Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Sneider, Pat Metheny

This will be a fun Sunday Music Muse Day post featuring two new releases.  First up,  John Sneider The Scrapper. The talent trumpet player with a long list of credits from his extensive experience in the New York jazz scene, and brother of guitarist and local hero Bob Sneider.  The title tune, "The Scrapper", John's nickname, kicks off this swinging set in blazing fashion.  I'm totally enjoying this and recommend it whole heartedly.  I got to see John play with Bob at New Year Eve gig at the Little Theatre Cafe several years back, where I got to meet his 20 year son Ben, who is on a tune, he wrote, on the CD.  Fruit doesn't fall far from this talented family tree.  I hope John brings his group to Rochester someday.  Until then, I 'll have to keep spinning this CD. (This CD cover is going become a jazz classic)


Next up is the latest by Pat Metheny From this Place.  It another fine example of his excellent guitar playing and his strong composing.  This session feature intimate small group interplay and full blown orchestral arrangement.  I was really struck by the crispness of the drums on this CD.  The artistry of Pat Metheny never ceases to amaze me.  I also highly recommend this.





What is left to say but, find yourself some music, and enjoy.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Doug Stone with Bob Snieder and Mike Melito

This  Sunday Music Muse Day find me, again, licking my wounds at missing the Bob Sneider Trio at Girasole Wine Bar.  This is the second time in a month I made reservations for Girasole gig, last time it was Mile Melito's Trio, but I got put on a waiting list and didn't get in.  At this point I've better luck scoring Rolling Stone tour tickets the a seat at Girasole.

So, I'll have to console myself with Bob and Mike playing on saxophonist Doug Stone's Motion CD.  My thanks to Tom Kohn owner of the Bop Shop Records for ordering some from Doug directly.  Tom says he going to bring Doug in for a concert. (You heard it here first, folks). In any case, it's a nice straight ahead jazz session with tasty playing all around. I hope the Bop Shop concert happens.


Luckily, I know I'll have a change to see Bob and Mike play, again soon.  Maybe I'll have to camp out in sleeping bag outside their next gig.  Lets hope for good weather.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Gene Bertoncini & Steve Greene, Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock and jack DeJohnette

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds us enjoy a blank of fluffy snow and very cold morning.  Just the recipe for a these jazz choice to warm the heart.  First up is guitar duo Gene Bertoncini and Steve Green Gene with Green. This CD offers a selection of jazz standards played excellently by Bertoncini on nylon string classic guitar and Greene in steel string archtop guitar. They have a local contact as they meet at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (Steve studied with Gene), forming a lasting friendship.  I'v had the pleasure of seeing Steve Greene play with the White Hots as will as having his Steve Greene Trio CD.  I hadn't seen Gene Bertoncini, yet, but hope he'll come the Rochester jazz festival, sometime.



To round out this quiet morning, Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, Somewhere CD.  Another fine Live set on the ECM label.  Maybe it's a sigh of mellowing out in my old age, but I'm finding myself exploring a lot more piano trio music, than I used to.  Keith's music hits the spot as long his 'nee...nee...nee" vocalizing doesn't distract from the playing (sorry Jarrett fans, that drives me nuts).





All in all, it's a nice way to spend the day.  Enjoy

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Mike Melito Trio, John Sneider

This Sunday Music Day find me kicking myself for missing the Mike Melito Trio as Girasole Wine Bar, late night.  Totally my fault.  I made a reservation and was put on a waiting list, but didn't hear my phone ring while at the noisy Jojo Bistro, with friends, when they called to say they had an opening.  So when we got Girasole the seats were gone.  Bob Sneider tried to get us in, but no luck, there were  four of us, so that made it harder.  In any case, the owners of Girasole did their best, they're alway great. We'll see guys at their next gig.

