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#nowplaying with Fernando Ortiz Jr., TPR Editor

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Fernando Ortiz Jr. / Texas Public Radio
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TPR Editor Fernando Ortiz Jr.

I'm at my most introspective and creatively ambitious in the fall and winter. The nights are cooler. The air seems softer. It's around this time that I quietly evaluate my progress toward this year's objectives. There's still time to refine, speed up, slow down or realistically pivot to something new. It's a good time to look ahead as I look back, challenge myself to reach higher and also take it easy on myself when not every single objective is perfectly met.

As the seasons change, the music in my life also changes. The sultry, tropical songs of sunny spring and searing summer -- salsa, mambo, Latin jazz -- fade into scorched and cherished memory. As often as I can, during the serene evenings of the year's final weeks, I'll slowly slip on a cashmere sweater, gently drop a Luxardo cherry into my glass of bourbon, pick up my latest book and then lean back into my grandfather's soft armchair.

But before my eyes turn to the pages, I'll close them for a moment and savor some of the most beautiful and moving music I've ever heard. The songs deepen the introspection. They ease the sadnesses and re-ignite the imagination. They caress an old soul through the night.

Hands of Time -- Groove Armada

As the Years Go Passing By -- Mighty Joe Young

These Ain't Raindrops -- James Carr

Take Me -- Mable John

Straight From the Heart -- Irma Thomas

You'll Lose a Good Thing -- Barbara Lynn

To Hear You Say You're Mine -- Candi Staton

My Lover's Prayer -- Otis Redding

Ball n' Chain -- Big Mama Thornton