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Killer Jazz Selections

Thanks to Brad I’m addicted to Barry Eisler’s books. The main protagonist, John Rain, is like Jack Bauer from 24 except with a license to kill and operating outside the law.

Actually, Jack does that anyway. The main differences are that John is half Japanese, has good taste in scotch and listens to jazz. Throughout the series several jazz CDs are mentioned - as part of the plot or in an appendix.

I’m posting the lists for future reference, so I can pass the books on.

Live Jazz CDs

(mentioned by John Rain in Rain Storm)

  1. Lynne Arriale - Live at Montreax
  2. Eva Cassidy - Live at Blues Ally
  3. Bill Evans Trio - Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Rain’s Top Ten Jazz CDs You Might Not Have Heard Of

(comments by Barry Eisler in Killing Rain)

  1. Eric Alexander - Young tenor saxophonist with a ton of heart. Start with Nightlife in Tokyo, of course … Nothing fancy, just terrific jazz.
  2. Monica Borrfors - Swedish vocalist I first heard in Bar Satoh in Osaka, the world’s best whiskey bar. Slowfox is a collection of songs in English, all rendered in Borrfors’ warm, slightly husky, beautiful voice.
  3. Charles Brown - Brown’s voice contains pain and hope and the wisdom of experience, and his piano is top notch too.
  4. Akiko Grace - Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk … Akiko Grace. Her piano is that good. Love and loss and hope and elegy — I don’t know how someone so young can understand and express it all, but Japanese composer/pianist Grace does.
  5. Patricia Kaas - French vocalist with a wonderfully alluring voice … try Tour De Charme, which contains two tracks in English, the rest in French.
  6. Marisa Monte - Brazilian pop? Jazz? Choro? Who cares? Monte’s voice is so enchanting that it doesn’t matter if you can’t understand the Portuguese lyrics. Start with Rose & Charcoal.
  7. Junko Onishi - Japanese pianist I first saw in Club Alfie in Tokyo, where she provided the inspiration for the character who became Midori Kawamura. Plays like an angry Thelonious Monk, as Alfie’s Mama-san might put it …
  8. Brenda Russell - Russell is hard to classify — jazz, light jazz, R&B, soul …? Her voice is a caress — she can lull you to laugh, to sleep, to tears.
  9. Luciana Souza - Is it jazz or choro? Who cares? Souza’s vocals are a delight. Listen to the voice and you’ll fall in love with the woman.
  10. Toku - Japanese flugelhorn player and vocalist with an assured baritone voice, and a terrific performer — at the Tokyo live houses, Toku packs ‘em in.

ps. I’ve managed to draw the series out by limiting myself to one per Amazon purchase, otherwise I’d be finished by now :)