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Trans-Atlantic, uTunes, The Kiss-o-Meter

Very Short List delivers one excellent item to your inbox, daily: Books, films, music, web-things, and dispatches on science and technology. Click through to find a must-have jazz collection, request a personalized song, and learn when to move in for that first kiss.

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VERY SHORT LIST

Trans-Atlantic
Atlantic Records Diplomacy What is Jazz?
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BOX SET
Hommage à Nesuhi

Nesuhi Ertegun (1917-1991) arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1934, when his father became Turkey’s ambassador to the United States. His brother, Ahmet, went on to start Atlantic Records – which became the home of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and the Rolling Stones. And in 1955, Nesuhi, who’d been running jazz labels on the West Coast, became a jazz producer for the company.

In the years to come, Nesuhi would produce classic records by Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Charles. And this beautifully packaged, five-disc release – the last project assembled by his protégé Joel Dorn, who died in 2007 – gives us the fullest sense of Nesuhi’s achievement. You’ll hear standards (the Modern Jazz Quintet’s “Summertime”), groundbreaking recordings (Yusef Lateef’s “In a Little Spanish Town”), and live performances (by Charles, Ray Bryant, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk). You’ll also get a coffee-table book (with essays by Nat Hentoff, Leiber and Stoller, and Dr. John) and a portfolio of excellent, framable photos. Yes, Hommage à Nesuhi is expensive – it retails for $149.98 – but the extras turn this limited-edition (3,000 numbered copies) set into a jazz fanatic’s dream come true.

BUY Hommage à Nesuhi

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VSL:WEB

uTunes
Lazy Sunday Vinyl Record Generator Your Song
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SERVICE
Songs to Wear Pants To

Ladies and gentlemen, Andrew Huang is taking requests. Visit his website, Songs to Wear Pants To, tell him your stories, and he’ll set them to song.

Huang, who is based in Toronto, does do pro bono work, but if you’re looking for a ghostwritten valentine, jumping the queue will cost you. (The rates go from $50 to $200 per song minute.) You can pick out the lyrics, genres, and instruments, or give the artist free rein. But before you do, visit the site’s archive and hear the hundreds of silly, infectious, heartfelt ditties he’s already recorded: “Never Been in Love,” “You Love Her So Much It’s Embarrassing,” and “Stacey, Be My Barbie Doll” are especially good.

VISIT Songs to Wear Pants To

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VSL:SCIENCE

The Kiss-o-Meter
Body odor diagnosis Butyric acid Halitosis
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GADGET
The Kiss-o-Meter

The trouble with bad breath is that the people closest to it can’t smell it. It’s up to us to tell (or not tell) them. And either way, we lose. Now, just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’ve found a product that does the job for us.

The Kiss-o-Meter detects volatile sulfurous compounds released by the bacteria that feast on food particles trapped between our teeth. (Brushing, flossing, and tongue scraping help, but there’s no fail-safe way to fight halitosis.) So breathe into this $30 device, wait a few seconds, and you’ll know whether there’s something your friends aren’t telling you: If only one out of five hearts lights up, it’s definitely time for an Altoid.

BUY the Kiss-o-Meter

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