One of the real ways I knew that I was a grown up was when I didn’t have summers off from school anymore. What do you mean I have to work?!? Those three months of sleeping in late, staying up late, reading scores of books, watching old movies, hiking, playing baseball, hitch hiking to the beach and of course listening to albums, cassettes and THE RADIO were true gifts from God.

What I’ve done here is put together a list of songs, albums and groups that help create the summer mood. Hopefully , you’ll latch on to something that will open a new world for you!

1)      The Drifters-“Under the Boardwalk” : a perfect song for urban summers

2)      Frank Sinatra-“The Summer Wind” :those rustling waves of reeds in the intro. THAT is summer

3)      Ella Fitzgerald-“Too Darn Hot”-ooh get away from me!!!

4)      “Summertime” How many versions do you want? Ella? Bechet? Miles? For a real summer feeling, Billy Stewart’s with the cha-um-cha cha does it for me every time.

5)      Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66-Either the title album, Equinox or Look Around. All three albums, with those lovely female voices…ah!

6)      Tom Jobim-Wave: you could pick a dozen others, but this one is so lovely and light

7)      Stan Getz-Getz/Gilberto or Jazz Samba: Nothing says summer like bossa nova, and with songs “Corcovado” and “Ipanema,” you’re set for weeks!

8)      Jimmy Cliff-The Harder They Fall soundtrack. Gotta have some reggae for the party, mon!

9)      Nat Cole-“Crazy Days of Summer”: Voila! Instant nostalgia, but his classic 40s trios does a take of Route 66 that is just as evocative.

10)   Clifford Brown-With Strings: Something about this session is like a warm summer night

11)   George Benson-Breezin’: The classic pop jazz disc that dares you to cruise along the beach

12)   Chet Baker-Let’s Get Lost: Few voices sound like summer as much as Chet Baker

13)   Duke Ellington-Ellington at Newport: Outdoor gig, 37 choruses by Paul Gonsalves on the tenor, a new jazz suite, and JOHNNY HODGES on the sax!

14)   Jimmy Smith-Back at the Chicken Shack: B3, guitar, tenor and BBQ RIBS!!!

15)   Woody Herman-Blowing Up a Storm: Hard swinging big band music, and somewhere “Four Brothers” has to be on the list.

16)   Percy Faith-A Summer  Place: Ah, summer muzak!

17)   Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings-Gotta have some  blues blaring through those speakers

18)   Vince Guaraldi-Black Orpheus: Tasty piano music for the sunset

19)   Cal Tjader Trio-with Vince Guaraldi. Music for the glass of wine at the end of the day.

20)   Poncho Sanchez-ARE YOU KIDDING? PICK ANYTHING, MAN, and play it in your Chevy!

BONUS-The Persuasions: We Came To Play & Street Corner Symphony: Does anything really beat singing with your buds stuff by the Temptations and Sam Cooke? A true hint of heaven

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