(Photo:  Arron Winters)

In the meantime, I'd like to give a heads up to new releases Mike, Bob, and his brother John Sneider have coming up. Mike and Bob are on the new release by Doug Stone another local musician, just released last week.  I looking forward to picking up a copy soon.
John Sneider has a new record, The Scrapper, coming out February 21.
Finally, Mike Melito announced has a new CD coming out in the spring.
(Photo: Arron Winters)
So,  all in all there will be plenty of good music coming my way in the near future.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Dime-A-Dozen Project #16 - Ruby, Galactic Gumshoe

Dime-A-Dozen Project #16 Ruby Galactic Gumshoe is a brief recounting of my effort to pitch and produce an animated project of the ZBS Foundation produced Adventures of Ruby: Galactic Gumshoe, a series of Sci-FI Fantasy audio adventures. ZBS Foundation is a non-for-profit organization that has been produce quality audio entertainment since the 1970s. I came across Ruby from an ad in the old Comic Buyers Guide, for the cassettes of Ruby's first stories, which aired on Public Radio stations across the country. I fell in love with the characters, the writing, music, and audio production.

I was inspired by Ruby and thought it would make a great animation project. While working in the animation business, I wanted to pitch original ideas and properties of others worthy of better exposure. Rudy was one of those properties. I did some concepts of the characters and wrote a brief series proposal to pitch to Disney TV Animation, where I was Co-Producer/Director on Disney's Gargoyles series. Disney passed on Ruby, so I set out to secure the rights myself, with the help of my agent, at the time.

I contact ZBS and they informed me the media rights for film and TV projects were sold to a Los Angeles producer, Lex Nakashima of LX Ltd. They were very helpful and encouraging, even sending me a copy of the original Ruby script. I contacted and met Lex was kind enough to give me a shoot at pitching Ruby around to studios, since his own efforts were in a dormant state. Once the rights were secured, I did a storyboard and animatic of the first Ruby story, to support the written proposal. I also, used the images from the animatic to made a Dragonfly Flipz book. Unfortunately, after several years of trying no project could be secure. (it didn't help my last pitch meeting was cancel as it fell on 9/11/ 2001, yes that 9/11) My agreement with Lex ended and last i heard another producer had taken the rights. That was well over 12 years ago, and I haven't seen any mention of a Ruby project. So, Ruby enters my Dime-A-Dozen Project archive.

Happily, ZBS Foundation is still going strong. i still hope someone makes a Ruby movie or TV series someday. This video is the latest installment of my Dime-A-Dozen Projects, so named from a conversation with creative friends of mine as we lamented that when we were working full-time for someone else, like Disney, Warner Bros , and Sony, we get these (in our minds) original million dollar ideas, that would, somehow, turn into "dime-a-dozen" ideas when we were out of work and on our own. I have tons of unfinished projects in the form of character sketches, incomplete written outlines, half drawn comic pages, and full illustrations. You get the idea, a "dime-a-dozen" idea. I'm feeling the need to catalog for my own sanity and for a simple record to leave my kids, and as I said above, along the way rekindle my creative juice and start drawing again. Enjoy.


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Nicki Parrott, David Finck

This Sunday Music Muse Day find us heading the New Year, for better or worst (depending how much you follow current events) with a sense of hope, or dread.  In any case there is alway music to ease our anxiety.  Today selections were actually prizes won by ruffle at the Jazz90.1 radio station Holiday Party for staff and volunteers, just before Christmas.  Both are a little out of my jazz comfort zone, but pleasant.  First up is Nicki Parrott From New York to Paris, a collect of vocals and tasty bass playing from a musician I hadn't heard of before. Although the liner notes states she was the bassist for guitar legend Les Paul for ten years.  That fact alone was worth a listen.  Plus, and she has 27 albums releases. This CD is more "lounge jazz" for my taste, but the quality of her singing, playing and recording production is top notch.  In fact, the CD is listed on a best jazz of the year list I've seen online.  It will make for dinner background music for the most part, for me.




My second selection David Finck BASSically Jazz, again a bassist lead group, featuring Joe Locke on vibes.  This CD also is more "lounge jazz" for my taste, especially the three vocal tracks, but well played.  But, I just may wrong about these two CDs and maybe they'll grow on me.



