It’s been a sad week. David Bowie died and ever since then everyone with even the slightest bit of a musical heart has been saddened. The misery is expected to worsen as the next few days progress. Monday is ‘Blue Monday’, the day thousands of statisticians and mathematicians have calculated is the most miserable day of the year. Spring and the holidays still seem like an insurmountable amount of time away and the dark nights don’t seem to be getting any lighter any quicker. Money troubles are multiplying as a busy Christmas takes its toll and the lengthening list of tasks at work seems to be getting tougher and tougher to handle. Things are bad. I know. Well, my message to you today is that you should, just for a moment, soak it all up and revel in it. Melancholy, wrote William Wordsworth, is a “a treasured and luxurious gloom of choice”….well, to make your office gloom just a little more luxurious here are three perfect blues songs to pass the dreary days with.
Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson – The Masquerade is Over
“You’re eyes don’t shine, like they used to shine and the thrill is gone.” That’s January in a nutshell isn’t it? The masquerade of Christmas is over. It’s back to reality, normality. Nancy Wilson is one of America’s consummate blues singers and mixed with Adderley’s cool jazz here, the result is a gorgeously miserable martini drank in a wood paneled New York bar.
Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington – Imagine My Frustration
Oh boy, oh boy does this song have a groove. It’s a five minute tempest that will blow the blues away amid tornadoes, flashing lightning and calamitous thunder. “You don’t impress! You’re just a mess! You’re in excess!” Fitzgerald yells as the horns in Ellington’s orchestra blare. This is the blues in riotous from. It’s fight back music.
Frank Sinatra – One for my Baby (One More For the Road)
No, don’t do dry January, Frank wouldn’t believe in it. Jack Daniels all the way. ‘It’s a long, long road’ Sinatra sings at the end of the song and for a moment, you can picture every mile of it.