Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nerd bug bites - Overwatch Collector's Edition

I just couldn't resist the bit of the nerd bug after seeing this Overwatch Collector Edition offered online for a reduded price.  The art book and 12" figure, alone made it worth the price.  And someday when I buy a PS4, I'll get to play the game.

The packaging is insane. One of the best I've seen.

The goodies inside even better. A 12" figure of the Soldier:76 character (which the developer put in the game to attract Call of Duty gamers), the Blu-Ray game disc in a metal box, the game soundtrack, and 12 postcard of the game location.  Plus, in game goodies.

The art book is want I really wanted.

The postcards are cool, too.

So, once a nerd,  always nerd.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day, Jazz 90.1 (Goodies cont'd) Rodney Whitaker, Etiene Charles, and Chuck Mangione

This week's Sunday Music Muse day selections are the rest of the CDs we won at the auction at the Jazz90.1 annual Evening of Wine, Jazz & Art, at the Artisan Works. (see last week's entry)  First up, Rodney Whitaker When we Find Ourselves Alone. It a nice traditional jazz outing.

Next, is Etienne Charles, San Jose Suite.  The music of this CD "...exploits prodigious and protean talents in examining the history of African and First Nation peoples, their confrontation with colonial conquest and terror, and their remarkable and enduring cultural influence. The vast historical sweep of the Suite stretches from San Jose in Etienne’s native Trinidad to Costa Rica in Central America and San Jose in Northern California. (from the liner notes).  Hearing to this CD you can almost feel the Caribbean sun on your skin.

Okay, my last selection is well known Chuck Mangione, Greatest Hits.  I must confess that I maybe committing a sacrilegious act, by saying I'm not big a fan of Mangione, who is a local hero.  It may just be, for me, a case having heard "Chase the Clouds Away" and "Land of Make Believe"  one time too many.  I'll be donating this to my public library.

Again, these CDs will help fill the coming fall and winter day with hours of great listening.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Joey Alexander, Gerald Wilson, Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio

This week's Sunday Music Muse day selections are the result of attending the Jazz90.1 annual Evening of Wine, Jazz & Art, at the Artisan Works. an art gallery here in Rochester, NY.  My wife and entered a silent auction for station tote bag filled with CDs.  The name of the CDs weren't listed listed at the time of the bidding, so you had to trust in the good taste Jazz90.1 planner.  I'm happy to say we weren't disappointed.  I'll feature three of the CD this CDs this week and the remaining next week.
First up is Joey Alexander My Favorite Things, the 11 year old overnight sensation's first CD.  All the incredible praise and reviews calling this child prodigy a genius, is well deserve.  Within the first 2 minutes of hearing him play, your jaw will drop at realization the such mature, confident playing is coming from one so young.  Just amazing.

Next is Gerald Wilson Orchestra Detroit, a tribute to has home town, by the late bandleader who died in 2015 at the age of 96.  In September 2009, Wilson conducted his eight-movement suite "Detroit", commissioned by the Detroit Jazz Festival to mark its 30th anniversary.  This is swinging big band and wonderful tribute to Wilson long and storied career.

Finally, there is Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio is the drummer/leader's third going with this trio.  Quoting Dan Bilawsky from all about jazz,  "the focus toward pop-ish material from the '50s and '60s—the work of Bacharach, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, and others of that ilk—and put an audience in front of the band, recording live at Systems Two Recording Studio. Guests are part of the package again—now it's trumpeter Roy Hargrove and vocalist Cassandra Wilson, each appearing on a few tracks—and they help to add another wrinkle or two to the project without drawing focus away from the trio."  It's interesting that it's a live session where given just lead sheets. and no pre-concert rehearsal time. Talk about pressure, but the end results sounds great.

That's it for this week.  Enjoy.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Trio East, Clarlie Byrd, Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet,

This week's Sunday Music Muse Day again features some great local talent in Trio East, with Rich Thompson on drums, Clay Jenkins on trumpet, and Jeff Campbell on bass.  Lisa and I caught the first set of the Trio East performance at the Little Theatre Cafe on Friday night.  We're sorry we couldn't stay for the second set, seems we missed the horn player Jeff Beal playing with the group.  But before we left we were able to talk Rich Thompson and buy their latest CD, plus Rich throw a second at a heavy discount (thanks, again Rich).  I really like the both CDs, For the Love, and Best Bets.  They play a wide range of tunes from jazz standards and composers, plus striking originals.  My ears perk up at the tunes of guitarists John Scofield and John Abercrombie, two favorites of mine,which they presents on their live set and on CD.  Scofield and Abrcrombie don't get enough credit for their composing skills.  By all means, check out Trio East, whenever possible.  You're in for a treat.

In between rainy downpours today, I was able to hit the record shops and find two more interesting picks.  First is Charlie Byrd for Louis, by legendary guitarist Charlie Byrd, well known for introducing Brazilian "bossa nova" to the U.S. with Stan Getz on the classic LP Jazz Samba.  Sadly, For Louis, was his last studio recording, competed several weeks before he passed away on December 2, 1999.  This is sort of tribute to another legend and contemporary, Louis Armstrong, featuring tunes strongly associated with Louis.  It is a very fitting testament to the legacy of both of them.

My last selection was leap of faith, Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet Intents and Purposes. I didn't knew anything about the leader guitartist Rez Abbasi or the other palyers, but the tagline on the CD cover, "Acoustic Interpretations of 70's Jazz-Rock Classics" hooked me.  I know all the tunes listed and have the original LPs of all the artists. So, this was worth a chance.  I'm happy to say the group does a great job on these tune.  I'll be enjoying this CD many times over.  I'll have to look for Abbasi's other works.

That's it for the first Sunday Music Muse Day of October.  Fall is here, and winter is not far behind.  This is the perfect time to store up good music to warm your hearts on those cold days and night to come.  I know these selection will warm mine.  Enjoy.

For Throw Back Thursday - Old drawing

For Throwback Thursday, I pulled out this old drawing from the 70's (?) for post about Miles Davis. The face of the character reminders me of Miles. This guy may not make my Dime-A-Dozen project since I don't remember him having a back story.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Ken Burns Jazz, and Rhapsodies in Black - Music and Words from the Harlem Renaissance

This Sunday Music Muse Day picks are to celebrate the opening the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

What better way than with CD sets that showcase the musical heritage of African Americans that have enriched the full American experience.  First is the well known, Ken Burns Jazz - The Story of America's Music. This five CD set. and 44 page booklet, is the sound track companion piece to the well known film documentary.  I admit there are dis-tractors and critics of Burn's take on Jazz history, but never the less there is much to like in the collection. (which I pick up at the public library book store for $7.  So, support you local library when ever you can)

The second is the Rhino Records, Rhapsodies in Black - Music and Words from the Harlem Renaissance.  the Harlem Renaissance is defined as a period in the 1920s when African-American achievements in art and music and literature flourished.  The four CD set contains music, poetry, and a 96 page booklet with essays of, and about, the times.  (I saved this collection from the dumpster at my college library job, as they were weeding the collection.  It's really too good to toss)

The African American Museum and the music, and art of these CD set are not a separate history of this country, but a integral part of the fabric and essence of the American culture.  These are treasures to been celebrate and embraced by all, with honor and respect.  Enjoy.