So, here wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and here's hoping sharing a little music will give you comfort in these uncertain times.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Dime-A-Dozen Projects #15 - Comic Book / Video Adaptations - Concrete, Warrior in the Mist (Eternal Warrior), Valiant Promos


Comic Book / Video Adaptations.



Comic Book /Video Adaptations was my attempt at what as come to called "Motion Comics", done back in 1991 when computer graphic and computer based editing was just starting. My inspiration was the low budget limited animation TV show of my youth (1960s), Space Angel, Clutch Cargo and the early Marvel Comic TV series that used actually art work of jack Kirby and other artists.



I love the art of Alex Toth on Space Angel, although I didn't know his name at the time as I watched as a kid. I remember making hand drawn flipbooks and drawing cut-away diagrams of the Starduster spaceship,


The first Marvel Comic TV show had a special appeal to me, as they featured the same art I was seeing in my comics at the time.   Other superhero animated shows, although better quality always looked so tame compared the comic book art. It would take decades for the TV animation to get it with Batman: The Animated Series, and X-Men.

My concept was to blend my love animation with my renewed interest in comics after putting comic aside for several years before (late '70's).  While working on the Adventures of the Galaxy Ranger in the mid-80s, my younger co-workers introduced me to the new independent creator-owner comics like Steve Rude's Nexus, and Paul Chadwick's Concrete.  I planed to interest companies like Dark Horse in doing video promos for their comic convention booth, and the longer form videos, for VHS sales.  I actually had contacted Dark Horse and sent them a proposal, with a budget, but nothing happen with. But, that wasn't the last dealing with Dark Horse, I contacted they again for my Dragonfly Flipz Books project, the subject of a future Dime-A-Dozen Project blog.

I choose a story of Paul Chadwick's Concrete as my first attempt. I was a big fan of Paul's work in Dark Horse Presents and the Concrete titled comics DH published during the B&W indie publishing craze of the mid-80s.


"Watching a Sunset" simple graphic presentation seem prefect for animation. My Comic Book / Video Adaptations were done on my Amiga 2000 computer, by using a hand scanner to digitize the comic book panels into Deluxe Paint, an early digital paint and animation program. The color palate was limited to 64 colors. I remember doing the color still shots first, and liking the way they came out, I tried animate shot of Concrete walking underwater and like that, too, So, I committed to doing the whole story. Of course, I never fully finished the coloring, not sure why.

Warrior in the Mist (Eternal Warrior)

Warrior in the Mist video was featured in my DIme-A-Dozen Project #14. The version in the post features the original planned introduction text crawl. The quote seem to fit with the "Eternal Warrior" title better than the "Warrior in the Mist" title, so I cut it from the Warrior final video.

Valiant Comic Book Promos.

The Valiant Comic Promo was attempt to offer my Comic Book / Video Adaptation for comic con use.  I had worked on several Valiant Nintendo comics, and made my promo based on ads for the Valiant relaunched Gold Key comic characters Magus Robot Fighters and Doctor Solar.  all the animation and sound was produced in the Amiga 2000 computer. Somehow, the interest was never there to follow up on the video promos, so this is all that was done.  I concentrated on trying get my Warrior in the Mist comic published (see the full story in Dime-A-Dozen #14}



I also used the graphic images for a ashcan flipbooks.  I give several a couple of Valiant artists.


Here's the Solar: Man of the Atom I pulled the art from for the Solar promo.


About the Dime-A-Dozen Projects:

This video is the latest installment of my Dime-A-Dozen Projects, so named from a conversation with creative friends of mine as we lamented that when we were working full-time for someone else, like Disney, Warner Bros , and Sony, we get these (in our minds) original million dollar ideas, that would, somehow, turn into "dime-a-dozen" ideas when we were out of work and on our own. I have tons of unfinished projects in the form of character sketches, incomplete written outlines, half drawn comic pages, and full illustrations. You get the idea, a "dime-a-dozen" idea. I'm feeling the need to catalog for my own sanity and for a simple record to leave my kids, and as I said above, along the way rekindle my creative juice and start drawing again. Enjoy.