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Happy August! While away the dog days of summer with us and our favorite music right now, from funky jazz to Renaissance bangers and back again.

This series highlights our favorite music of the moment – discoveries we’ve made when we’re at home cooking or cleaning, at the office, or out and about. Classical or otherwise, old, new, or just really cool, these are the tracks we’ve had on repeat this month. Find a cumulative playlist at the end of this post. Happy listening!

Wayne Shorter — Lost
Alan McLellan
When I’m at the studio on weekend evenings, I can’t help but absorb some of the jazz energy coming from across the hall, as Eric Jackson shares some fabulous jazz on GBH 89.7. Here’s something I heard not long ago, by Wayne Shorter, with a cool, relaxed vibe – chill with some of this in the August heat!

Rolf Lislevand — Les Sylvains de Mr. Couperin
Chris Voss
This summer I’ve been enjoying a couple of book series - Bernhard Cornwell’s "Last Kingdom" series, and CJ Samson’s "Matthew Sharklake" mysteries. The series are set in the Middle Ages and Renaissance respectively, and so I’ve been listening to some music from those eras as well. I’ve particularly been enjoying Rolf Lislevand’s album "La Mascarade," including this piece by Robert de Visée.

Fleet Foxes — Helplessness Blues
Rani Schloss
I’ve been on a kick lately of listening to artists/albums I got into during college, and Fleet Foxes’s “Helplessness Blues” is at the top of that list. It came out right as we were graduating, and that timing was perfect. This whole album is bursting with catchy tunes, rich harmonies, and a feeling of possibility that still makes me feel like the world is my oyster, over a decade later. I can honestly say that I listened through this album twice in a row when heading to a camping trip last week, and it was absolutely perfect.

Sara Stowe, Matthew Spring, Jon Banks — Bear Dance
Jay Fondin
It's high time I introduced everyone to my favorite renaissance-era song (which, to be fair, I first heard thanks to Kendall Todd's fantastic playlist). Everything about Bear Dance really captures the feeling of being rowdy in a tavern with the lads. Why wait until King Richard's Faire - come mosh with me now!

Toru Takemitsu — Rain Tree Sketch
Cathy Fuller
The Tokyo Olympics reminded me of how much I love the sound world of composer Toru Takemitsu. He was a 20th-century genius and a beacon for Japanese musicians. Stepping into his universe takes you to a mysterious and colorful place, where sounds are like rocks in a Japanese garden. His works are defined by the magic of the Japanese notion of ma, which is so hard to describe, but essentially deals with the charged and meaningful silence between things -- negative space, in a sense, where the listener participates deeply. Here’s his 1982 piano piece Rain Tree Sketch. Be sure that your outer world is dimmed so you can really inhabit this garden!

Kevin Day — Breathe
Emily Marvosh
This is firmly in Afternoon Reset territory! Like Alexandra Strelinski’s album "Inscape," it’s like hearing, muffled by the apartment wall, your fascinating-quirky-artist neighbor playing a slightly out-of-tune piano. Could a meet-cute in the mailroom happen to you?

The Family Crest — It Keeps Us Dancing
Kendall Todd
I've seen The Family Crest in concert twice. Both times were in tiny standing-room-only venues, and both times the crowd went wild for this song. The build really is perfect — from quiet contemplation to all-out joy and back, this song reminds me why I love live music.

Catherine Kautsky — Debussy: Preludes, Book 1: No. 10, "La cathédrale engloutie"
Colin Brumley
It’s no secret I’m a huge Debussy piano fan. It’s equally well known that I’m a summer kid. If there’s one thing that wonderful man is adept at, it’s whisking you away to a magical landscape – and one of his more summery, aquatic daydreams is a mythical cathedral rising from the sea floor, culminating with the tides reclaiming it once again. Float away for a few.

Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio — Girly Face
Laura Carlo
When I was on vacation I heard contemporary jazz coming out of a car parked nearby. I "Shazammed" it and then bought the whole album! That almost never happens! This month I'm listening to the soul-funk, jazz and blues album "I Told You So" by the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, released in January of this year. I think it hits all the right notes as you sip a cool lemonade on a hot summer day...

Listen to the full playlist:

Kendall Todd is the Content Manager for GBH Music.