Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kalnein Fischbacher Group, Sunny Jain Collective, and Al Di Meola World Sinfonia

This week's Sunday Music Muse Day features a batch trio of new artists, and an old favorite. First up, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Caipi.  I've read about this young guitarist as being uprising star on the jazz scene. It's seems he has been around awhile and has a solid growing following. But this is my first extended listen to him, and I must admit, I'm not hearing what all the fuss is about.  The music here borders on "Smooth Jazz" to my ears.  One online reviewer gave Caipi 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.  While another said, "For the music from "Caipi... sounds virtually nothing like what listeners have come to expect from him during the past couple of decades."  So I'm of the mind to seek out his earlier record before giving final judgement.

My next new artist (at least to me) is Kalnein Fischbacher Group - One Man Disco.  I freely admit this CD cover art caught my eye, first. This quote from their web page gives a hint of what to expect: "With post-modern vigor this remarkable quartet morphs trace elements of Jazz, Rock and Indian music into the present, where they flitter throughout the eight original compositions by the two bandleaders, underscored with rhythmic furor and melodic flights of inspiration."  The only online reviews give them 5/5 stars.  I found the music adventurous very much like the post-Weather Report world music of Joe Zawinul.  This music can't be pigeon-hole in any one category, it just needs to be enjoy on it's own merit.  I like it.

The next selection is Sunny Jain Collective - Mango Festival.  I picked up this drummer's CD because I saw one of his sidemen was guitarist Rez Abbasi who's CDs I had picked up this last year.  Reading the liner notes it states Sunny Jain was raised in Rochester, as noted in a online profile: "Born to Punjabi immigrant parents and raised in Rochester, NY, Jain has become an highly recognized musician who's group, Sunny Jain Collective, has been touted as a leading voice for the new music Indo Jazz (a movement of first-generation South Asians equally steeped in the jazz tradition and the music of their cultural heritage). With 3 critically acclaimed CD releases (another 20 as a sideman), multiple tours throughout the world, and numerous of media accolades, Jain is an Indian-American trailblazer."  His resume will make you head spin.  He's very talented. this CD is great introduction, I'll be seek out his other works.  It shows the strength of diversity.

My last selection is by a old favorite guitarist Al Di Meola with his World Sinfonia - The Grande Passion. A review on All Music website states, "A rich, moody tapestry with flashes of fire, this CD incorporates elements of jazz, fusion, classical, Latin, tango, and Middle Eastern music", earning it a 4/5 star review. This music beyond fusion and enjoyable to the max.

Again, these selections shows the riches cultural diversity can offer us, if we open our hearts and minds to it. Enjoy.

Bargain bin shopping for Books

I was bargain bin shopping yesterday at Ollie's, an local discount store, and find these cheap. The Art of Naughty Dog book $4.99 (list $39), Hellboy Companion $2.99 (list $14,95), and How to Draw Fantasy $1.95 (list ?).

 Ollie's has tons of overstock of books, and DVDs. Only when I got home I realized Naughty Dog mentioned Joe Pearson for the creation of Crash Bandicoot.

 The Hellboy Companion book might come in handy with the Hellboy movie re-launch. It give nfo on all the characters, and has ton of spot drawing. The How to Fantasy Style was just too cheap to pass up. I'm not familiar with the artist/writer but the book is well printed, could be a nice gift, or stocking stuffer.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Music Muse day - Jazz Masters of Acoustic Guitar, Tal Farlow, Charlie Haden, and Charlie Parker

Another Sunday Music Muse Day to share recent additions to my music stash. First up is an anthology CD that compliments the Hitting on All Six, Jazz guitar CD set I featured before.  Jazz Masters of the Acoustic Guitar, and some Bluesmen Too is a set of cuts featuring mostly pre-WWII acoustic jazz guitar players before guitarist were fully plugged in.  Besides Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, many are fairly new to me.  Listening to this CD is nice way to fill in a gap in my jazz guitar history.  (Someone should do a online course in history of jazz guitar)

Keeping in the jazz guitar vain, next up it is The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow, the legendary guitarist with his well regarded trio. This is a re-release of a Verve album produced my Norman Granz, the notable record producer of many classic records.  This CD has several additional cuts, and alternate takes, not on the original vinyl release. Being recorded in 1956, you can hear the be-bop influence.  The quick tempos take a little getting used to, for me.  Lisa felt the same way, and also mentioned she could hear where Bob Snieder picked up a few things.  I'm sure Bob studied Tal Farlow's playing at some point.

Next is a nice two CD set from the late Charlie Haden, the stellar bass player.  Charlie Haden - the Private Collection is a record of two concerts, first for his 50th birthday on August 6, 1987, and the second concert April 4, 1988, the following year.  One nice touch is that he played a Pat Metheny tune Farmer's Trust on both dates.  Metheny doesn't play on these dates, but the Haden and Metheny duets, and group outings, are  some of my favorite listening.

