Image Credit: Matthew Bitton
Lenny Kravitz may be brushing up his big-screen resume (he appeared in Precious last year and plays a key role in the upcoming films based on The Hunger Games), but music remains his first love.
The veteran rocker’s ninth album, Black and White America, hits store shelves both real and virtual on August 30, and as you can tell by his current heavy-rotation selections below, he’s still deeply inspired by an eclectic mix from the past.
Shuggie Otis, “Strawberry Letter 23″
“The story is that Shuggie Otis was a Prince-type character who played all the instruments and wrote all the stuff. I think Quincy [Jones] wanted to produce him or something like that. It didn’t end up happening. This is what I hear. So he covered the song with the Brother Johnson, which is the version most people know. But Shuggie is amazing—he had that Prince vibe back then, with the hair and the ‘stache. He gives me a lot of inspiration now. I just love his sound and his songwriting.”
Little Jimmy Scott, “Day By Day”
“This is from an album called The Source. There’s a photo of a beautiful woman on the cover, and the record company didn’t put him on the cover because they said he wasn’t attractive. He’s been the inspiration for a lot of legendary female jazz singers. He sounds like a woman, but he’s a man. I just can’t get over his phrasing; it’s so beautiful. A friend of mine first played this for me, and it was just mind-blowing. I couldn’t get over it–it’s the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard. I put this on at the beach and just lose it.”
Serge Gainsbourg, “Aux Armes Et Caetera”
“I’ve been listening to a lot of Serge Gainsbourg lately. I live half the year in Paris, and I’ve always sort of loved him. You get the reggae mixed with Serge and it’s a great combination. People either get him or they don’t get him. It’s almost like Dylan in a way. My French is limited, but I look at the lyrics and get people to explain things. Of course, I don’t get the full meaning, but anyone who is French will tell you he is the lyricist.” READ FULL STORY »