Summer Mixtape from DJ Ian Head

Cover photo by Daniel Littlewood

I enjoyed making this tape. It’s a bit different from my more crunchy, vinyl-heavy mixes, but hopefully still bump-able at the local evening picnic or house party. I feel like you can do silly dances to it, or just cool out and sip a nice iced beverage while it rocks in the background. Either way, don’t sleep on the Vijay Iyer’s jazz cover of MIA’s “Galang.”

I’m planning on doing a series of “seasonal” mixes, in combination with covers from a variety of artists and photographers I know. The first cover is from world traveler, documentarian and incredible photographer Daniel Littlewood, a close friend since high school. You can find more of his photos at the address above.

– DJ Ian Head


Summer : Tracklisting
JuJu Orchestra – “Nao Posso Demorar”
Platinum Pied Pipers – “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
Erykah Badu – “I Want Moombah” (J Boogie Edit)
Johnny Hammond – “Tell Me What to Do” (Whiskey Barons ReWork)
Jazzanova – “Boom Klicky Boom Klack” (Mr. Scruff’s Vocal Mix)
Up, Bustle and Out – “La Morena en El Viento Andaluz”
Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth – “The Creator” (Surfboard Mix)
Cal Tjader – “Borneo” (The Gaff Edit)
Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Band – “Orisa” (Atjazz Love Soul Remix)
Five Corners Quintet – “Unsquare Bossa”
Visioneers – “Rocket Man (Afro-Latin Joint)”
Vijay Iyer Trio – “Galang” (Trio Riot Version)
Louie Gee Ensemble – “Scrabble”

Donald Byrd Tribute Mix (Acoustic Years)

Dope mix from Giles. Love that he took a second to focus on the non-“Bluenote Breaks” stuff that Byrd did. He had a lot of beautiful records before he got with the Mizell brothers. RIP. (h/t Pipomixes)

Jazz Trio Stray Phrases Covers Dilla’s “Donuts” Live

Looking for something else, I came across this – I like how it’s pretty raw, not polished.

Buscrates Herbie Hancock Birthday Mix

A nice mix from my dude Buscrates.

Alice Coltrane “Prema” live on Piano Jazz

Something beautiful for Thursday.

Monthly Mixtapes: One Summer Day (August 2011)

Monthly Mixtapes: One Summer Day (August 2011)

I ate an incredible nectarine today while walking back home in the sun, after spending a couple hours catching up with a good friend. It was one of those mid-summer mornings where it’s important to get out of the house, but not to do it in a rush. I got an extra hour of sleep, and drank a cup of fresh coffee, reminisced with another friend from college, then laced up the sneakers and rolled out the house.

Maybe I should call this tape “one summer morning,” except the afternoon of putting it together plays into it as well. Kind of a contemplative little piece, something I hadn’t planned on doing – there was a stack of records mostly ready to go for a different tape completely, but when I tried to mix them this afternoon it didn’t feel right.

So, I pulled a new stack and started from scratch.

It’s just a few tunes, more selection than mixing, and hopefully the vibe comes through. I appreciate that I am able to take a moment and chill for a second, take in some sun, eat some good food, kick it with some good people. And bump a few records.

— DJ Ian Head

NOTE: RIP Eugene McDaniels. Orignally I knew about him because of the legendary beat-digger album, “Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse,” but soon realized how significant he was to music in general, composing many tracks for Roberta Flack, and writing the songs “Compared to What” and “Feel Like Making Love,” among others. He had a crazy, unique voice, creative production styles and dropped a lot of politics in his later songs. His first big hit, the anti-Vietnam “Compared to What” as played by Les McCann and Eddie Harris in 1969, finishes off this tape. If you don’t know about him, look him up.

Monthly Mixtapes: “Something – A Few Beatles Covers” (May 2011)

Monthly Mixtapes: “Something – A Few Beatles Covers” (May 2011)

The Beatles are funny – I play some of these covers and the lyrics and melodies come to me instantly, like they were ingrained in my being, even though I may not have listened to the original in 10 or 20 years. But I was never really a Beatles-lover growing up. As a kid, my parents owned and sometimes played Sgt. Pepper’s, and my friend Dan Morris was a Beatle-head at a young age – he had one of those cassette-organizers with the three drawers, and I remember opening up one of the drawers and it being filled with all Beatles tapes. This is actually one image I associate most with the Beatles to this day – I think I was more amazed by his collection than the music.(I also remember those cassette-drawers things being really crappy plastic pieces of $%#^).

So I don’t have a full understanding how all these songs have permeated my brain. My only guess is that growing up in this country, at least during a certain period of time, the Beatles were such a cultural force that they were inescapable – even years after they had gone their separate ways. This isn’t really a complaint, it’s just something that’s intense to think about.

Anyway – it’s also crazy to think about how so many people were inspired to do hundreds of covers of their music, through any and every genre. I have gospel records with covers of “Let it Be,” and crazy pysch covers of “Eleanor Rigby.” So here’s a couple of my favorites – as you can see, I love “Rocky Raccoon,” it’s just a great song, and I couldn’t help playing two different versions below, both of which are incredible. It seems like everyone and their mother covered Rigby, so I tried to give two different versions with completely different moods. There’s definitely some great covers that I didn’t drop, either because I don’t own them or they just didn’t fit this time around.

Special shout out to Verb Math for helping with this month’s idea!

Hope everyone enjoys.

— DJ Ian Head


Rocky Raccoon – Lena Horne
Back in the USSR – Ramsey Lewis
Hello Goodbye – [redacted]
Day Tripper – [redacted]
Glass Onion – Arif Mardin
While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Jimmy Ponder
Norwegian Wood – Mystic Moods
Eleanor Rigby – [redacted]
Eleanor Rigby – Aretha Franklin
Rocky Raccoon – Moments
Something – Monty Alexander

Monthly Mixtapes: “Groove Drops” (April 2011)

Monthly Mixtapes: “Groove Drops” (April 2011)

I bought this record by Reuben Wilson called “Groovy Situation” the other week, where he covers that song. It’s pretty funky, and though it didn’t make this tape, it inspired a tape of cool, up-and-down-beat  jazz-type grooves. Something to wash the dishes to on a Sunday morning.

It’s April and I’m trying to mellow out after a rough but productive couple months. Hopefully this new month brings some warmer weather, green leaves, new adventures – and more good music.

I know posts here at EDB have been minimal so far this year, things will change soon when I revamp the site to WordPress, just gotta wait another couple weeks or so.

Hope everyone is good.

— DJ Ian Head


The Fourth Way
Kenny Burrell
Monty Alexander
Ramsey Lewis
Jazz Crusaders
Freddie Hubbard
Lee Morgan
Jimmy Smith “Groove Drops”