Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Music Muse - Tal Farlow and Lenny Breau, Dave Holland

Welcome to another Sunday Music Muse Day with a alternative suggested activity to watching football, listening to these jazz selections.  First up, is a meeting of two legendary guitarists, Tal Farlow & Lenny Breau Chance Meeting, as stated in this All Music review by Ken Dryden: "The one-time meeting between guitarists Tal Farlow and Lenny Breau came about because Lorenzo DeStefano, who was making a PBS documentary (Talmage Farlow) in 1980, wanted a meeting between the veteran and a rising star. Farlow suggested Breau, and an invitation was extended and immediately accepted by the younger man. After the musicians spent time conversing in Farlow's New Jersey home, they moved to The Sign of the Times, a small nightclub in the tiny town of Rumson, to weave their musical magic. Although this was their first and only performance together, they complement one another's playing as if they had worked as a regular duo."  Great stuff.  I'll have to look up the documentary.

Next up is a more progressive jazz CD, Dave Holland Prism. All Music reviewer Matt Collar said: "His 2013 album, Prism, finds Holland returning to his crossover funk roots with an able-bodied quartet. Featured here are former Tonight Show guitarist Kevin Eubanks, pianist/Rhodes keyboardist Craig Taborn, and drummer Eric Harland. All of these musicians have reputations for playing adventurous, genre-bending styles of jazz, making them perfectly suited for the project at hand."  I enjoyed the music but I found sound of the recording to be lacking to my ear, but I can't quite put my finger on the reason. I'll had to give it more listening.

 So, the TV football season ramps up try to find some time for good music, recorded, and live. Enjoy

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Gerry Mulligan and Johnny Hodges, Les McCann and Eddie Harris

This week's Sunday Music Muse Day finds the weather turning cooler in definite hint of fall in the air. All the more reason to cue up so warm jazz. First up, Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges, the excellent set described in the liner note by famed jazz critic Nat Hentoff as "particularly attractive in the wholly casual air. There's is no stain, no trace of pretentiousness."  This could be labeled West Coast jazz, recorded in LA, as Gerry Mulligan well known baritone saxophone player leading his own groups in the "cool jazz" of that time, 1959. While Johnny Hodges was still a featured saxophonist with Duke Ellington.  Apparently, they admired each others play a long while before getting together for this session. The session features three tunes from each of them.  Well worth listening to, while settling in with a warm drink on cool afternoon.

Next is a re-issued classic, Les McCann & Eddie Harris Swiss Movement, the Montreux 30th Anniversay Edition, released by Rhino Record and Atlantic Record. I usually resist buying a CD of music I already own on vinyl record but this has an extra unreleased track. By all account this historic recording should have been a disaster. A live recording of musicians, Les McCann (piano and vocals), Eddie Harris (tenor sax), Benny Baily (trumpet), Leroy Vinneger (bass) and Donald Dean (drums), who barely knew each other, thrown together at the last minute, with no planned music, no rehearsals, "no time for a sound check, and the PA system is feeding back", against all odds Swiss Movement became one of the most popular jazz album ever record. As noted on Wikipedia, "The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best jazz performance, small group. It reached No. 1 on Billboard's jazz album chart, No. 2 on the R&B chart, and No. 29 on the LP chart." Compared to What, the best known tune, sold millions as a single.  The music is still fresh as it was in 1969.

Winter is coming, but lets not rush and just enjoy the coming fall weather.  I personally like the change of seasons, for the sense of rest and renewal. Enjoy

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Al DiMeola. Gilah Hekelman, my Warped Sky - Stray Clouds

I back after a summer break in August, due to a vacation, and basic summer laziness.  But, I did manage to pick up some new music to share. So, first up is Al Di Meola Elegant Gypsy and More Live. This latest CD from the jazz fusion guitarist best known for his work with Chick Corea's Return to Forever, the pioneering Jazz Fusion group in the 1970's and beyond.  This CD finds Di Meola revisiting tunes from his early solo album, Elegant Gypsy, made after he left RTF. for the most part the material holds up nicely.  I not overly impressed with the drummer.  (Also, I think Al's cover pose is pretentious)

My second pick is from one of the new generation of jazz guitarists, Gilad Hekselman Ask for Chaos.  I think I came across him on jazz post spotlighting new talent.  This CD is actually is just being released next week, Sept. 7.  it must have been a reviewer's copy.  Lucky I found it.  I can heard strains of Bill Frisell and John Abercrombie in his playing, and that's not a bad thing.

