House parties are a lot of fun. Everybody likes sipping wine and talking about the last hot topics.
Sometimes, however, hosts tend to pick the wrong music. There’s nothing wrong with Lady Gaga or Justin Timberlake but it’s not necessarily great background music and in my humble opinion, most pop music isn’t.
So which records should you play for your guests? Look up the Thai jazz version cover of Yesterday by the Beatles and put that on repeat. Now you’ve recreated the Bangkok hipster coffee shop atmosphere. But you don’t want to have that “All our operators are currently occupied, please hold”, slash Starbucks jazz album feeling. Music needs to be thought about as much as food and drinks.
Here’s some music you’ll impress your guests with, it’s sophisticated and elegant and won’t overpower any conversations.
Stone Flower by Antonio Carlos Jobim
This Jazz-Bossa Nova record comes from one of Brazil’s greats. It gives you a pleasant summer evening type of feeling, it’s lively but not too energetic. A similar and equally good album is Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto.
H.R. is a dirty guitar player by the Howard Roberts Quartet
This is a bit of an obscure record and can’t be found entirely on youtube, it is available however in the iTunes store for only six dollars. This Jazz album funks and swings a bit more if you find the previous a bit too dry.
Kind of Blue by Miles Davis
A classic. You might recognise some tracks even if you haven’t heard of it. With more an after hours vibe, this record is where that archetypical deserted bar at three in the morning sound comes from.
Samba Esquema Novo by Jorge Ben
Jorge Ben is another Brazilian colossus and the original creator of Mas Que Nada, not Sergio Mendes to whom the song is usually credited. Jorge Ben is known for creating a signature style by mixing rock, bossa and samba. Samba Esquema Novo boasts a fun and elegant Brazilian sound with a creative edge that sets itself apart from other Latin music.
Cantaloupe Island Jazz Album by Herbie Hancock
This playlist is a good mix of Herbie Hancock records, upbeat and dynamic with a tropical sound. This is a playlist of tracks somebody created on youtube and not an actual album. Speaking of Youtube, I’d like you all to be good boys and girls and buy the music you want to play. After all, we don’t want to get any legal trouble.
If you play this music at your next wine and cheese party you’ll impress your guests without annoying any of them. It’ll give your party character and elegance. Of course you don’t have to follow to this music nazi’s advice. If DJ Tiësto gets you off, please go ahead and play it.
Article by Alexander Eeckhout