Sunday, December 5, 2010

album 44: pat metheny group (pat metheny group)

this album was the very first recording by the then recently founded pat metheny group, recorded and released in 1978. young jazz guitar player pat metheny and piano master lyle mays co-founded the group and included mark egan on bass guitar and dan gottblieb on drums to form the first of not too many lineups of the group's history. and it was quite a remarkable start.
the album opens with an over 10-minute tune featuring pat on a 12-string guitar with peculiar tuning and a long solo by lyle mays. what a way to start a debut album: no solo for the lead musician, over 10 minutes and a never-heard before guitar sound. needless to say that "san lorenzo" is a classic, and with merit. "phase dance" is the second track and most likely the most popular one on the album, with pat now playing the guitar who most uses, and the group presenting one of their key features: an apparently simple musical idea develops into a sometimes apotheotic, but almost always harmonically complex track. the album has six tracks and was produced by manfred eichner, the german jazz visionary and founder of the ecm label.
two additional interesting notes: the track "april joy" already cites "phase dance", quite funny to see in an album, and even in a debut album. and at that time, the group toured extensively with new material and only then went to the studio to record the music, and not the other way around.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

happy birthday lyle

i've written about him already. my one musical hero, someone who speaks musically. and who i really feel i understand, i empathize with. let's have a quick look at his life, from my point of view:
  • at age 20, lyle mays met pat metheny. living in new york and co-founding the pat metheny group, the idealist was living for music - and almost starving, literally.
  • at age 23, lyle and pat joined up with eberhard weber and nana vasconcelos (by request of the great manfred eichner) to record "watercolors" in ludwigsburg, my father's home town. trully great music, beyond jazz for sure.
  • at age 24, lyle and pat recorded the first pat metheny group album, self-intitled and known today as "the white album". another landmark. with lyle mays having the first solo in the groups history, a 5-minute solo even, in the tune "san lorenzo".
  • at age 26, he records his (for me historic) solo in "the search", from the american garage album.
  • at age 27, he puts out a duo album with pat, supported by nana: as falls wichita, so falls wichita falls is one of the best albums ever, and lyle's work on "ozark" and "september fifteenth" is legendary.
  • at age 28, he collaborates with the german bassist eberhard weber and plays the piano on "maurizius".
  • at age 29, he wins his first of eleven grammy awards for the group's live album "travels".
  • at age 30, he presents us with his participation in the classic "first circle".
  • at age 32, he records my all-time favorite album, and his first solo effort "lyle mays", with eight simple incredible tracks. that's music. no categories, just music.
  • at age 33, my current age, he was recording such tunes as "last train home" and "minuano" for the album still life: talking, pmg.
  • at age 34, his second album comes out, with some really great moments in street dreams.
  • at age 35, he records "letter from home". 
  • at age 36, he collaborates with bobby mcferrin on the album "medicine music", with the song "common threads".
  • at age 41, he playes his solo on "to the end of the world" and his incredible composition "episode d'azur", both on the pmg album "we live here".
  • at age 42, his musical sensitivity plays a great role in pmg's improvisational album "quartet", a great conceptual success.
  • at age 43, what a fantastic job with "imaginar day" and some legendary piano work on "the heat of the day" and, most of all, "the awakening".
  • at age 46, his fourth solo effort "solo" comes out - and it is precious!
  • at age 48, some really great work and improvising on "speaking of now", pmg's 2002 output.
  • at age 51, lyle was the mastermind behind the 68 minute long track "the way up", pmg's masterpiece.
yesterday was lyle may's 57th birthday. we miss your music, man!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

smells like snow

i'd missed that feeling.
yesterday, walking through the beautifiul city center of bremen. lights everywhere, christmas in the air, the smell of mandeln and sweets, warm mixed with cold. and, most of all, the crisp air, cold. someone next to me said what i was thinking: it smells like snow.
the first snow of bremen's winter seemed to be felt in the air. and it was no surprise, but still a delight, to see the signs of that first snow when i left for school this morning.
i'd missed that feeling.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

album 45: brand new day (sting)

