Show #116: Songs of Summer

Written by

With July already halfway through, and summer almost half over—the sun already has a different position than it did on the June 21st solstice—I thought it was high time for some summer music.   Here are just a few summer songs I like.

Let’s begin with a Quincy Jones 1973 track, titled, “Summer in the City,” a bouncy, feel-good song that has become a classic. Then, French group Fatal Mambo covers Mungo Jerry’s 1970 hit, “In the Summertime,” only this version is in French and infused with a fun Latin clavé rhythm throughout.

Of course, no summer playlist would be complete without at least one song by The Beach Boys, so I thought we’d go with “All Summer Long.” Next, we’ve all heard George Gershwin’s ever-famous “Summertime,” but I thought I’d surprise you guys with two versions of his original that you probably haven’t heard yet: First up, it’s a version by Benin-born, New York-based singer, Angélique Kidjo, sung both in English and the Fon dialect of the African Gbe language. Miles Davis follows with his classic version of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess, one of my favorite collaborations he did with Gil Evans.

“Summer” movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which you’ve doubtlessly heard hundreds of times. To mix things up, I thought I’d feature the Chinese Baroque Players doing their own interpretation, but with pipas and erhus, which are Chinese traditional stringed instruments.

Then we have Swiss composer Arthur Honegger’s beautiful “Pastorale d’Été” (Summer Pastoral), which he composed in 1920, while on summer holiday in the Swiss Alps.

Percy Faith’s 1960 theme song from the 1959 romantic drama film, A Summer Place, which was the first original motion picture soundtrack to win a Grammy Award. It topped Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 charts when it was first released.

And lastly, I end this week’s set with a beautiful song by the late American expat jazz saxophonist, Sahib Shihab. Here’s “Lillemor” from his 1964 album, Summer Dawn.

That’s all we have time for on this week’s Rhythm Planet show, but feel free to list your favorite summer tunes below or on our Facebook page. Maybe some of these will even make it onto your summer playlist.

Rhythm Planet Playlist for 07/17/15

  1. Quincy Jones / “Summer in the City”Summer in the City / Verve
  2. Fatal Mambo / “Magot Tcheri”Rumbagitation / Tinder
  3. The Beach Boys / “All Summer Long”Fifty Big Ones / Capitol
  4. Angélique Kidjo / “Summertime”Keep on Moving: The Best of Angélique Kidjo / Wrasse Records
  5. Miles Davis / “Summertime”Porgy and Bess / Columbia
  6. Chinese Baroque Players / “Presto” (Summer) / Vivaldi: Four Seasons / Xien
  7. Arthur Honegger / “Pastorale d’Été”Honegger: Pastorale d’Été, Symphony No. 4, Une Cantate de Noël / London Philharmonic Orchestra
  8. Percy Faith / Theme from A Summer Place A Summer Place OST / Ling Music Group
  9. Sahib Shihab / “Lillemor”Summer Dawn / Schema

RP Logo