1. Paco de Lucia – Live in America
Paco de Lucia was a huge influence on me as a guitarist and artist as a whole. Besides his superhuman ability to astonish any crowd with his virtuoso technique, he was a phenomenal composer with a musicality that not only transcended his instrument but the whole genre of flamenco itself. To say he was a genius is an understatement.
2. Michael Brooke & Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt
This album was a seminal epiphany for me. Hearing how Michael Brooke had beautifully framed Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s boundary-crossing and, at times, ethereal voice, greatly influenced how I would perceive the possibilities of Indian classical vocals and eastern folk rhythms within my own music. The clear highlight for me was Massive Attack’s remix of the titular track ‘Mustt Mustt’.
3. Joni Mitchell – Blue
This was the soundtrack to a large part of my early teens. Joni Mitchell’s voice not only resonated with me as an incredibly honest and emotional expression of her life experiences but the harmonies and the musicality of this incredible compilation of folk songs was unfailingly inspirational on a daily basis.
4. Miles Davies – Kind of Blue
This was the first album that blew me away for the consistency of its mood across every track. The sonic beauty of the album and production sounds as effortless today as the legendary solos played by the greatest jazz masters of the time. Eternally spellbinding and still the most perfect listen for a rainy night.
5. Enio Morricone – Soundtrack A Fistful of Dollars
Enio Morricone scored this spaghetti western with unusual avant-garde vocals as well as incongruous instrumentation because the filmscore budget would not run to a full orchestra. Amazingly, from the constraints of the financial limitations, Morricone was able to find a sound that remains as timeless as the films themselves.
Cover Image: Suki Dhanda