Essential Experiences And Fond Favourites Of 60 Years
Compiled by Roger Levesque

BOOKS [author, year of publication]

Chin Ping Mei [The Golden Lotus] / Anonymous, 16th century
Complete Works / William Shakespeare, 1623 [Pelican, 1975]
Illiad, The / Homer, ~7th century B.C. [Fagles trans.]
Musashi / Eiji Yoshikawa, 1971 [Terry, trans.]
Odyssey, The / Homer, ~7th century B.C. [Fagles trans.]
Pillow Book Of Sei Shonagon, The / 11th century
Remembrance Of Things Past [In Search Of Lost Time], Marcel Proust, 1909 ~
Thousand And One Nights, Tales From The / Various, ~9th century
Tale Of Genji, The / Murasaki Shikibu, 11th century [Seidensticker trans.]
Tale Of The Heike, The / Yukinaga,Shobutsu, 14th century

FILMS [director, year of release]

2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
O Lucky Man! [Lindsay Anderson, 1973]
Apocalypse Now (Redux) [Francis Ford Coppola, 1979, 2001]
Blue Velvet [David Lynch, 1986]
Boogie Nights [Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997]
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover [Peter Greenaway, 1990]
Great Expectations [Alfonso Cuaron, 1998]
Last Tango In Paris [Bernardo Bertolucci, 1972]
Lost In Translation [Sofia Coppola, 2004]
Manhattan [Woody Allen, 1979]

Adaptation [Spike Jonze, 2003]
Birdman [Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 2014]
Bladerunner (Final Cut) [Ridley Scott, 1982]
Dr. Strangelove, Or… [Stanley Kubrick, 1964]
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind [Michel Gondry, 2004]
Ex-Machina [Alex Garland, 2015]
My Dinner With Andre [Louis Malle, 1981]
Rosemary’s Baby [Roman Polanski, 1968]
Sleuth [Joseph L.Mankiewicz, 1972]
12 Monkeys [Terry Gilliam, 1995]

Barton Fink [Joel & Ethan Cohen, 1991]
Being John Malkovich [Spike Jonze, 2000]
The Big Lebowski [Joel & Ethan Cohen, 1998]
Lars And The Real Girl [Craig Gillespie, 2007]
Laurel Canyon [Lisa Cholodenko, 2002]
The New Age [Michael Tolkin, 1994]
The One I Love [Charlie McDowell, 2014]
The Party [Blake Edwards, 1968]
Pret A Porter [Robert Altman, 1994]
Wonder Boys [Curtis Hanson, 2000]

A Clockwork Orange [Stanley Kubrick, 1971]
The English Patient [Anthony Minghella, 2004]
The French Luitenant’s Woman [Karel Reisz, 2006]
High Fidelity [Stephen Frears, 2000]
Last Exit To Brooklyn [Uli Edel, 1989]
Naked Lunch [David Cronenberg, 1991]
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest [Milos Forman, 1975]
The Pillow Book [Peter Greenaway, 1996]
Shakespeare In Love [John Madden, 1998]
1984 [Michael Radford, 1984]

8 1/2 [Federico Fellini, 1963]
Aguirre, The Wrath Of God [Werner Herzog, 1972]
Amelie [Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001]
Au Revoir Les Enfants [Louis Malle, 1987]
Breathless [Jean-Luc Godard, 1960]
Chungking Express [Wong Kar-wai, 1994]
Diva [Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981]
Fireworks [Takeshi Kitano, 1997]
The 400 Blows [Francoise Truffaut, 1959]
The Marriage Of Maria Braun [Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1979]
Never Look Away [Florian Henckell Von Donnersmarck, 2018]
Persona [Ingmar Bergman, 1966]
Ridicule [Patrice Leconte, 1996]
Roma [Alfonso Cuarón, 2018]
Seven Beauties [Lina Wertmuller, 1975]
Seven Samurai [Akira Kurosawa, 1954]
Talk To Her [Pedro Almodovar, 2002]

Almost Famous [Cameron Crowe, 2000]
An Education [Lone Scherfig, 2009]
Boyhood [Richard Linklater, 2014]
Eighth Grade [Bo Burnham, 2018]
Heathers [Michael Lehmann, 1988]
Lady Bird [Greta Gerwig, 2017]
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl [Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, 2015]
Mean Girls [Mark Waters, 2004]
River’s Edge [Tim Hunter, 1986]
Thirteen [Catherine Hardwicke, 2003]