last month i had the unique experience of attending a sting concert live. it was trully beyond words, much more than i had expected - his greatest songs in the setting of a great orchestra, some great arrangements and musical moments, and just a great performance by everyone, from his backing vocal lady (who i've been a fan of since his last winter album) over dominic miller to sting himself, in top form. and he did play one or the other tune from one of his great studio albums, the last one i cared to by (besides the winter album). "brand new day" had the idea of a brand new millenium, since it was recorded in 1999. the title song (with stevie wonder playing his harmonica) is okay, but the outstanding tracks are the opener (which is a sting tradition, always opening strong) called "a thousand years", the fantastic story and vibe in "after the rain has fallen" and the best tune on the album, "ghost story". once again, sting imerges into the worlds of the most different characters, so this album has a ten summoner's tale feel to it. "big lie, small world", "fill her up" and "tomorrow we'll see" help make the album an overall great piece of musical work.
you might want to try some of these songs out if you're not all to familiar with sting's later, post-the police, work. as always, the lyrics really give sense to the music.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

album 46: mensch (herbert grönemeyer)

this album is trully remarkable. it was grönemeyer's first release of new music after his wife's and brothers death in the same week. grönemeyer had already been germany's most successful artist, but this album gave him his first number one single, the great title track "mensch". in midst of a summer crisis in germany (natural causes, floods) and his personal suffering, the song brought hope to a whole country. with this, the album was released and became the most successful to date, in 2002. in sales, but also in critical acclaim. it is a really good overall album, with two highlights: his homage to his deceased wife is the most beautiful peace of music i've ever heard, for that particular situation. his lyrics are once again beyond words, and the song is exactly what it should be. and the final track, "zum meer", uses the sea once again as an emotional platform and produces a very strong closing track, a mix of melancholy and hope. this album is rightly in my top 50 of all time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

character translated into music

he wasn't only one of the finest musicains i've ever known. a master of sensibility and creativity, with unbelievable talent and taste on the piano. he was also one of the best people i've ever met.
wendel mattos passed away a few hours ago. he's been battleing diverse diseases since seemingly always, and he'd overcome all of them, until the most recent one. there is no doubt that he left us much too soon, but his legacy will on in music and, most of all, example.
wendel's rarity consisted in him being a very authentic person. a true believer, who didn't talk about it, but rather chose to live it in every aspect of his life. his compositions and musical contributions were the best way of giving his God-given talent back to the Creator, but it seemed always in perfect harmony with his character. wendel would trully let himself be used as an instrument, and he gained his meaning and purpose of life from that fact, translated into experiences and musical notes. he didn't just talk about the Truth, he felt it and lived it. he never did it in such a way that everybody could see, but everyone who wanted to, could.
his testimony will remain. it will still inspire many lives, as it has up to now. and when that day comes, wendel will have the pleasure to meet people living long after him, but who got to know the Lord through his life works and example.
may God continue to use his now resting instrument. touching lives with that genius stroke on he piano, those beautiful and simple melodies, those profound lyrics and that shining example. he has touched my life many times, and his life will continue to be vital for mine.
can't wait to see him again.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

my grandmother

she was very special lady.
incredibely loving and patient.
truthful, simple, grand.
her cooking was characteristic, the taste felt like a home i never knew.
she sat there, she smiled, she loved.
she cried everytime i left.
i shed a tear when she left.
we will meet again, vovó iolanda.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


okay, this post will be kind of old. and maybe a little corny. but it has to be.
i find myself really appreciating the music of the 1976-85 era. some of my favorite music bands and acts have their origin there, but in this little post i am not referring the the police's success (culminating to "every breath you take" in 1984), the beginning of the pat metheny group in 1978, simply red's initial steps with the classic "holding back the years" in 1985, or even michael jackson's albums "off the wall" and "thriller", all within that time period.
i want to write about those great radio songs there used to be (sounds old, but it's true, we just don't have them anymore). i'm sure you can think of quite a few of them, but i want to remember only three.
i first heard john miles' "music" in the late eighties - and it is one of those timeless classics that will always pop up on radios anywhere, at the most unexpected times. i really like this song, until today, although it is one of the famous cases of "one-hit-wonders", originally released in 1976 by the pianist and studio musician (abby road) john miles. here's a recent live version:

