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Baker's Dozen

Effort For Effortlessness: Neil Finn's Favourite Albums
Barnaby Smith , January 30th, 2014 07:32

Ahead of his forthcoming solo album Dizzy Heights, the Crowded House man talks Barnaby Smith through his 13 favourite records


Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong – Porgy & Bess
Ella Fitzgerald is probably my favourite singer ever. We had that album when we were living in Melbourne, when I was around 21 or 22 years old. It was kind of my rediscovery of the music my dad listened to when I was growing up and I was a bit dismissive of his jazz collection. He loved Ella Fitzgerald, he loved Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington. I rediscovered how great that music really is. In particular, the music of Gershwin made a big impact on me, his use of chords and the way he sort of formalised blues music and made it rich and orchestral. I'd never heard anything like it, and that album is a really good example of that. The string arrangement for the song 'Summertime' is so incredibly beautiful on that record. We'd put this on in the afternoons and feel extremely content and wistful. I keep listening to it.