The Bridge On The River Kwai [David Lean, 1957]
Casablanca [Michael Curtiz, 1942]
City Lights [Charles Chaplin, 1931]
Citizen Kane [Orson Welles, 1941]
The English Patient [Anthony Minghella, 2004]
The Godfather (trilogy) [Francis Ford Coppola]
Hamlet [Kenneth Branagh, 2007]
The Last Emperor [Bernardo Bertolucci, 1987]
Lawrence Of Arabia [David Lean, 1962]
O Lucky Man! [Lindsay Anderson, 1973]
Psycho [Alfred Hitchcock, 1960]
Raging Bull [Martin Scorsese, 1980]
2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey [Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
Bladerunner (Final Cut) [Ridley Scott, 1982]
Children Of Men [Alfonso Cuarón, 2006]
Ex-Machina [Alex Garland, 2015]
The Fifth Element [Luc Besson, 1997]
Ghost In The Shell [Mamoru Oshii, 1996]
Her [Spike Jonze, 2013]
The Matrix [Lilly Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, 1999]
Melancholia [Lars Von Trier, ]
Metropolis [Fritz Lang, 1927]
Moon [Duncan Jones, 2009]
Pan’s Labyrinth [Guillermo del Toro, 2006]
The Shape Of Water [Guillermo del Toro, 2017]
12 Monkeys [Terry Gilliam, 1995]
Films Of Georges Melies [1890’s]

8 1/2 [Federico Fellini, 1963]
The Artist [Michel Hazanavicius, 2011]
Adaptation [Spike Jonze, 2002]
Cinema Paradiso [Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988]
Day For Night [Francois Truffaut, 1973]
Mullholland Drive [David Lynch, 2001]
The Player [Robert Altman, 1992]
Stardust Memories [Woody Allen, 1980]
Sunset Blvd [Billy Wilder, 1950]
Takeshis’ [Takeshi Kitano, 2005]

Woody Allen [1935-]
Robert Altman [1925-2006]
Paul Thomas Anderson [1970-]
Alfonso Cuarón [1961-]
Federico Fellini [1920-1993]
Stephen Frears [1941-]
Alfred Hitchcock [1899-1980]
Stanley Kubrick [1928-1999]
Francois Truffaut [1932-1984]
Lars Von Trier [1956-]

MUSIC [recording artist, year of release]

Best Of [Nouvelle Vague, 2010]
Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter [Joni Mitchell, 1977]
Heaven Or Las Vegas [Cocteau Twins, 1989]
In A Silent Way [Miles Davis, 1969]
Kind Of Blue [Miles Davis, 1959]
Loveless [My Bloody Valentine, 1989]
Low [David Bowie, 1976]
Music For 18 Musicians (Pulse) [Steve Reich, 1978]
Remain In Light [Talking Heads, 1980]
Thursday Afternoon [Brian Eno, 1985]

As Long As I Can Hold My Breath [Harold Budd, 2004]*
Crippled Symmetry [Morton Feldman, 1983, V.1991]
Descending Moonshine Dervishes [Terry Riley, 1982]*
Glassworks [Philip Glass, 1982]
Music For 18 Musicians (Pulse) [Steve Reich, 1978]*
Thursday Afternoon [Brian Eno, 1985]*
The Sinking Of The Titanic [Gavin Bryars, V.1990]
Symphony No.3 [Henryk Gorecki], V.1992]
Symphony No.5, Adagietto [Gustav Mahler, 1904]
Ambient Music 1-4 [Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Larajii, etc. 1978-1982]
Berlin Period Instrumentals [David Bowie-Brian Eno, mid-1970s]

Johannes Sebastian Bach []
John Cage []
Francois Couperin []
Jean Phillipe Rameau []
Jordi Savall []
Erik Satie []
Antonio Vivaldi []
Kronos Quartet collections [from 1982]

The Blanton-Webster Band (Duke Ellington, 1939-1942]
First Meditations [John Coltrane, 1964]
Hot Five And Hot Seven Recordings {Louis Armstrong, 1925-1929]
In A Silent Way [Miles Davis, 1969]
The Individualism Of Gil Evans [Gil Evans Orchestra, 1964]
Kind Of Blue [Miles Davis, 1959]
Mingus Ah Um [Charles Mingus, 1959]
Monk’s Dream [Thelonious Monk, 1962]
The Shape Of Jazz To Come [Ornette Coleman, 1959]
Time Out [Dave Brubeck, 1959]

Cecil Taylor
Steve Lacy
Herbie Hancock
John McLaughlin
David Murray
Miles Davis
Keith Jarrett
Wayne Shorter
John Zorn