the next artist had more than one hit: christopher cross might not be a household name to most, but at least three of his songs are extremely recognizable, even after three decades: his debut single "riding like the wind", released in 1980 and, even more so, "arthur's theme", which is more known as "best what you can do" and is famous for the phrase "when you get caught between the moon and new york city". but who doesn't know this eternal radio megahit? i must say, it is a personal favorite, corny as that may be. but that's just some good music! here a live version:

and finally, the classic chicago. a phenomena in terms of popularity of albums and songs, the band based in the illinois capital had top 15 hits in all of their first 10 albums, but it took them until their 10th album in 1976 to get their first number one. and it is quite a beautiful one at that, a classic from 1976. enjoy. by the way, the brass was always an essential part of the band.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

seven years

today is july 15. i woke up to the song of birds, familiar to me in the past. a cool breeze met me when i left the little bed & breakfast room to head for a 7 am breakfast - a delicious one, at that. yesterday, it was 35º even at 5 pm, but today should be a cooler day after the rain over night.
i'm at my new reality. bremen. i got to know my future flat yesterday, and both it and the surroundings are much better than i dreamed.
i feel a great amount of gratitude. to God, first and foremost. but i've been thinking of someone else lately, someone who's always been there for me.
i've known him for almost 31 years now. we grew up together. but it wasn't until the summer of 1992, when my older brother left for boarding school, that we got to live as a duo instead of a trio, for the first time. that 92/93 year was the first year leo and me would get to know and admire each other a little more than before. then it was my turn to leave, and we were only reunited as a duo in 1995, this time at the brazilian boarding school. once again, our crowds were not the same, but it brought us together another bit. just like 1999, when andre once again had left, this time to work. leo and me spent quite a bit of time together, some of it with edson and didio, two good friends from university.
these three years in particular had brought us together quite a bit; musical influences were now going both ways, talk about girlfriends and similar life situations became deeper, and the incredible connection we three brothers always had was revealing itself more and more in those years.
then it was my turn to leave, to take a job in south brazil. at the end of 2003, it had been 4 years later, and quite a lot had changed. now in são paulo, leo had become a professional singer, besides concluding his studies in literature. we moved in together, in what was to be our longest period as a duo - two and a half years. although he travelled a lot, i have inumerous great memories from that time, mostly involving music, movies and talks. i'd always been a great fan of his creativity, which was first revealed through his writing when he was still a young teenager. i'd always admired his firmness and natural leadership, which he has had since his first years at school. and i was becoming more and more impressed by his great generosity, so authentic and meaningful.
in 2008, we moved back in together, for our seemingly last year as a duo. you must understand, i had only lived with andre and without leo for 3 years, and they've never lived only them two, without me; and leo and i were completing 6 1/2 years without andre. i remember feeling empty the day he left, but it was for a good cause: he was getting married!
january 2010. once again, leo's generosity showed its face in my life, and because of his iniciative, shared by his wife dani, we had a wonderful trip to snowy north germany. and he took me to the interview in bremen. which is were i am now, with a big smile on my face.
but that was not enough - after i accepted the job offer, i moved in with him and his wife, who took me in for this last half year, helping me to save up some money for this new, fresh start, this comeback to germany.
we completed the seven years.
and i am so thankful for this last semester, and for all of these years.
i'm not someone who misses places or peoples after i move on to other things. i love nostalgia, but i don't miss.
i miss leo.
it's so good to know that he doesn't only root for me and my happiness, but participates so actively in it. thanks.

Friday, June 25, 2010

album 47: chaos (herbert grönemeyer)

herbert grönemeyer has been in my musical life since 1990. he entered it via the album "luxus", which didn't make it into the top 50. "chaos" was the first new album released after listening to grönemeyer, and it was a big hit with me. the german pop/rock artist and his band use music to underline fantastic lyrics, and he is never afraid to try something new. his ballads are just great, and two of them are my favorite songs on this album: "land unter" and "kein verlust". but i also have grown to really love listening to "morgenrot", and since i bought the album, "chaos" and "grönland" have been personal hits.
the themes of the album are diverse. "land unter" is romantic, and might have something to do with his recent marriage to the mother of his two children. "kein verlust" talks about loss of trust in a friendship, "chaos" is a critique of society, while "grönland" has a very interesting lyric, comparing the two unified germanys to a married couple with severe problems of relationship. "morgenrot" has a somewhat typical "i'd do anything for you" grönemeyer-lyric, but he is unique in writing great poetry that can be sung; of course non-germans will find the language very strange und maybe even non-musical, but it sounds quite natural to german speakers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

