Ira Kaplan: Five Songs I Love Right Now

The Yo La Tengo singer on five songs he loves, from the Afro Blues Quintet to Gastr Del Sol

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Ray Bryant, "Pata Pata"

This is another instrumental, for the vocal song "Pata Pata," which was Miriam Makeba's first hit record. I didn't like it much at the time, which is more evidence of my rotten taste in music. I don't know Ray Bryant's background, but a few years ago I found a copy of his version of "Mrs. Robinson," which was so amazing that I got a bunch more of his singles in recent years. I was like, "Where did he come up with that jazzy take on 'Mrs. Robinson?"

"Pata Pata" is more obvious, because the song lends itself precisely to what he does: It's an Afropop hit record, and you can hear it in your head when you hear the elements. "Mrs Robinson" was a little more stunning.

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