Last, but not least, is my filling a giant hole in my jazz collection, Charlie Parker - Yardbird Suite, The Ultimate Charlie Parker Collection.  Of course, I have Charlie Parker playing on Miles Davis records, and have heard him countless times on the radio, thanks to DJs like Tom Pethic. But as guitar-centric guy, I didn't have any Charlie Parker albums or CDs as a leader.  Now I feel a weight of jazz guilt has been lifted.  The package comes with a informative 59 page booklet which I plan to read as listen the music for added pleasure.

In these tense day in the era of Trump, I finding music is comforting safe haven from all the noise.  Hope you find your safe place to enjoy the music you like.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bob Sneider & Paul Hoffman, Jim Hall, Tony Willams, and The Horace Silver Quintet.

Today's Sunday Music Muse Day finds me in better health than last week, which caused me to miss posting.  (The less said about my stomach flu, the better.) So, on to the music. A couple of weeks ago I missed a club date by one local favorite guitarist Bob Sneider and his trio.  I had also missed a current duo performance by Bob and pianist Paul Hofman, as fate would have I was able to find a CD, Bob Sneider and Paul Hofman Escapade, as cosmic conciliation prize.  So this is an exciting, enjoyable find. Escapade is a follow up to duo's Interconnection CD. 

Next up, is a classic, Jim Hall Live.  This is a perfect jazz guitar album (released on CD) of the legendary guitarist.  It a mesmerizing listening to the music on this set.  This album/CD should be in every jazz fan's collection.  I say is would be a great CD to introduce a non-jazz fan to the music. Even the cover is just a classic design. I have to admit I immediately thought this could be a Bob Sneider set list, and I know I've heard him play these, except maybe one. That is actually a strength of jazz, hearing the echos of legends in younger players, not copying, but adding their voice to the jazz legacy.

Next, lets stick to the classic vein, The Horace Silver Quintet, Song for My Father.  The title song is a such iconic jazz tune, I know I have it on many jazz collections, but it is nice to have it on the original release.  As an added bonus there are three tunes recorded but left off the original release because they couldn't fit on a vinyl record.  Another favorite tune of my is Lonely Woman is covered by many artists. Finally, the cover photo of Horace Silver is also so heart warming, and inviting.  Just Classic.

Rounding out my selections is Tony Williams The Story of Neptune, an excellent example of the late drummer's compositional talents, in a acoustic jazz settings. The all music site give this a 4 1/2 out of 5 star rating.  It's hard to argue with that.

I really have a back log of interesting CD to share in the coming weeks, so be true check back on Sunday. Enjoy the music of your choice.  It's one of the easiest way to relieve stress in these troubled times.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

High Priestess of the Drillian Empire - Taligunner Jones

Here's another sketch to shake off the creative cobwebs.  She's a original character from one of my Dime-a-Dozen Projects, 'Tailgunner Jones', a space opera. This is the High Priestess, an politically embattled ruler, who talks to the bust of her late husband when she feels the weight of her station closing in on her. This week is the SDCC, and I'm sure there will be enough news to inspire me, so on to next drawing.

Here's a title screen for Tailgunner Project is a original version of the High Priestess. 

 More of the Tailgunner Jones project is be revealed in it's own Dime-a-Dozen post.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - ECM Editons, Wes Montgomery, Starbuck coffee shop CD

For this Sunday Music Muse day, we're finally catching a break in the weather, with no rain, or thunderstorms, of the past week. also missed posting, due to being out of town on vacation, part of which includes limited internet access.  Actually, that's a good thing to do sometimes.  When traveling I like to take a couple of jazz complication CDs along, so when we travel through a radio music waste land, we have a few good tunes to listen to. So here's what I took:
ECM Editions a collection of cuts from release, which I'm glad to say I have a lot of them.

Next, was one of those Starbuck coffee shop CDs, Jazz: Unrehearsed Perfection. This is a  Starbucks compilation of Impulse (jazz label) cuts. The second title is a Duke Ellington-Coleman Hawkin's cut, "Limbo Jazz", which has my father playing drums and vocalizing on. I picked this up a year before I found the full CD of the album.

My last travel CD was Wes Montgomery Echoes of Indiana Avenue. Actually, not really a compilation, but very tasty. So much so, I just left it in the car CD player as we cruised around Frankfort, Mi, taking in the sites, visiting family, etc.

So, I 'm back, but still on vacation allowing me plenty of time to enjoy a lot more tunes.

My reflection on Jack Kirby Disney Legends tribute at D23 Expo 2017

As one of the millions of artists who he inspired for the price of a 10 cent comic of my youth, I can't begin to the find words of gratitude to thank Jack Kirby: The King of Comics, the way he influenced, amazed, and encouraged me, without ever knowing me. I did see him once at a comic con, and envy friends who knew him personally. When the desire to do comic books took hold for me in my teens, I thought, it would be the greatest honor to do comics and inspire some future budding artist. I never did many comic books, only a couple of pages, professionally. I can only hope one of the projects I worked on in my art /animation career may have inspired at least one kid to follow their dream of being a artist as Jack Kirby did for me. In many ways. I'll keep trying, because I owe that to Jack.