album 48: so (peter gabriel)

the first time peter gabriel really caught my attention was in 1993. "so" was my second pg album, and it instantly became a favorite, initially even surpassing my passion for "us", my first pg album. this was mainly due to really strong tracks, like the opener "red rain", a typical peter gabriel song with lots of passion, rythm and sound. but my two favorite tracks on the album are also two of my all-time favorites from peter gabriel and in general: "in your eyes", with a great special participation of sengalese yossou 'n dour, who was discovered by pg; and, most of all, the fantastic "mercy street", just a great overall track.
"don't give up" and "sledgehammer" were the big hits when the album was initially released in 1986. it was produced by daniel lanois, who has also worked with u2. "so" was a big success everywhere, mostly in the uk (reached number one spot) and the us (reached number 2 on billboard). "sledgehammer" was number one on billboard, and number 4 in the uk; the second biggest hit out of the album was "big time", largely due to its innovative video (a mark in pg's career and a reasons for sledgehammer's success). i like all songs on the album, but only see three really strong ones.
peter gabriel has never been as successful as in times of the "so" album (nominated for four grammy awards, including album of the year), but he is constantly a great musician, with love for art and production values.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

album 49: so much 2 say (take 6)

take 6's second album was released in 1990, so we gonçalves kids got to knowing and loving it at the same time or even a tad earlier than the debut release. it is a true classic, with a much higher production value than its precessor (and mervyn warren the main producer), but a little less quality, all in all. still, i like this album a little better, mostly because of the song "come unto me", which is probably me all-time take 6 favorite. they've had some really good songs after that, but never any really great albums: this was the last great collection, and it even had a hit: "I L-O-V-E U" reached #19 in the hot r&b/hip-hop charts, and the album peaked at #2 in the contemporary jazz albums, and a respectable #72 in the billboard charts; another grammy came their way, and it was deserved: some great "traditional" a capella with "something within me", the mind-blowing opening title track, incredible arrangements as in "time after time", great production in "sunday's on the way". i do not like the last track, the first instrumental one for take 6. but it is an overall great album, confirming the incredible vocal versatility and quality of the sextet, and the high musical and spiritual value from the debut album, which was, indeed, a tough act to follow.
as mentioned above, take 6 has, since then, released another nine studio albums, each one a little worse than the one before. some memorable tracks have come out of those, though, and i would like to mention them: "o come all ye faithful" from "he is christmas"; "biggest part of me" from "join the band" (which is a pretty damn good album); "Jesus makes me happy" from "brothers"; and "a few more miles" from "so cool".

album 50: take 6 (take 6)

it happened in a classroom in gymnasium oedeme, my highschool in lüneburg, germany. 8th grade, fall of 1990. my music teacher detlef schult, who was also the leader of the high school big band, was introducing that year's curriculum for his classes: a full year of jazz!
he chose an a capella group to talk about pentatonics, and played a negro-spiritual called "mary", a typical call-response song, where the soloist would "call" mostly using the pentatonic notes. i was impressed, really impressed. little did i know that the chosen group was take 6, a sextet coming out of the adventist church, which is my religious denomination.
their debut album, containing the song "mary", has been a huge hit with me and my brothers since those times, a solid 20 years now. it is an exceptional album with not one "weaker" track on it. the crowd favorites are normally "get away, jordan" and "david and goliath", but my personal favorites are "milky white way" and "He never sleeps". at the time, the album already was revolutionary, and it won alvin chea, cedrick dent, david thomas, mervyn warren, mark kibble and claude mcnight iii (brian's brother) three grammy award nominations (with two wins), including being nominated for "best new artist", a platinum disc (best-selling take 6 album to date), and a whole lot of respect in the music industry.
most of all, it is musically of the highest quality, 100% a capella, and spiritually strong. great album, to say the least!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

class of 2010 - the "original" speech

yes, it was my first time. yes, i was very nervous, and emotional. and yes, everyone noticed it, i'm glad my students are forgiving and warm.
for you, and for whoever would like to read it, this is what i actually wrote down and was supposed to me my speech on that June 28 evening:

