Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Alan Holdsworth, a Tribute

Today's Sunday Music Muse day is in tribute to guitarist Allan Holdsworth who passed away unexpectedly this past Saturday , April 15, 2017.  He was one of my favorite Jazz Fusion guitarist, with a style and sound all his own.  This NPR radio post had a wonderful write up on him.

As I was visiting my local record shops for the 10th annual Record Store Day, Allan Holdsworth latest released Eidolon: The Allan Holdsworth Collection was a must have.  
 Eidolon is 2-Disc best of collection with the tracks chosen by Holdsworth himself form his solo group recording. It is curious to compare his best selection to your own favorites for his albums picks.

In sharing memories of him and his music with my friend, Rodney, I felt compelled to pullout all my Holdsworth LPs, CDs, with him as a leader and sideman.  I think I'm only missing three of his solo albums.  Seeing his name on other artists records lead me to pick them up.  Holdsworth also played with two of my favorite drummers, Tony Williams and Bill Bruford.

When I review my collection, I know I spend many hours of enjoyment listening to his music, and will continue to do so.  I guess that is the best legacy of any artist.  RIP, Allen Holdsworth, and thanks for the music.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday Music Muse Day - Eastman Jazz Trio, Wayne Shorter.

On this quiet Easter Day, I have just two Sunday Music Muse Day selections.  First is the Eastman Jazz Trio "the question is...". For non-locals, "This recording presents performances by the Eastman Jazz trio, the in-house faculty rhythm section of the Eastman School of Music" , Harold Danko on piano, Rich Thompson on drums, and Jeff Campbell on bass, with guest Clay Jenkins on trumpet, a new member of the jazz faculty at the time, leading to the formation of the Eastman Jazz Quartet.  Besides being well-respected teachers, they each have a impressive resume of music experience in the jazz world. I'm continually amazed at quality and quantity the Eastman School of Music contribution to Rochester's musical culture.  I've had the pleasure of meeting several Eastman faculty members, like Rich Thompson, Bob Sneider, and Mike Melito, attending many of their live gigs.  Picking up another one of their CDs is always treat.

Next is jazz legend (and that's no overstatement) Wayne Shorter Alegria, a 4/5 star rated CD the one reviewer called, "-- at least to many critics who welcomed his return to highly cerebral acoustic post-bop".  This is very adventurous outing that will leave you excited at the twist and turn Shorter still presents in his music that begs for repeated listening. 

 So, if no one has said it, have a wonderful, peaceful, Happy Easter and Passover.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Mingus, Steps Ahead, and Mocean Worker

After a snowy start to the week, the temperature is now in the 70s for this week's Sunday Music Muse Day featuring a range of music from Jazz classics to Dance Club remixes.  First up is a Rudy Van Gelder remastered CD of The Modern Jazz Quartet Django, the album that put the group on the international musical map.   The music of the MJQ is classic and very classy, just a joy to listen to at any time.

Next Is the legendary jazz bassist Charles Mingus, Mingus at Antibes, a live set recorded July 13, 1960 at the Antibes Jazz Festival, Juan-les-Pins, France.  This pure fiery Mingus at his best.

For my next selection, I have to admit sometimes nostalgia bites you in the ass. I picked up Steps Ahead NYC, since I have other records and CDs by them, but this 1989 session smack of Smooth Jazz from the very first cut.  I can only assume my taste have changed over the years to where I can't take this sound.  This may end up a Spring Cleaning item or donation to the library.

My final selection is Mocean Wonker Cinco de Mowo! as described on the All Music website "...veers happily back and forth between funky reappropriations of old big band music (check out the archaic but hard-edged "Shake Ya Boogie") and gleeful Latin jazz (check out the fun, if slightly repetitious, "OlĂ© Baby" and the more subtle and jazzy "Pretty")."  I have several Mocean Worker releases and enjoy how he uses samples of old jazz tunes. It's even music I can share with my college age sons.  I like to call out the original tunes for them.  I'm sure they appreciate it that fully now, but maybe later.

