100 Important (to me) Recordings

A few years back, I was invited by my good pal Sean Connors to speak at the Central New York Day of Percussion. I was supposed to speak about drumset; that was my only direction. And about myself. Maybe how do you get to be Aaron Staebell on the drumset. (Apparently, this is something people ask themselves?)

I think one of the most important things to who we are as musicians/improvisers is our musical catalog. Dave Chisholm talks about this sometimes, how his band members are familiar with the same benchmarks as he; they know they same recordings intimately. It makes a big difference. My musical background was varied as a kid. My dad was an orchestra conductor and my mom loves listening to eclectic stuff from her generation. I was also a kid in the 90s, you know? So I had my helpings of Reel Big Fish and the Verve Pipe so that I could be cool in school.

At the Day of Percussion, I gave everyone this list. Its a list of 100 recordings that were and are important TO ME. Is this the best 100 CDs of all time? No way. Thats not even the point. Some of this probably wouldnt be considered good music by almost anyone. BUT for example, playing along to Ashlee Simpson’s “Autobiography” in college (goodbye, friends) helped me to develop my time and my pop/rock sensibilities on the drums. And come on. It was catchy and fun (until this happened:)

SO without any further digression, here is MY list.

(in alphabetical order, by artist/composer/band)

Arnold Schoenberg Pierrot Lunaire
Art Blakey Moanin
Arthur Lewis If We Were
Ashley Simpson Autobiography
Beach Boys Pet Sounds
Beatles Revolver
Beethoven String Quartet 15
Ben Monder Excavation
Bernstein Candide
Bill Frisell Have a Little Faith
Bjork Vespertine
Bjork Medulla
Bob Brookmeyer Waltzing with Zoe
Brad Mehldau Art of the Trio 4
Brokeback Mountain Soundtrack
Chick Corea Light as a Feather
Chopin Nocturnes
Chris Potter Gratitude
Clifford Brown and Max Roach Study in Brown
Count Basie & Frank Sinatra Sinatra @ the Sands
Counting Crows Best of
D’Angelo Live at the Jazz Café
Damien Rice O
Dave Douglas The Infinite
Dave Holland Not for Nothin
David Maslanka Symphonies 2 and 4
Dirty Projectors + Bjork Mount Wittenberg Orca
Duke Ellington Such Sweet Thunder
Elliot Smith Figure 8
Eric Whitacre Complete Acapella Works
Erykah Badu Live
Fiona Apple When the Pawn…
Frank Zappa Roxy and Elsewhere
Fred Hersch Trio + 2
Glenn Gould Bach: Goldberg Variations
Hawksley Workman For Him and the Girls
Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring/The Firebird
Imogen Heap Speak for Yourself
In The Heights Original Broadway Cast
James Taylor Sweet Baby James
Jason Moran The Bandwagon
Jay-Z MTV Unplugged
Jeff Buckley Grace
Jerseyband Tragedi In The Mangky
Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced?
Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet
John Coltrane A Love Supreme
John Hollenbeck Joys and Desires
John Mayer Heavier Things
John Zorn Six Litanies for Heliogabalus
Jon Brion Meaningless
Joni Mitchell Shadows and Light
Joshua Redman Beyond
Keith Jarrett The Koln Concert
Kenny Wheeler Music for Large and Small Ensembles
Knights on Earth move slow, life ends
Lauryn Hill Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
Maria Schneider Sky Blue
Matt Wilson Humidity
Michael Jackson Thriller
Miles Davis Porgy and Bess
Miles Davis Four and More
Morton Subotnick Vol 2
Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley
No Doubt Rock Steady
Orff Carmina Burana
Oscar Peterson Night Train
Outkast The Love Below
Pachora Astereotypical
Pat Metheny Trio 99>00
Paul Motian Holiday for Strings
Simon and Garfunkel Live in Central Park
Peter Epstein Old School
Peter Gabriel 1
Prince Musicology
Puccini La Boheme
Radiohead Kid A
Randy Newman Songbook, Vol 1
Ray Brown Live at Starbucks
Rent Original Cast
Rimsky-Korsakov Capricco Espagnol
The Roots Things Fall Apart
Roy Hargrove Habana
Rufus Wainwright Poses
Sade Lovers Live
The Shaggs Philosophy of the World
The Shills The Shills
Spring Awakening Broadway Cast
Squarepusher Selection Sixteen
Steely Dan Aja
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life
Sting Ten Summoners Tales
Sublime Sublime
Tenacious D Tenacious D
Third Eye Blind Third Eye Blind
Tony Malaby Adobe
Tower of Power Back to Oakland
Wayne Shorter Beyond the Sound Barrier
Weather Report Heavy Weather
Wesley Willis Greatest Hits

I challenge you to make your own list. Do we have any in common? I would LOVE a book of peoples lists, because it would help me know what to check out next. I hope you find something new here to love, or something old to give another spin!

