Elvis Costello was between tours — back from his acoustic outing, ready to head out on a larger, louder summer swing with the Attractions — when we caught up with him to solicit favorite recent listens. As it happened, he was deciding which music from the previous trip's CD bag would make it into this tour's suitcase. "You're helping me with my packing while we speak."
Various Artists: Kansas City (soundtrack) (Verve) and The Real Kansas City (Columbia). "Remakes for the Altman film with Don Byron, Joshua Redman, guys you see on great jazz records of the modern day. Usually I'd be suspicious of something like that, but it's great. Then you go back to the '30s originals on the companion record and hear how revolutionary they really were."
Fugees: The Score (Columbia). "Obviously, 'Killing Me Softly' is a way
people have got into it, but I love the whole thing, from the cover with
the Godfather lettering to the integrated way you follow it like a series
of little stories. You can listen to it for hours because it takes ages to
get all the rhymes."
Anne Sofie Von Otter: Wings in the Night — Swedish Songs (Deutsche
Grammophon). "My favorite singer in the whole world."