By Nadira A. Hira
June 15, 2007

Our second office playlist, courtesy of Fortune senior writer Devin Leonard. A former New York Observer staff writer, he’s one of the coolest people here, covering media and doing stories on the likes of Marvel, South Park, and Gnarls Barkley. And the secret to being so hip? His kids, 12-year-old Faith and 15-year-old Colin, of course. (Faith even stepped in to help her dad with a Hannah Montana story earlier this year.) And Devin’s wife Eileen’s no music slouch either. While this Top 10 list is sure to earn you props from the higher-ups, the fact that it was a family affair is also proof positive that parents are more with it than ever. Forget what the boss thinks of me; this is the kind of line-up that would put me in awe of the boss!

DEVIN “IT’S ALL ON VINYL” LEONARD’S OFFICE PLAYLIST:

  1. “Salt Song” by Stanley Turrentine. Funky unsung Pittsburgh tenor sax man plays a beautiful tune by genius Brazilian composer Milton Nascimento. Dug this up on vinyl in a used record story in upstate New York. Had to seriously clean it up, but it was well worth it. Pure ’70s gold.
  2. “Just” by Mark Ronson. The producer behind Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen rearranges a Radiohead song for Brooklyn’s Daptone Horns. The trumpet player is killing!
  3. “People Make the World Go Round” by Milt Jackson. The Modern Jazz Quartet’s vibes master plays an O’Jays tune with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and pianist Herbie Hancock. Jazzy acoustic funk on the CTI label. I had this on CD, but to hear it on record is something else.
  4. “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse. England’s out-of-control queen of soul. We must have six 45 remixes of this cut at home. Try the one by the Rumple Strips on the white vinyl 45. It’s the best. My daughter Faith likes it better than the original.
  5. “Theme from Shaft” by Isaac Hayes. Who cares if he quit South Park over the Scientology episode? This is the kind of grooving overproduced tune that they just don’t make any more. The rest of this great jazz-influenced double album is super, too.
  6. “Black Wave/Bad Vibrations” by The Arcade Fire. Caught them live at Radio City Music Hall — strings, French horns, a pipe organ and a charismatic lead singer who almost caused a riot when he told the listeners in the cheap seats to dance in front of the stage. Need to give a big ol’ shout out to my son Colin for turning me on to these guys!
  7. “Trans-Europe Express” by Kraftwerk. The original techno band from Germany. Everything these guys did is available brand new on vinyl — because DJs still have to have the real item.
  8. “Fly Like The Wind” by McCoy Tyner. John Coltrane’s pianist with Ron Carter on bass, drummer Billy Cobham, and a string section. Circa 1976. Soars!
  9. “One Up One Down” by John Coltrane. Haven’t heard this on vinyl yet. But my wife Eileen is getting me “Live At The Half Note” for Father’s Day. I have a bootleg CD, but that’s just a faint echo of the real thing. P.S. If you don’t know Trane, well, you just don’t know.
  10. “Remember” by Hank Mobley. From my favorite Blue Note album of all time, “Soul Station.” It’s 1960, and Hank and his supporting cast — pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Blakey — are the essence of relaxed swing. Splendidly recorded by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder. No wonder this remains a cult record for vinyl lovers.

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