David Reynolds’ playlist: 10 songs from my travels

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David Reynolds

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The writer’s journeys, including a slow drive across the US, were accompanied by a selection of jazz, rock and folk greats

This slow, romantic ballad was recorded during a famous live concert at the Village Vanguard in New York’s Greenwich Village in June 1961. Hearing it reminds me of the East Village and of New York City itself. The club is still a small, dimly lit basement, almost triangular in shape, filled with wooden tables between which silent waiters drift, carrying beers and burgers. In 2015 I watched Christian Sands, the pianist in the Christian McBride Trio, sitting bent over the piano on the small stage in the apex of the triangle. Gazing through the gloom with half-closed eyes, I could imagine the scene – complete with tobacco smoke – in 1961 when the incomparable Evans sat facing bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. Save for the smoke, little can have changed.

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