"i hope you all are having a good evening. this is an important audience, because each and every one of you has been vital to the success of this class; as a parent, teacher, administrator, sibling, friend. this class owes a lot to you.

i now ask for your permission to address them.

first of all, i would like to thank you, the class of 2010, for the honor of being able to have this last little class. a public one, which takes me three years back.

after two years as a guidance counselor in a brazilian private school, i was looking for a job in the international school world, hoping to teach mathematics. like most of you, i’ve loved math all my life, and after completing my degree in education, i started my studies in math. i’d never heard of chapel before, it was my cousin who gave me the hint. in april of 2007, mr feitosa told me that a few months earlier, chapel school had been looking for a math teacher. i wrote the school the very next day, and was immediately invited to an interview. i still remember the seemingly endless walk from the reception to mr ciallelo’s office. a strange world that has become home to me.

i felt the interview went ok, and a “test class” was the next step in the process. after my first contact with miss may, it became clear the audience that time would be these good-looking people, but in 9th grade. “this is generally a good class”, she told me. and finally, in the beginning of may, i had a chance to see for myself.

so there i was, about to teach a rather public class. mr ciallelo, ms colgrove, my good friend mr murphy, and ms may where there. less public than today, but maybe even more pressure. i remember talking to anders boman before class. and i know that quite of few of you sitting here were there too. you probably don’t remember it, but i sure do! i remember silvia and jayme. and i remember that the class was about n-gons.

the class didn’t go too well. i was more nervous than i anticipated, it was my first math class ever, and i wasn’t really used to speaking english at the time. in the interview after the class, i was told that a decision would be made by the end of may – and that if they didn’t call me, i should call in to find out.

can you imagine my disappointment? i was quite mad at myself, because i felt i had failed under pressure.

and sure enough, i didn’t get a call at the end of may. instead, i called – and was surprised by the information that they were still interviewing and that they would call me with a final answer a few days later. which meant that somehow i was still in the running.

i was very surprised when mr ciallelo offered me the job. and it only made sense that the schedule i received soon thereafter featured one class heavily – the one sitting in front of me.

and how lucky i have been! this might sound over the top, i am aware of that. but it is the honest truth: i never knew how wonderful teaching could be before i taught this class. don’t get me wrong: i’ve always enjoyed teaching and i’ve had a few memorable classes in the past, but this was something different, something else. students who hated physics studying it over night to do well in a test; of course, the grade seemed to be a big motivator, but there was certainly quite a bit more to it. at times, they actually seemed interested! and, very important for an effective classroom, they had a great sense of humor. some of their invented expressions were incorporated into my own vocabulary, and although no one seems to say “mythical”, “jebondy” or “jebonai” any more, i have a few friends outside of school who still do.

but over the course of that first year, when some students had to put up with me in two classes (physics and math), i understood more about why this class was different. they accepted people. they respected. they included. and they did it because they believed it to be right.

three years have passed. i’ve seen less of you as a whole class, although poor arthur has had me as a teacher in a record 5,5 classes. i’ve seen you fight for academic success. numbers and statistics don’t lie – this class has been a success story for our school and for us, teachers. you have mastered some tough ib classes and are headed for some pretty interesting college experiences. and all the hard work will pay off immediately. in your math-related courses, i guarantee you at least one full semester of pure review.

but today is no time to talk about math or physics. neither is it necessarily a time to talk about the future, the world’s challenges and what you guys can do about both of these things. i guess as we live longer, we notice that more things seem to be out of our control than we might desire. you have shown what can be done with great determination, a sense of union and a nice dose of humor. but it should also be clear to you that total control of your life’s destiny is and will always be unreachable; and it might not even be worth reaching.

