Freeform Favorite Fifteen

Created and curated by Kim Paris, host of Melting Pot, alternate Sundays 8-10 am

Hi Freeformers, I took this opportunity to compile a list of some of my favorite longer songs, at 8-13 minutes each. These longer tracks are more suited to late night radio than for my Sunday morning show. Some of these are well-known, and others less so, you could call those “deep tracks”. These are not in any particular order, but I tried to arrange them to flow smoothly if you listen to them in this sequence. So relax and go with the flow of this “eclectic groove” mix. I can think of way more than 15 favorite songs, covering 60 years of music, but these are among the best. I hope this set helps expand your musical horizons.

1. Grey DayJessie Colin YoungLight Shine1974


Grey Day is one of the most popular Jesse Colin Young songs, and one of his longest. Like Ridgetop, it speaks of his love for nature and relative privacy, and features his favorite band of Marin musicians. Grey Day conjures a cool cloudy day in Marin County, with a jazzy feel. Read a review here:

2. Freedom FlightShuggie Otis Freedom Flight1971


Shuggie Otis was the son of blues artist Johnny Otis, and only 17 when this was recorded. His band included Wilton Felder, George Duke, Aynsley Dunbar, Mike Kowalski, Richard Aplanalp and his father Johnny Otis. Read a review here:

3. So Far Away The CrusadersCrusaders 11972


My all-time favorite Crusaders track, featuring Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Wayne Henderson, Stix Hooper and Larry Carlton on guitar. Recorded at Wally Heider Studios in L.A. Read a review here:

4. Wise OneJohn Coltrane QuartetCrescent1964


John Coltrane was in his prime at the time of this recording in 1964, with his classic quartet featuring McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison and Elvin Jones. Read a review here:

5. Sama LayucaMcCoy Tyner QuartetQuartet2007


Sama Layuca was the title of a 1974 album by McCoy Tyner, and he revives the song on this album to great effect. His quartet features Joe Lovano, Christian McBride & Jeff “Tain” Watts. Recorded at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland. Read a review here:

6. World PeaceTimeless All StarsSubway Jazz Club1986


This video was recorded at the Subway Jazz Club in Cologne Germany in 1986. This version is not available on an album, but this song was released on Timeless Heart in 1983. The Timeless All Stars were Curtis Fuller, Harold Land, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Buster Willams & Billy Higgins. Read a review ofTimeless Heart here:

7. Sunflower Milt Jackson Sunflower1973


Sunflower is not only the current symbol of Ukraine’s brave fight against Russian aggression, but what may be Milt Jackson’s finest recording for CTI Records. His all-star band features Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard, Billy Cobham, Ralph McDonald & Jay Berliner. Read a review here:

8. Mellow
West Montgomery &
Jimmy Smith
Further Adventures
of Jimmy and Wes


Guitarist Wes Montgomery & B3 Organ Master Jimmy Smith only recorded together in the studio for 3 days, but what a session! Produced by Creed Taylor, this album was recorded at the same time as The Dynamic Duo but released 2 years later. Featuring Ray Barretto & Grady Tate. Read a review here:

9. Melting PotBooker T & The MG’sMelting Pot 1971


Melting Pot is the theme song and name of my Sunday morning show on Freeform Portland, and the song title symbolizes my quest for an eclectic music mix, a funky “soulful stew”. It’s also the title cut of the last studio album by the original Booker T & The MG’s, who reformed at a later date. Featuring Blues Brothers backup band Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn. Read a review here:

10. My Funny ValentineGarcia & SaundersKeystone Companions1973


My Funny Valentine is a Rodgers & Hart jazz classic that was recorded by Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker & Sarah Vaughan, all during 1954. Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders released their version on Live at Keystone in 1973, and it’s as close to jazz as this duo ever got. It was also released on a box set, Keystone Companions, here’s a review:

11. Bird SongGrateful DeadCarter-Finley Stadium1990


Bird Song was a classic Garcia-Hunter song from Garcia’s first solo album, the original version was 4-1/2 minutes long. Over the years, the Dead would stretch this song out to well over 10 minutes, including this version from 1990 that featured Bruce Hornsby on keyboards. Bruce would play with the band for the next 18 months. Read a review here:

12. LaylaPhil Lesh & FriendsLive at Terrapin Crossroads2012


A great cover version of the great classic by Derek & The Dominos, which featured Eric Clapton & Duane Allman on guitars. This live 2012 version by Phil Lesh & Friends features Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Govt Mule), John Scofield (Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood) & Jackie Greene (Black Crowes, Trigger Hippy) in a 3-way guitar mash-up, with Jeff Chimenti on keyboards & Joe Russo on drums. Here’s the full concert:

13. In Memory of Elizabeth ReedThe Allman BrothersLive at Fillmore East1971


At Fillmore East is one of several live albums release by the Allman Brothers over the years, and one of their best. Featuring Duane Allman on slide guitar, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed is a winding instrumental written by Dicky Betts about a former flame, who passed away. Read a review of this live album here:

14. Grand LarcenySea LevelHotels, Motels & Road Shows (Atlanta GA)1978


Sea Level was a spin-off from The Allman Brothers, featuring Chuck Leavell (C.Leavell), Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson & Lamar Williams from the Allmans, along with guitarist Jimmy Nalls. Their first self-titled album was critically acclaimed, and they toured extensively in 1977-78. This live version of Grand Larceny is from Atlanta in 1978. Read about Sea Level here:

15. Riviera ParadiseStevie Ray VaughanTexas Blues (Live from Austin TX)1989


Among the many powerful blues songs that Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded during his too-short career, my favorites are his instrumentals, Lenny and Riviera Paradise. In this video and other recordings, SRV dedicates this song to “everybody that is still suffering, in any way.” I still get chills every time I hear it. Read a review here:

Kim Paris hosts Melting Pot every other Sunday at 8-10 am on Freeform Portland.

Freeform Portland is a nonprofit, independent, community-driven radio station broadcasting live at KFFP-LP 90.3 FM & KFFD-LP 98.3 in North Portland, and at our online audio stream. Our mission is to foster a welcoming and equitable space for music lovers that celebrates the unexpected, gives a voice to the underrepresented, and empowers our volunteer community. Freeform Portland is a 501(3)(c) entity, classified by the IRS as a charitable organization, and gratefully accepting tax-deductible donations.