John Abercrombie/Ralph Towner

Neil Ardley


Published in The Edmonton Journal – DEC.18, 1999

  • Louis Armstrong/Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man (1923-1934/Columbia-4CDs) The real beginnings of jazz as led by the first great jazz soloist, with two versions of Stardust yet. Okay, so a box set is cheating, but this is one where it all counts.
  • J.S. Bach/The Goldberg Variations/Glenn Gould (1981/CBS Masterworks) Gould made it almost jazzy but it always puzzles me that this was written to help the old Count Goldberg fall asleep.
  • Bjork/Debut (1993/Warner) The Icelandic “pop star” beyond category touches on all sorts of tunes. And that voice!
  • Carlinhos Brown/Alfagamabetizado (1996/Virgin) As sophisticated, multi-faceted and infectious as contemporary Afro-Brazilian-pop gets.
  • Betty Carter/The Audience (1980/Betcar-Verve) Live and in her prime managing a great band. Did anyone else take the jazz voice into such spontaneous territory?
  • Ornette Coleman: anything from his 1959-60 Atlantic band, like The Shape Of Jazz To Come or Change Of The Century.
  • John Coltrane/First Meditations (1965, released 1977/Impulse) I got to this one before hearing his legendary A Love Supreme disc, and for my money this equally sacred session still transcends better than anything else from the great ‘Trane quartet.
  • Miles Davis/Kind Of Blue (1959/Columbia-Legacy) THE cornerstone of modern jazz, from a session that apparently evolved “like a zen ink painting” according to pianist Bill Evans.
  • Miles Davis/In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew sessions (1969-70/Columbia) Two separate albums but the same time and concepts. Miles’ fearless spirit inspires experimental team efforts and producer Teo Macero’s cut-and-splice editing ingenuity to create a cornerstone of electric jazz, at turns menacing and trance inducing.
  • Duke Ellington/Blanton-Webster Years (1940-42/RCA) An anthology from his (arguably) most creative period, or Private Collection Vol. 2, Dance Dates (1958), just one of many live discs of a great orchestra playing favourites and having fun.
  • Brian Eno/Thursday Afternoon (1985/EG Records) “As ignorable as it is interesting” (the artist’s words). The in-depth, culmination and creative pinnacle of Eno’s ambient concept.
  • Kip Hanrahan/Coup De Tete (1981/American Clave)
  • Billie Holiday/Lady’s Decca Days (1944-50/Decca-Universal) Melancholy never sounded so sweet.
  • Keith Jarrett/Solo Concerts – Bremen, Lausanne (1973/ECM) The guy who turned improvised solo piano concerts into a sub-genre of its own. Two hours of un-restrained, shimmering, struggling brilliance that ranks with his best-selling Koln Concert.
  • Steve Lacy/Live At Sweet Basil (1992/BMG Novus), or Steve Lacy Four/Morning Joy (1989/Hat Art) Sadly, both hard to find, maybe out of print, the last great band from the last living jazz master to bridge accessability and the avant garde. Also see Wee See (Hat Art) or The Rent (Soul Note).
  • Baaba Maal/Firin’ In Fouta (1994/Island) Senaegal’s Maal, one of Africa’s greatest voices ever gets together with a funky British producer (Simon Emerson) for music that touches on Africa, America and more.
  • Bob Marley/Exodus or Kaya (Island) The third world’s first legitimate superstar at the peak of his powers.
  • Charles Mingus: anything from his 1959-1960 bands. See Blues & Roots (1959/Atlantic), Mingus Ah Um (1959/Columbia), Mingus At Antibes (1960/Atlantic). Gutsy blues feeling and sophisticated structures seldom got as good as Mingus.
  • Joni Mitchell: anything from the late ’70s but especially Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter (1977/Warner), her most expansive and under-appreciated jazz album featuring Jaco Pastorius and Wayne Shorter. Also see Hijera,, Court And Spark.
  • Thelonious Monk/Genius Of Modern Music, Vols. 1&2 (1940’s, ’50s/Blue Note) Jazz’s second great composer was inseperable from his own piano improvisations.
  • Parliament/Tear The Roof Off (1974-1980/Casablanca) James Brown invented the funk but George Clinton freed/fried your mind.
  • Astor Piazzolla & Kronos Quartet/Five Tango Sensations (1991/Nonesuch) Argentina’s pioneer of “new tango” puts his grasp of classical, jazz and Latin music into a suite for bandoneon and string quartet.
  • Steve Reich/Music For 18 Musicians (1978/ECM) Still one of the great, defining works of so-called “minimalist” music, it feels more like travelling light years through the cosmos.
  • Caetano Veloso/Estrangeiro (1989/Elektra) Brasil’s greatest musical poet spins magical post-modern bossa with American jazz and pop leanings courtesy of producer Arto Lindsay.
  • Tom Waits/Franks Wild Years (1987/Island) Gin-soaked but razor-sharp, Waits parodies Sinatra and the American Dream
  • Muddy Waters/The Chess Box – (1947-1972/Chess-Universal) He’s the man. Here’s the most comprehensive anthology from the best years of the foremost exponent of post-war electric blues.
  • Weather Report/Heavy Weather (1977/Columbia) Electric jazz meets the third world swinging, dancing, hollering.
  • John Zorn & Naked City/self-titled (1989/Nonesuch) The most prolific avant-jazz bad boy of his generation takes on Henry Mancini, Ornette Coleman, punk metal and Japanese screaming with style, humour and great talents.