there are things you can control. like happiness, for example. i know that this is quite a statement to make, since we generally have difficulties even defining what happiness is. i mean, is it a feeling, is it a state of mind, is it even tangible – can it be scientifically proven? are there parameters that tell us when we reach maximum or minimum local happiness? do we just derive the function of happiness and equal it to zero? and if there is a function of happiness, what would the independent variable be?

i want to make point tonight, a quite obvious one, almost cliché. i agree that there is more than one variable to happiness, but i want to focus on the most basic – the love variable.

i firmly believe that it is impossible to be happy if you haven’t learned to love. the curriculum of love is the most difficult around, believe me. it’s tougher than ib, and if you don’t take some time to learn it and practice it, happiness will not be easy to come by. not the exhilarant happiness of a moment, but the constant one. the one that is still there when you’re disappointed, suffer setbacks or are tired and sad.

previous knowledge in the subject of love is diverse, because it depends so much on past individual experience. but some things generally don’t have to be learned: how to love or hate yourself, sometimes almost simultaneously. how to fall in love, and even how to fall out of it. and how to despise or hate, which are some weird, but not uncommon forms of love. you might agree that some of these might provoke the exact opposite of happiness – which is not sadness, but fear. it is fear that leads to hatred, or despair, or loneliness, or depression, or indifference. if that is the case, then there must be some kind of connection between happiness and love. f(x) and x, if you will. (i can’t help myself.) because the cubic function comes to mind – you know which one i mean? as x goes to infinite positive, the sky is the limit for f(x) – but the reverse is also true.

how do we make the x tend to positive infinite? in other words, how can we actually learn to love? is there a right way to love? there is. and i’d like to close these considerations with three steps you can take towards the infinite:

first: step down of your own pedestal. as you know, i am a firm believer in God. therefore, it should be quite easy for me to put myself in my place, shouldn’t it? but my ego makes it difficult to follow this first step. true humility is a noble goal, and it is definitely worth pursuing. but i know from own experience that the closer i get to being truly humble, the happier i am.

second: know and appreciate yourself. it’s tough to sometimes look at ourselves and see the many shortcomings. this is why we sometimes avoid to look, and react allergic to those who we think or know are seeing these shortcomings. once again, this is fear showing its ugly face. don’t be afraid to look at yourself, come to terms with whom you are, and be okay with it. is that easy? not at all! but i can assure you, it is a way to happiness, because it is essential in the love curriculum.

third: as the good ol’ book puts it, “love thy neighbor”. and when i say “love”, i don’t mean like. to like is more specific, it has to do with affinity; you know when you just get along with someone, and you just don’t get along with that other someone? but to love, this is more essential, broader. it’s a genuine respect for the other, for his or her story, feelings, dreams. it’s independent of weaknesses and free of judgment; it is not conditional.

these steps are connected and support each other. it’s actually like a triangle: learning to love others in a genuine way really helps you to be okay with yourself, and puts our own ego-trip into perspective. learning to love ourselves really helps us appreciate and respect others, once again making us capable of seeing the big picture. and recognizing that i am not more important than anyone else who is trying to live a happy life on this planet really makes us move into the direction of loving others – which always finds a way of reflecting back to us. but the first step is more important, since without humility, self-love will be our natural tendency, and unhappiness will follow, sooner or later.

this is my one advice for this special moment: please remember to constantly take time to reflect on the curriculum of love, and on the things that really matter. the studying, the career, the work, maybe the future family, the ideals – this is all extremely important. but without the love, it seems somewhat meaningless – because love is a key ingredient in all of these things, we can’t really run away from it. grow in that curriculum, one that has no limits to it. work on the x-axis, and the dependent variable happiness will react.

the true reason this class is so special to me is that i’ve grown in all three steps of this special curriculum because of you. you have taught me lessons of love, and it is not difficult to say that you have my unconditional love. please, continue to grow in love, and radiate this truth to others the same way you have radiated it to your parents, your teachers, your colleagues and to me.

my cycle at this beloved school started with you, and it is ending with you. this public class is over. may you, the class of 2010, be remembered and known as the class that learned to love, and the world will certainly be a happier place for it.