That's it for this week.  Hopefully, spring is here to stay.  I'm looking getting out and listening to more music, also our Rochester International Jazz Festival is coming up in June.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dime-A-Dozen Projects #4 - Minuteman & Falcon (not Marvel's Falcon)

[Dime-A-Dozen Projects is so named from a conversation with creative friends of mine as we lamented that when we were working full-time for someone else, 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.]

Next up in my Dime-a-Dozen projects is more characters created in my early teen years. (1962 - 1969) is....

Minuteman was inspired, of course by Marvel Comic's Captain America.  Cap was revived in the comic world in the mid-1960s with hsi appearance in Avenger no. 4.

 I loved Captain America, but wanted to design my own patriotic supertrooper.  The name Minuteman was picked because it was the mascot of my high school, Thomas Jefferson High School.

Of course I couldn't resist trying my hand at some Captain America comic art. It was a original story, with another Marvel favorite, Electra as a foe.  I did these sample pages to submit to Marvel Comics.  I did show them and got a nice rejection letter to prove it.

This is one of the last drawing of Minuteman done in the 2008.
 Falcon is character I created just based on the name and a costume idea.  
 Just by coincidence, Captain America introduced a partner called Falcon, who appears in the new movies.
 My Falcon had the ability to fly with the aid of gadget on his back, but other then that, I can't remember what else he had going for him.
So far, Falcon has flew his last, and Minuteman is retired, at least for now.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Steve Tibbetts, Jan Garbarek with Miroslav Vitous and Peter Erskine

Just a quick Sunday Music Muse Post with two selections I found last week at the Record Fair in the Southwedge, in here in Rochester, NY, at the Old German House.  Although, primarily set up for vinyl record hunter, I always find a couple of CDs of good music, these both being ECM releases.  First up, guitarist Steve Tibbetts A Man About A Horse.  I have some of his early work from the 1980s including his Safe Journey album, which is one of my favorites albums.  This 2002 CD, A man About a Horse, doesn't  match the intensity of Safe Journey but it is still a enjoyable outing.

The other ECM selection is Jan Garbarek with Miroslav Vitous and Peter Erskine, StAR.  Jan Garbarek's soprano and tenor saxophone playing is constant stable on many ECM recordings.  Bassist Vitous and drummer Erskine were both alumni of legendary fusion band Weather Report,  Vitous was one of the original co-founders of Weather Report, but left over creative difference with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter.  This CD is classic ECM, solid playing in am adventurous, thought provoking manner. As a reviewer Rick Anderson of the All Music website states, "On this leaderless trio album, as with most ECM releases, you get the feeling of music emerging from a vast and echoey space."  I agree it's well worth a listen.

   In these chaotic time, hope you can find some good music to get through the days.  Enjoy.

Dime-A-Dozen Project # 3 - Doctor Apollo and Ion, Solor-Naut

[Dime-A-Dozen Projects is so named from a conversation with creative friends of mine as we lamented that when we were working full-time for someone else, 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.]

Next up in my Dime-a-Dozen projects is more characters created in my early teen years. (1962 - 1969)

Doctor Apollo and Ion.

Doctor Apollo and Ion were a brother team, as best I can remember they were taking part in a solar energy experiment when it was attack by agents of an enemy government.  There was a explosion during the attack, resulting in the two brothers gaining super power enhanced by the sun.

I’m think these characters were inspired by Dell Comic Dr. Solar.

I did a lot of drawings of them but don’t have much in the way of story lines or plots written down about them.


The Solar-Naut seem to be another solar powered hero.  But, I’m thinking the may have been influenced by Iron Man, with the solar cell leg and arm bands being used instead of Tony Stark’s chest power core module.

There is one drawing of Ion and the Solar-Naut teaming to battle a Magneto-like character, who’s name escapes me.  “Magnus” (?)

This character with the 'Peace Sign" on his chest was a version  of the Solar-Naut so was a artificial body powered by a miniature nuclear heart, with muscles were made from a artificial muscle fiber (which is actually being developed today) activated by electric pulses.  He was scientist who's brain was transferred into a android body.

 Probably inspired my 8th Man, since it pre-dates Robocop by twenty year.  I can say 8th Man inspired  Robocop, too.
Next up will my Captain America inspired character.  Be sure to check in again.