The Music of Detective Harry Bosch

Perhaps you’ve seen the series on Amazon – Bosch – or read the books written by Michael Connelly on which the series is based.

I was all caught up on my Harlan Coben reading, so I was looking for a new author to start in on, and after a bit of searching, I came across Michael Connelly (the fact that he was from Philly was the tipping point).

At this point, I’ve only read the first novel in the Bosch series, and it was quite good, and so I’ve started in on the second one.

I found out about the TV series at the same time I bought his first book; the TV show is mentioned on the cover. So after I read the first book, I suggested to my wife and son that we check out the series. So far, we’ve watched the first two seasons, and are about halfway through the third. Like the books, it is quite good.

One of the recurring parts of both the books and the TV series is frequent mention of jazz music. My guess is that Michael Connelly must be a jazz lover.

I don’t know much about jazz, and just reading about it in the novels didn’t do much to make me any more familiar with it, but it did make me a little curious. But then once we started watching the series, and hearing the jazz music playing in the background, or listening to Bosch teach his daughter about jazz, made it come alive.

So when I thought of writing a Music Monday post about the jazz music in Bosch, I wasn’t sure to what extent I could do so, since I have not read all the novels and I am not that familiar with jazz to start with.

Fortunately, a Google search revealed that Michael Connelly actually has a web page devoted to the music mentioned in his books. He lists the music both alphabetically by artist as well as by novel. For example, here’s the list of artists/music mentioned in the first novel:

Branford Marsalis
Frank Morgan
John Coltrane, “Soul Eyes”
Sonny Rollins, Falling In Love With Jazz
Wayne Shorter, “502 Blues”
Jimi Hendrix, “Purple Haze”

I also came across a site that is dedicated to providing the music that is part of the TV series, broken down by each season and episode. So for example, the listing for the first season includes the following songs:

Lullaby by Frank Morgan
The Sermon by Hampton Hawes
Solamente by Jonathan Marsh
Heavy Dreams by Lloyd Price
Spark Plug by Melvin Sparks
Homefulness by Bonfire Madigan
I Had a Dream by Jimmy Witherspoon
Wicked Rain by Los Lobos
Patricia by Art Pepper

I am not familiar with most of the songs/artists mentioned in either list, so I thought it was time to start expanding my music knowledge, particularly with respect to jazz.

Thanks to good old YouTube, I was able to find these songs, and I thought I’d share a few of those songs. For those of you already familiar with the songs, hopefully listening to them brings back good memories. For those of you new to jazz or these particular artists, I hope you enjoy them and that perhaps they will become part of your music library.

Since Michael Connelly has produced a documentary about Frank Morgan, I thought I would start there, with Lullaby:

and here’s Soul Eyes by John Coltrane

The Sermon by Hampton Hawes

Wicked Rain by Los Lobos:

Patricia by Art Pepper:

Branford Marsalis. I’ve heard of him, but since there is no specific song mentioned, I just picked one at random off YouTube, The Ruby and the Pearl (I like the name):

And if this isn’t enough, there’s even a Harry Bosch playlist on Spotify.

Enjoy, and thanks to Michael Connelly for offering me a somewhat guided tour of the world of jazz.

I am sure there will be updates to this post as I discover more of the music of Detective Bosch…

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