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remodeling...me
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I need you all to dig deep on this one.
I need to know the names of artists or albums to get for the restaurant. The music needs to be somewhat low-key while not being "muzak". We don't want people to choke on their pasta because someone hits a high note.
So far I've got George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal, Wes Montgomery, milder Mile's Davis, and Joe Pass among others.

Suggestions please?
 

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Satanic Watch Winder
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I mean no dis here, but what you want could be completely wrong. I used to program bars and fooders. Who is your target customer? Tunnel vision time here.
 

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remodeling...me
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
oily666 said:
I mean no dis here, but what you want could be completely wrong. I used to program bars and fooders. Who is your target customer? Tunnel vision time here.

Very wide demographics... so far we've been getting compliments on the music. We get everything from the hip barflies to the moneyed retired folks to politicians, business professionals, doctors, lawyers, neighborhood folks who bring their children,
 

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eminence grease
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So I'm in your demographic and I'll tell you what I like to hear in restaurants.

Chris Botti, the middle period Pat Metheny (Still Life, Letter from Home) most Brazilian jazz (Jobim, the Toots Theilmann Brasil Project discs, Gilberto), older Michael Franks, classical guitar (Segovia, Williams, Russell), Diana Krall, in general things that allow you to talk, enjoy your meal but provide a pleasant background.

Might also spend some time listening to your local "smooth jazz" station. While a lot of what you will hear is like having a hole drilled in your front tooth, there are some gems.
 

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Satanic Watch Winder
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This sounds like my friends' sandwich shop/art gallery. The types of music can be very diverse but the "energy level" must remain consistant. Stay away from avant guard like Charle Mingus. Oscar Peterson, a personal favorite, is too busy. Too many notes to follow.

With younger people in the mix, you can add some sprinklings of Roxy Music, Sting, Al Green, Chris Isaak, Otis Redding, Paul Desmond, Chris Botti, Nora Jones, Zoot Sims. BB King, but be sure it all "feeeels" the same.

If you have a later night crowd that drinks a bit more than it eats, dial it up to match their energy especially if you have a separate bar area. If people are laughing and having a blast, Paul Desmond and Nora Jones will let the air out the place. Now you can do Blue Train by John Coltrain and Sonny Rollins, Robert Cray, Wilson Pickett, Bonnie Raitt, Count Basie and some more up beat stuff form people you and I have already mentioned.

Just make sure it's quality and has class. Don't forget Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. By the way, where are you? Sounds like I'd stop by.
 

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remodeling...me
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Terry B you nailed it! That's what we're getting in feedback from the tables.
I have Frank Sinatra in the mix but he's actually the only vocal, I've been pushing for vocals and been getting pushback.I have Krall I'll try putting a few in and see if I get busted.

Terry...I love Jobim. I have some Charlie Byrd playing Jobim...Wave is awesome.

I'll make a late night playlist too; thanks Oily!
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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Ravi man.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Here are some other suggestions based on what you've listed:

Johnny Hartman, especially the record, "John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman" also "I Just Dropped by to Say Hello"

Jackie Terrasson

Cassandra Wilson (especially her record, "New Moon Daughter")

James Carter (be careful which ones: try The Real Quietstorm and Chasing the Gypsy)

Bill Evans (Conversations with Myself would be a good choice. Also Portrait in Jazz)

Stan Getz

Maybe some Holly Cole (Blame it on my Youth, Don't Smoke in Bed, Girl Talk, but you can't put the whole record on; only certain songs fit your ambiance)

Maybe some ECM stuff: Egberto Gismonti, Jan Garbarek, etc., but it might not stay in the background well enough

Some more offbeat stuff you might consider: Ali Farka Toure, Randy Weston, Gilberto Gil's "Acoustic," Seu Jorge

Getting away from Jazz, consider Cat Power, especially her records "The Greatest" (it's not a greatest hits compilation) and Jukebox might fit your ambiance very well.

Possibly some of Brian Eno's "Ambient" music?

You might also try some Ye-Ye: Francoise Hardy, Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, but not too much

Joe Pass & Ella Fitzgerald, "Take Love Easy"

You might also consider some basic flamenco: Manitas de Plata, Paco de Lucia, or Carlos Montoya. You'd want simple solo acoustic guitar, not loud ensemble stuff.
 

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Devoid of all flim-flam
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Bob Marley. His music works really well at a Japanese restaurant me and Sogno go to. Perennially cool. Never too fast. Not a lot of dynamic variation, so it's easy to find the right volume. Enough personality to keep a customer listening if the service is getting slow, but not enough to get in the way of business.
 

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Gruntled
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Lot of great suggestions so far. I'm impressed by the very astute response of Dr Fredke.

Just to mix it up a little, how about some ambient electronica? Thievery Corporation, Chemical Brothers, Orbital?

Oh, and I have to add "Maiden Voyage" by Herbie Hancock as one of my faves.
 

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Gruntled
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aliensporebomb said:
The choices made are all interesting and probably good choices to aid digestion.

But, I must make a recommendation: do NOT place Slayer on the playlist.
Yeah, Cannibal Corpse is probably a poor choice too.
 

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Registered
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Beware of the music licensing police

zeytin said:
Okay, I need you all to dig deep on this one.
I need to know the names of artists or albums to get for the restaurant. The music needs to be somewhat low-key while not being "muzak". We don't want people to choke on their pasta because someone hits a high note.
So far I've got George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal, Wes Montgomery, milder Mile's Davis, and Joe Pass among others.

Suggestions please?

As a former long time restaurant employee, beware of the music licensing police. They are the reason why you hear mostly musak in restaurants and shops. It will only be matter of time before they check out your husbands place. :cryin:
 

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Review RoadBike Member
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maybe traffic... especially The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.. maybe SOME Steely Dan... not all but some.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Seamusthedog said:
As a former long time restaurant employee, beware of the music licensing police. They are the reason why you hear mostly musak in restaurants and shops. It will only be matter of time before they check out your husbands place. :cryin:
As long as they keep their playlists and write the appropriate checks to ASCAP and BMI, no worries.
 

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Gruntled
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Seamusthedog said:
As a former long time restaurant employee, beware of the music licensing police. They are the reason why you hear mostly musak in restaurants and shops. It will only be matter of time before they check out your husbands place. :cryin:
For real? If you buy the CD, you can't play it in your restaurant? :confused:
 

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Is not a clown car
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If you have at least ONE idea for a band, artist or genre that you want to play, open up either last.fm or Pandora. Enter said qualifiers and copy down everything you hear. The Algorithms they use are really quite good at staying close to your initial artist.

For instance, the last station I entered into Last.fm was Iron + Wine. Aritsts I'm getting back: Sufjan Stevens, Sun Kil Moon, William Fitzimmons, Bon Iver, Great Lake Swimmers, etc.

For sure pick a genre or three. Don't stick to just one. And good luck in keeping Muzak out. They tend to force thier way in once they find out you don't pay royalties. One of the resturants I worked in was forced to install muzak in 5 smallish bagel stores. Even though there were decent enough stations to choose from, they were JUST like any other radio station. Set lists and over played songs/artists.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Jim Nazium said:
For real? If you buy the CD, you can't play it in your restaurant? :confused:
If you buy the CD you still have to pay licensing fees for playing it in public (broadcast it on the radio, play it in a restaurant, use it as background for a play or at a sports event...). Even if you play the radio at your restaurant you may have to pay licensing despite the fact that the radio station is already paying licensing fees to broadcast the music (there's an exemption from this for small establishments playing radio).

Seamusthedog is correct that the music industry sends people around to check up that restaurants, stores, etc. are properly paying licensing fees if they play music.
 
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