February is known for Love of Reading, Mardi Gras, winter weather, African American history, St. Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day. It’s also Creative Romance Month. We recommend engaging with what you love–be it books, sweethearts or, as we suggest today, romantic albums. The weather may be chilly, but these selections will warm you up. Whether you prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day, cozy up to these five albums to inspire creative romance. Enjoy these musical samples and be sure to check out the stellar selection of vinyl, CDs and more at your local Bookmans.

Bookmans Recommends: Five Creatively Romantic Albums

St. Dominic’s Preview, Van Morrison
This Belfast-native’s album is one of Van Morrison’s more obscure yet incredibly brilliant works. St. Dominic’s Preview combines Irish elements with soul and stream of consciousness. Recorded during his time in San Francisco, Morrison’s rambling poetic lyrics reference redwood trees and Safeway supermarkets. Released in 1972, Rolling Stone named St. Dominic’s Preview, “the best-produced, most ambitious Van Morrison record yet released.”

Blue Train, John Coltrane
John Coltrane is a king among jazz musicians, recording this ahead-of-its-time album in 1957. Blue Train is comprised of Coltrane originals plus a heartening cover of Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern’s I’m Old Fashioned. These innovative compositions create the feeling of warmth, a perfect refuge from stormy weather.

Small Town Heroes, Hurray for the Riff Raff
Prolific and talented songwriter, Alynda Lee Segarra fronts the folk, blues, soul smorgasbord that is Hurray for the Riff Raff. Small Town Heroes includes the honky-tonk tunes, I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright) and The Body Electric, gender-twisting spins on classic murder ballads. Get the marshmallows and Hershey bars ready because Small Town Heroes is s’mores-worthy.

Self Titled, Buena Vista Social Club
Buena Vista Social Club is an ensemble of musicians who pay homage to their namesake–a 1940s concert and dance hall in Havana, Cuba. From minor-key masterpiece Chan Chan to the fiery trumpet solo of Candela, this album is a charming tribute to classic Cuba. The call and response vocals between Ibrahim Ferrer and fellow band mates inspire camaraderie and contentment.

Little Girl Blue, Nina Simone
Recorded when she was 25 years old, Little Girl Blue is Nina Simone’s debut album. Merging classical piano technique with jazz standards and Nina’s incredible je ne sais quoi, this collection is an opus of creativity. Simone walks the bass clef on My Baby Just Cares for Me and infuses Love Me or Leave Me with Baroque panache. The re-imagined jazz standards of Little Girl Blue foreshadow her eminent success and capture the essence of a starry evening.

Grab a blanket, build a crackling fire and break out one of these records. Full of charm, mystery and magic, these romantic albums ensure enchanting evenings. Stop by your favorite Bookmans location to find these and other excellent albums on CD, cassette or vinyl. Our friendly music buyers are happy to help. Here’s to a warm and happy Creative Romance Month!

* Bookmans is your store to explore. If you would like to pick up any of these albums, please give us a call and we will check our shelves for you. Otherwise, we hope you will come and browse.