congratulations, you all deserve love and happiness – today and tomorrow!"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

series - top 50 albums of all time

music is a very personal thing. i've been listening to it with mind and heart since 1986, i would say. and after almost 25 years of listening to it, and making some of it my own life soundtrack, i will countdown a very personal analysis of the top 50 albums in these years. in some of them, it will only be about the music; in others, also about what memories that music brings forth, and what emotions it awakens.
i'm looking forward to this little journey and will start it with albums that have not made the top 50, but have historical significance to me:
herbert grönemeyer is quite a big name to me, and it all started with the album "4630 bochum", ranked only 88th. it was my intro to grönemeyer's music and great lyrics, and it remembers me of one of my all-time best summers, the summer of 1990 at the eisenberg camp. "flugzeuge im bauch" was just the favorite song, i used to really enjoy all of them. which is not the case any more...
"first circle" was an early favorite in my pat metheny musical journey, around 1997. it is still one of my favorite all-time songs, and "if i could" is another old favorite, but it was not enough for the album "first circle" to be in the top 50, landing only in 80th.
"picture book" was part of my around 2-year obsession with simply red. my favorite song by that band, "holding back the years", is still one of my all-time favorites. but the album has too many weak tracks and landed in 79th.
right above it, "hymns" by steve green is found. this was the album i most listened to in the year 1994, and it was a really big album them. arrangements are still great now, but i've lost the love for this album.
right above that one, "ganz behutsam fängt es an" was one of my very early musical influences. it reminds me of my neighbour kiki, mostly "frei wie der adler im wind". the song "vater, ich danke Dir dafür" is still a favorite.
in 74th, luxus. this was my favorite herbert grönemeyer album until last year, and it is full of nostalgy, since it marked the years of 1990 and 1991. it fell out of the top 50 for being just not good enough musically, although "marie" will always be an all-time favorite.
in 72nd, "escolhi acreditar" was always considered the best tom de vida album, mostly in terms of production. but the album is too short to take away the weight of the not-as-good tracks, and is now only third place out of the four tom de vida albums.
"le voyage" still is a classic, from sandi patty. some really outstanding singing and piano/orchestra work, still a reference, but only 71st in the ranking.
69th place is occupied by a keith garret trio "the cure", one of the first jazz albums i ever really heard. very big influence in my taste for piano interpretation.
one of two sting solo album out of the top 50, "the dream of the blue turtle", his solo debut, landed on 65th, lacking real personal favorites.
"letter from home" was an early pat metheny group favorite, but is now one of the few out of the top 50. still a very good album, with the great title track to end it.
in 2001, i remember thinking of this album as a revolution in brazilian christian music, mostly in terms of production, and "o melhor lugar do mundo" has some pretty good songs, too - but not enough to be in the top 50, it was only 63rd.
"the new young messiah" was a big hit in my time at boarding school iasp, and interesting enough, it was that album that introduced me to the actual händel's messiah. great trio by larnelle, steve and michael, helping the album to finish 59th.
"beyond the missouri sky" is a masterpiece by guitar giant pat metheny and base guitar player charlie haden, and the album has a high musical level throughout. it's almost a shame that i didn't really ever get too warm with most of the songs - 58th.
"...nothing like the sun" has many good songs, but not enough really great ones to be in the top 50. "they dance alone" is still a favorite in sting's repertoire, though.
michael jackson's "bad" was an early favorite for me, "liberian girl" was my favorite song and remembered me of jana deutsch, for some strange reason. now, "man in the mirror" is not only my favorite track on the album, but also my favorite mj song. the album is 56th.
"my utmost for His highest" was long considered by me to be an almost ideal christian contemporary album, and it's songs are very strong until today. not enough to make the album top 50, it ended up in 55th.
"pictures at an exhibition" was the first album i ever bought, and i still really love it, as a grand work of art. but only few tracks really made it to the all-time favorites status.
simply red's "stars" was the album i most listened to for at least two years. i still think it has mostly really great songs, but the problem is that none of them is still a favorite for me. 52nd place, right in front of "pictures".
tonex is out of the top 50. 51st with o2, 75th with pronounced toe-nay. some really good stuff, some if it inspiring, but just that little bit lacking the real "star" quality.