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Lenny Kravitz: On my iPod

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Serge Gainsbourge, ”Aux Armes et Caetera”
”I live half the year in Paris, and I’ve always sort of loved him. People either get him or they don’t — it’s almost like Dylan in a way. My French is still limited, but I look at the lyrics and get people to explain them. He’s a genius.”

Gil Scott-Heron, ”Angel Dust”
”This just puts you in the mood. Not to do [drugs], though! It just drops you into a place. I never got to work with him, but I would go see him at [famed NYC venue] S.O.B.’s when he would play 10, 15 years ago. On CNN, because everybody is iReporting, they have a thing now that says ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised.’ It’s funny to see him referenced on CNN as a slogan.”

Kenny Burrell, ”Midnight Blue”
”I have a basement in my house in Paris that looks like an old underground club, with candles and old chandeliers and a turntable with old wooden speakers, and this is my favorite record to play down there. I actually knew Kenny when I was a kid — he was a friend of my parents’. My fantasy is to go away for a couple years and just disappear and play jazz. Go find an old bluesman, someone like him, and say, ‘Let’s go to Brazil for a year and stay up in the mountains somewhere and just play guitar and teach me.”’

Shuggie Otis, ”Strawberry Letter 23”
”I didn’t know about him when it was happening — I learned about him later. The first version of ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ I heard was by the Brothers Johnson, which was a big hit. Shuggie was more obscure and underground. He sort of had that Prince vibe back then, with the hair and the ‘stache. He gives me a lot of inspiration now.”

Little Jimmy Scott, ”Day by Day”
”This track floors me. He’s still alive; he must be in his late 80s. He sounds like a woman, but he’s a man. I put this on at the beach when the stars are out — I have these little speakers in front of my trailer — and just lose it. It’s the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard.”

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