The random feature on IPods leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a lot less than random, whatever its selection method is. Often I get stuck in a rut, where I’m hearing far more Maria Callas or Thelonius Monk that I need in a week (Nothing against either of them. Both are favorites.). Other times though, the little machine seems almost divinely inspired, stringing together four or five songs that may be of different periods and genres, but are of a mood.
I’d recently bought my first Madeleine Peyroux disc, Careless Love, and burned it into my 40 gig portable random music server, rather than simply listening to it end to end. I’d almost forgotten about it, to tell the truth. Then the other evening, as I was leaving the gym, on came her song “This is Heaven to Me,” and yes, it was heaven. Floaty, effortless, deceptively simply music, a stylistic throwback with a heavy dose of Billie Holiday in Madeleine’s vocals, yet thoroughly original. I recommend it heartily.
The next songs to come up, by the way, were: I Fall in Love too Easily, by Johnny Hartman, Embraceable You, by Errol Garner, and The Very Thought of You, by Kurt Elling.
That was my entire cab ride home, high on romance and endorphins, and eager for a glass of wine.