Just about two weeks ago, one of the great music producers and executives of the last fifty years passed away. Tommy LiPuma, who worked with many of the greats of music over the course of those fifty years, passed away at the age of 80 on March 13th. During that time, he had long, fruitful associations with George Benson and Diana Krall, and also worked with Al Jarreau, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, Norah Jones, Michael Bublé, and many more. Not bad for a man whose first production credit was on a single by the O’Jays back in 1965 (“Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)”).
Today’s mix is a bit lengthier than normal, because I tried to squeeze in as many different songs and artists that I thought would fit. Benson anchors this mix, and has the most appearances by any artist. As always, if you can’t play any of the songs, I’ll list the titles and artists, so that you can seek them out.
- “Breezin'” by Gabor Szabo
- “Breezin'” by George Benson
- “Popsicle Toes” by Michael Franks
- “Rainbow In Your Eyes” by Al Jarreau
- “Valdez In The Country” by George Benson
- “Estate” by João Gilberto
- “Matinee Idol” by The Yellowjackets
- “Hideaway” by David Sanborn
- “Tutu” by Miles Davis
- “Since I Fell For You” by Bob James & David Sanborn (feat. Al Jarreau)
- “Dreamin'” by George Benson & Earl Klugh
- “Ashes To Ashes” by Joe Sample
- “The Very Thought Of You” by Natalie Cole
- “Lift Off” by Groove Collective
- “Fly By Night” by George Benson
- “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” by Diana Krall
- “Tell Me All About It” by Natalie Cole
- “Crusin'” by Marc Antoine
- “Save The Last Dance For Me” by Michael Bublé
- “Rio de Janeiro Blue” by Randy Crawford & Joe Sample
I hope there’s something in this mix that you can enjoy. I hope it shows how LiPuma helped to craft what is now known as smooth jazz, though it wasn’t exactly by design. He created music that he liked, music that sounded good, and music that many (including myself) have enjoyed over the years. RIP Mr LiPuma.
As always, thanks for reading and listening.