Here's another original tune as part of my Warped Sky - Stray Clouds project is Why Should I care? Warped Sky - Stray Cloud, is a combination of songs from old tapes and new renditions of original tunes written and played by me in the 1980s. . This started are just a collection of chords and no lyrics. This video has my first complete version played against a Band in a Box backing tracking. I have to admit musically it goes nowhere. I can't even label it "elevator music". I was trying for the feel of a Pat Metheny I like "Tell Her You Saw me", or Jeff Beck's "We Ended as Lovers, but I just couldn't pull it off. Still, it's another song off my incomplete list.
Hopefully I can stay on a better schedule with upcoming blog post, as Fall arrives. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan Paul Desmond Quartet, Warped Sky - Stray Cloud

Welcome to another Sunday Music Muse post.  This week offers a series of double doses of baritone sax goodness, in the person of Gerry Mulligan, on a legendary label, with a legendary producer.  First is Getz Meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi, which finds another giant of the saxophone, Stan Getz, joining Gerry Mulligan for a October 1957 session produce by Norman Granz for the Verve label.  You can't get more steeped in jazz legacy than that.  They even swapped horn on the last three tunes, so you get to hear both play tenor and baritone saxophones.  This re-release also includes tunes not on the original album. That's nice treat. I'll have to review my Jazz history, Mulligan and Getz are considered part the West Coast jazz of that period considered softer that the East coast player.  They sound good to me.

Next up is the Gerry Mulligan Paul Desmond Quartet, recorded in August of 1957.  Again, this of product of Verve, and Norman Granz. The liner notes states Mulligan and Desmond first played together when Desmond sat in with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, who Desmond famously played with, at Carnegie Hall (NYC) in 1954.  Mulligan said they formed "a natural affinity".  It wasn't until this 1957 date the that affinity was fully explored.  Lucky of all music fans it was.

Here's another original tune is part of my Warped Sky - Stray Clouds project. Warped Sky - Stray Cloud, is a combination of songs from old tapes and new renditions of original tunes written and played by me in the 1980s. Today's tune is Without You - Mystical Heart. This started are just a collection of chords. Somehow I had two different songs with the title "Without You", one with lyrics and this one without.  This video has my first complete version played against a Band in a Box backing tracking.  A feature in Band in A Box suggest song titles based on the chord and it suggested "Mystical Heart", it's not a bad title, so I added it.  Another feature is the video of the real musician playing the musical part, in this case the guitar solo. It's curious my ballads start to sound Country, which I never really like.  That may be the Band the Band tracks style. Still, it's another song off by incomplete list. For added plus I used an old illustration of mine in the video.
Enjoy, your week.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Starcom: The U.S. Space Force

StarCom, The U.S. Space Force animated series should have been the first thought with talk of Space Force that surfaced this past week.. It has "Space Force" in it's title. It was a well produced animated TV show. Here a copy of the show's promo kit, used to present the show to distributor.  I think the TMS, a well known Japanese animation company did the show.  I bet several of my animation friends must have had a hand in the art design.

 StarCom have some good action sequences. Well worth looks for a well animated pre-CGI show with a lot of space hardware.  Enjoy.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Triocity with Rich Thompson, Thelonious Monk

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds the starting weekend of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  I hope to get to a few concerts and shows.  Unfortunately I'll miss my first selection performance tonight, Triocity I believe in You, with local drummer Rich Thompson.  I'll have to console myself with listening to this recent release, a solid set of post-bop playing.  I'll be sure to catch one of Rich's gig soon.

My second selection is a classic, Thelonius Monk Underground.  This CD is a nice reissue of the classic album with several added bonus track not on the original album.  The cover photo is amazing.  Listening  to Monk's music is always adventurous and intriguing experience. I'm sure a couple of Monk tunes will be played by some jazz artist during this week's festival.

 If you in the local area, do yourself a favor and get attend the Jazz Festival, many events are free. It looks Rochester at it;s best.  Lisa and I are Jazz 90.1 Street Team Volunteers and will be manning the booth during the last weekend. See you there.