top of page
  • Writer's picturejim lenz

OLLI Pirate Radio 172

I guess I talk a lot about the weather, but the thing is, no matter where you go, there it is. You can’t escape the weather except by going indoors, and then you haven’t really escaped it so much as allowed yourself to become its prisoner. Since we have to share this planet with the weather, why can’t we just get along?


I’m all for getting along, and sometimes that means appreciating what you have.


Raining: remember we need rain.


Snowing: appreciate the calming beauty of snowflakes drifting down . . . or sometimes blowing horizontally past you at about thirty miles an hour. Bundle up.


Tornadoes . . . well, no. Hard to think of an up-side to tornadoes.


But mostly you can find something to love, or at least like, about most weather. Fog? “Oh, it’s just like London in the movies!”

(Maybe London isn’t your idea of paradise, but it’s a lot better than, “Oh, it’s just like that Steven King story The Mist!”)


All of that said, this last week did not require one ounce of creative thinking to enjoy, did it? Absolutely beautiful sunny days, temperature in the seventies, low humidity, nice soft breezes. You know what? This is the life!


This is also










No surf music this week, but I want to start things off with a bang, get your blood pumping. This is a band and a song I played before, but it was about a year ago, so what are the odds you remember it, unless you really liked it, in which case you’ll probably like it again. It’s by the 18-piece jazz orchestra Big Phat Band, organized and led by Gordon Goodwin. He formed the band back in 1999 when he was composing music for Warner Brothers cartoons, and you can probably hear that influence in it., I think it’s also reminiscent of action soundtracks from the 60s and 70s, both film and TV. His original inspiration was big band swing of the 40s, but it’s really more of a fusion of swing with modern jazz and funk. I love it.


This is from 2003 and their second album, XXL. Please enjoy Gordon Goodwin and the Big Phat Band playing “Jazz Police.”






I just eat that stuff up.




In a vaguely related vein, here is a song from 2009 which if I had to describe its genre I’d say is Electric Afro-Latin Funk. (I’m sure there must be such a thing.) It’s by Timewarp Inc and is off its/their aptly-named album Groovy Booty. I made that statement pronoun-conditional because I really know nothing else about this band (or if it even is a band). Maybe some listener out there can fill me in. About all I know is I like this. It’s hard not to move when listening to it. So please enjoy Timewarp Inc performing “Wake Up Bossa.”





Love that flute!




So far this has been music that makes me want to dance, so I think I’ll stick with that, although this next one is certainly a different sort of dance. I’ve been listening to a lot of tango music lately and this is a number I’ve played before, but by a different artist and in a different context. The song is “Libertango,” written by the great tango composer Astor Piazzolla. You’ve heard it here as the tango number set to the tango dance scene in the film “Easy Virtue,” and danced by Colin Firth and Jessica Biel.


Piazzolla was a renowned bandoneon player (often called the tango accordion), but is even better remembered as the composer who revolutionized tango, combining traditional themes with elements of classical music and jazz to create what is now known as nuevo tango. “Libertango” is among his best-known and most-performed compositions, so to some of you it will be old hat, but when I found a version by one of my favorite musicians, I couldn’t resist.


From his 1997 album Soul of the Tango, please enjoy Yoyo Ma performing “Libertango.”







And now we turn to our featured artist of the month, the British rock band Dire Straits. This is going to be a different sort of song, something more somber, I’m afraid. The war in Ukraine just seems to drag on and on, and bloggers are reduced to calling it a ‘major breakthrough” when the Ukrainian Army takes half of a ruined village. In thinking about which Dire Straits song to play, this one just bubbled to the surface and won’t go away. The lyrics are hard to hear clearly so I picked a video version that shows them.


This is the title track to Dire Straits’ fifth studio album, released in 1985. Please enjoy them performing “Brothers in Arms.”






So, that’s it for this week. Don’t forget all those people fighting for their country half-a-world away. And let me send you out on a bonus song by two of my favorite artists that always touches my heart and makes me smile. This is Tony Bennett and Diana Krall singing the title track from their 2019 collaborative album, Love is Here to Stay. Enjoy.



5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page