been there.
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
C’mon you knew we had to put this song on the playlist, didn’t you? You got to save the best for last and this 1983 tune is definitely it. Go out with a bang by dancing on top of the tables like you just don’t care because the best of friends knows how to have fun!
Or maybe your girls’ night isn’t quite as wild as we imagined and you’re looking for some more mellow, classy tunes to which you can sip chardonnay and nibble on goat cheese and olives. In that case, check out our many jazz albums, like our most recent releases My Ship and Old New Borrowed & Blue.
Everyone is always thrilled when the weather starts to warm up, but by mid July, you’re probably getting a bit sick of the heat, right? Sunburn, sweat and overheating cellphones can make you nostalgic for wintertime, snow and Yuletide carols.
Popular myth has it that Christmas in July was founded in the 1930s when a summer camp in North Carolina celebrated the holiday on July 24th and 25th with cotton snow, gifts, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus. Then, with the movie Christmas in July, which came out in the 1940s, the somewhat silly holiday hit the mainstream.
So, what are your Christmas in July party ideas? Do you have some quirky decorations with Santa Claus in swim trunks drinking a margarita? A t-shirt with reindeer on the beach? A Christmas-themed cornhole board?
Whatever your plans, you’re going to need music, which is why we, at Night Is Alive, put together a Christmas in July playlist for you! Enjoy!
John Di Martino, Andromeda Turre & Wayne Escoffery – Christmas Ain’t Like It Used to Be
Even though this song is technically about celebrating Christmas without a special someone, it can also be relevant for Christmas in July, which certainly isn’t like any other Christmas you’ve probably celebrated before! Plus, there’s never a bad time to listen to the stellar vocals of Andromeda Turre!
Jonathan Coulton & John Roderick – Christmas in July
This sweet little folk tune really draws attention to the benefits of Christmas in July, like warm breezes by the shore and long days beneath the summer sky. Released in 2012, this song makes me think that maybe celebrating Christmas in Australia—where the seasons are flipped with the Northern Hemisphere—wouldn’t actually be so bad. A barbeque and gift exchange on the beach anyone?
Bill Cunliffe Trio – Christmas Is Coming
From Grammy-award-winning arranger Bill Cunliffe, this 2019 tune will really get you in the mood for Christmas in July! The fast pace, and fun, inventive melodies create excitement for the holiday. And the funky percussion gives it a more tropical feel than many other Christmas songs out there.
Night Is Alive All Stars – Merry Christmas Baby
Nothing beats celebrating a holiday with your beloved—spoiling each other with gifts and furtively glancing into one another’s eye during the festivities. And the buttery vocals and silky-smooth saxophone in this tune produce that sense of romance one often feels around Christmas. As vocalist Christie Dashiell sings, I feel like I’m in paradise.
Bill Cunliffe – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
End the day on a whimsical note with this crisp and jaunty tune that will bring you back to the sweet and dreamy days of your childhood Christmases. The playful piano will put a smile on your face as the sun dips below the horizon and the sky takes on the pink and purple hues of the sugar plum fairy.
If you’re looking for more holiday tunes to listen to this Christmas in July, be sure to check out all of our holiday albums, which are available in our store and on all major music platforms! And if you’d like to book one of our lovely musicians, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
This post was written by Digital Marketing Manager, Jacqueline Knirnschild.
Summer is really heating up—finally! I don’t know about you, but for a while there, when we were having fifty-degree mornings and evenings, it didn’t really feel like summer. Now, though, with the sound of the ice cream truck around the corner and the sweat slick on the back of my neck, I’m ready to turn on some country music, take a dip in the pool and crack open a beer!
Country music is the sound of summer in America, and there’s really not a hotter country album out right now than Cryin’ In My Whiskey, which offers jazzy renditions of your most favorite country classics, like “Whenever You Come Around.”
And this Friday, we get to chat a little bit with composer, arranger, and pianist John Di Martino, who is featured in Cryin’ In My Whiskey, and who journalist Mark Ruffin described as “one of the most inventive small group arrangers in NYC.”
What was your most beloved song as a child and why?
“Once in a Lifetime” by Anthony Newly.
What is your favorite country song (that is not included in Cryin’ in My Whiskey)?
“El Paso” by Marty Robbins.
What was it like rehearsing and producing this album?
I really enjoyed producing and arranging this project. Kathy Salem and I are thinking about making another country music CD featuring a male singer!
You know the myth: Pandora opened that infamous box, from which sprung all the misery and evil to plague humankind for eternity. However, not all was lost. She did manage to shut the box before one vital entity escaped: Hope. This is why humans are able to persevere and carry on, despite tantamount struggle.
To feel hope is to expect a positive outcome and to trust that things will turn out for the best. Hope is important because it can ameliorate a difficult situation and motivate us to build a better future for ourselves.
With the global pandemic, we have all become very familiar with the role of hope in our lives and world. But did you know that in 2018, a non-profit organization, Mothers in Crisis, designated April as the National Month of Hope?
To help you celebrate the power of hope and inspire you to plant seeds of hope in your life, community, and world, we put together a playlist of exemplary songs that are full of hope. Enjoy!
Nat King Cole – Smile
While listening to Nat King Cole’s 1954 hit, I can’t help but think of the well-known fact that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. With his pure, buttery baritone, Cole reminds us to smile even if our hearts our aching and breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by if you smile through your fear and sorrow.
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
There’s just no way you can a list of hopeful songs without include this 1967 classic! And the production of this song actually also involved a certain level of hope on the part of Tammi Terrell. Apparently, she was a bit nervous and overwhelmed during the recording sessions because she hadn’t rehearsed the lyrics, but hope must’ve carried her through, because her vocals were excellent!
Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
Like most of his songs, this 1970 tune was created with firm roots in the black gospel tradition, which originated from the uplifting work songs of enslaved people. Much of Mayfield’s work also inspired the Black community to persevere, and maintain hope, on their quest toward freedom and equality. With just a little faith / if you put your mind to it / You can surely do it.
Dinah Washington – Trouble in Mind
This vaudeville blues-style song was written by a jazz pianist, and first recorded, in the early 1920s. Since then, it has become a blues standard and been recorded by many artists in an array of styles. With its beautiful lyrics that instill a deep sense of hope, even in the very darkest of times, it’s no wonder that Dinah Washington’s 1952 rendition reached number four on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart.
John DiMartino, Joe Magnarelli & Wayne Escoffery – Hudson River Wind
With the recent unpredictable and sporadic spring weather, this is the perfect jazz song to listen to and help you gain hope for a brighter, sunnier tomorrow! This brand-new tune reminds us that no matter how hard the harsh winds may be blowing, the river of life will persist and continue flowing.
To hear more jazz songs that merge the musical artistry of the new with the traditions of the old, check out our album, Old New Borrowed & Blue, which is available in our store and on all major music platforms.
This post was written by Blog Editor, Jacqueline Knirnschild.