One reply on “100 Important (to me) Recordings”

Aaliyah “Are You That Somebody?”
Allan Holdsworth “Lanyard Loop”
Aphex Twin “4”
Art Blakey/Lee Morgan “Yama”
Beach Boys “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)”
Beatles “I’m Only Sleeping”
Beatles Rubber Soul
Big Brother and the Holding Company “Summertime”
Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow…Right!
Bill Evans Village Vanguard 1961
Bill Frisell “Before We Were Born”
Bjork Vespertine
Blonde Redhead “Elephant Woman”
Blur “Coffee & TV”
Bo Diddley “You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”
Britney Spears “…Baby One More Time”
Britney Spears “Toxic”
Burial “Archangel”
Butter The Children “Flesh Wound In Ithaca”
Byrds “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better”
Chick Corea Friends
Cream “Sleepy Time Time”
Daft Punk Random Access Memories
Depeche Mode “Policy Of Truth”
Derek and the Dominos “Layla”
Destiny’s Child “Say My Name”
Dirty Projectors “Maybe That Was It”
Django Reinhardt “Minor Swing”
Doors “People Are Strange”
Ella Fitzgerald “The Man I Love” from Complete Songbooks
Elton John “Be Prepared” from The Lion King
Eminem “The Real Slim Shady”
Felix Mendelssohn Songs w/o Words Book 2, Op. 30 No. 6
Gorillaz “Clint Eastwood”
Grizzly Bear “Two Weeks”
Human Feel “Improve”
Interpol “Take You On A Cruise”
Janet Jackson “Miss You Much”
Jeff Buckley “So Real”
Jesus Lizard Goat
Jim Hall “Angel Eyes” from Live!
Joanna Newsom Ys
Joe Henderson “Invitation” from Tetragon
John Coltrane “Resolution” from A Love Supreme
John McLaughlin Extrapolation
John Scofield Still Warm
Joy Division “New Dawn Fades”
Junichi Masuda Pokemon Red and Blue OST
Justin Timberlake “Cry Me A River”
King Crimson Red
Led Zeppelin “Since I’ve Been Loving You”
Lee Konitz “Pennies in Minor” from The Real Lee Konitz
Lenny Breau “Back In Indiana” from Swingin’ on a Seven-String
Linkin Park Hybrid Theory
Madvillain Madvillainy
Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire
Mamas & the Papas “California Dreamin’”
Maurice Ravel Pavane pour une infante defunte
Miles Davis Kind of Blue
My Bloody Valentine “Only Shallow”
Mya “Case Of The Ex”
Nirvana “You Know You’re Right”
Ornette Coleman Science Fiction
Paul Motian On Broadway Vol. 3
Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii
Pixies “Dead”
Portishead Third
Primal Scream “Slip Inside This House”
Queens of the Stone Age “Someone’s In The Wolf”
R.E.M. “Losing My Religion”
Radiohead In Rainbows
Ratatat “Seventeen Years”
Ray Charles “Hit The Road Jack”
Red Dwarf “Fucking Fat Larry”
Richard O’Brien “The Time Warp” from Rock Horror
Ronettes “Be My Baby”
ryan ferreira music for images
Samantha Mumba “Baby Come On Over”
Santana ft. Rob Thomas “Smooth”
Skuli Sverrisson Seria II
Smiths “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”
Sonic Youth “Tunic (Song For Karen)”
Sonny Rollins “You Don’t Know What Love Is”
Speedy Ortiz “Plough”
Spice Girls “Say You’ll Be There”
Stacie Orrico “Stuck”
Steve Reich/Pat Metheny Electric Counterpoint
t.A.T.u. “All The Things She Said”
Talk Talk Laughing Stock
Third Eye Blind “Semi-Charmed Life”
Thom Yorke The Eraser
Tim Berne “Simple City”
TLC “No Scrubs”
Unkle “Nursery Rhyme/Breather”
Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”
Verve Pipe “Freshmen”
Wes Montgomery “Prelude to a Kiss” from “Fusion!”
Wilco “At Least That’s What You Said”
Wye Oak “untitled” from Sonar 9/28/2008
XTC Skylarking

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