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. 

Spring is Here! – Country Jazz Tunes to Celebrate Daylight Saving Time

With spring creeping up on us, you may be wondering, when exactly is daylight savings time? When do the clocks change? Well, this year, your clocks will move forward one hour on Sunday, March 14th at 2am. So, what are you going to do with that extra hour of sunlight? How about kicking back with some country jazz tunes while you watch the sunset! You can nod your head to the music while you watch the darkness of winter dissipate and the brightness of the warmer months approach.

Jimmie Rodgers & Louis Armstrong – Yodel No. 9

You may not be very familiar with country jazz music, but actually the two genres have a long history of intermingling that dates back to 1929 with this collaboration between Louis Armstrong and Jimmie Rodgers (aka the “Father of Country Music”). The narrative lyrics about a man standing on the corner of Beale and Main in Memphis combined with yodeling and Armstrong’s signature trumpeting creates a song that will get you looking forward to taking long walks outside in the sun.

Janis Siegal, John di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico –  Are You Alright?

After listening to that 1929 throwback, it’s time for something a bit more modern. This brand new 2021 rendition of “Are You Alright?” features the Grammy-award-winning vocalist Janis Siegel, the NYC jazz pianist John Di Martino and the double bassist Lonnie Plaxico. First written in 2007 by Lucinda Williams, “Are You Alright?” is a song that really speaks to our current collective moment. As Siegel points out, “This tune seems like an anthem for the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s the question we are all asking each other over and over again.”

Ray Charles – You Don’t Know Me

When you think of Ray Charles, you probably think of rhythm and blues, soul and jazz, but Charles was also a country star inspired by the music of the small southern town in which he grew up. In his widely successful 1962 album Modern Sounds in Country Music, Charles did jazzy renditions of the most famous country songs in history. “You Don’t Know Me,” one of the songs on the album, reached the #2 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. With its evocative, honest and heart wrenching lyrics, originally written by Cindy Walker in 1955, “You Don’t Know Me” is perfect for a moment of relaxation and contemplation on your back patio or front porch during that luminous late afternoon golden hour. 

Janis Siegal, John di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue

This is another song from the new 2021 album, Cryin’ in My Whiskey. This rendition retells and spices up Crystal Gayle’s 1977 version while still preserving the essence of the original. Ending with the lively clarinet of Aaron Heick, this tune will make you want to swing, party and jump for joy that spring is finally here!

If you’re ready to welcome the spring with some head-nodding country jazz, we can help. Night is Alive is proud to release the album Cryin’ in My Whiskey, which includes nine tracks of familiar country favorites such as Willie Nelson’s “Always On My Mind” and “I Fall to Pieces,” each with a jazz twist. The album is available right now in our store. And if you’d like to book one of our lovely musicians for an upcoming party or event, contact us today.

6 Tunes to Celebrate International Jazz Day

What better way to come together as a global community during a pandemic than to celebrate International Jazz Day on April 30th? Founded in 2011 by the United Nations, this day aims “to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe.” And this year, with many of the events being streamed online, you can enjoy all the fun and learning that this special day has to offer from the comfort of your home. To gear up for the day, we’ve collected a variety of jazz classics and modern renditions that showcase the history and diversity of jazz.

Louis Armstrong – I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby

We’ve all heard of Louis Armstrong before—the widely influential jazz musician from New Orleans who’s most famous for “It’s A Wonderful World”—but have you ever listened to his first crossover hit from 1929? Featuring Armstrong on muted trumpet, as a vocalist and on open trumpet, this song really showcases the jazz legend’s multitude of talents. 

Miles Davis – “Walkin’”

At the first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, Davis’s performance of “Walkin” announced a new subgenre of jazz—hard bob—to the world. Incorporating influences from rhythm and blues and gospel, hard pop has a rollicking, rhythmic feeling that offers an excellent backdrop for you to get ready for International Jazz Day. Turn on this song while you grab yourself a drink and queue up your virtual feast of jazz music from around the world.

Eliane Elias – So Nice (Samba de Verao)

Blending her Brazilian roots, her sensuous voice and her instrumental jazz, classical and compositional skills, Elias creates a style that is uniquely hers. Her 2004 rendition of this bossa nova and jazz standard, originally composed by Marcos Valle, showcases her soft rhythms and silky, sultry vocals. This song will make you want to wiggle your hips ever so slightly to the beat.

Lwanda Gogwana – Ucing’ Uyandazi

Born in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, Gogwana is a trumpeter and composer who fuses traditional Xhosa music with jazz harmonies and contemporary musical elements. This song comes from his 2016 album, Uhadi Synth, which was inspired by the Uhadi musical bow, a traditional Xhosa instrument, and the electronic synthesizer.

Janis Siegal, John di Martino & Lonnie Plaxico – Whenever You Come Around

Siegal, di Martino and Plaxico morph this country song into a funky, soulful version that evokes the style of Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Originally produced by A Vince Gill in 1994, “Whenever You Come Around” has direct message of love, which is something we could all use a bit more of in today’s day and age.

Lorca Hart Trio – Here’s That Rainy Day

Released in 2020 by The Lorca Hart Trio featuring Ralph Moore, this new rendition of the jazz standard creates a smooth, relaxed feeling that’ll help you wind down after the day’s excitement.

If those last two songs—Whenever You Come Around and Here’s That Rainy Day—caught your fancy, then check out the other songs on those albums! Cryin’ in My Whiskey and Colors of Jazz are both are available right now in our store.

Who Was Oliver Nelson? – A Look at a Great Jazz Saxophone Player’s Life

Oliver Nelson might not have been among the jazz world’s most famous saxophone players, but he made a huge impact during his short career. Read on to learn more about this jazz legend.

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Listen to Jazz Musicians, The Willie Jones III All-Stars on St. Louis Public Radio’s Jazz Unlimited

Looking for New Music from The Willie Jones III All-Stars? Hear the latest from these famous jazz musicians on the November 24th episode of Jazz Unlimited. Learn more about it on our blog.

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Five Ways to Stay Calm and Happy This Holiday Season

The holiday season emphasizes peace, love, and joy, but stress and anxiety can sneak uninvited among the celebrations with our families and loved ones. With political tensions, overcrowded terminals, family disputes, gift-giving pressures, and expectations for perfection, we can easily lose sight of what the holidays should be about. To help set positive intentions this season, here is a list of five simple things you can do to keep yourself calm and happy through the busy weeks ahead.

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