Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Music Music Day - Bill Frisell Thomas Morgan, Gary Burton.

Today's Sunday Music Muse Day founds me recovering from the annual madness of Record Store Day.  I hit my favorite shops, Bop Shop Records, Record Archives, and Hi-Fi Lounge, just to soak in the excitement, and ran to Derrick Lucas, and a co-worker friend hosting a brewery sample table at the Bop Shop.  Although,  I didn't pick up any vinyl this year I did make a purchase in each shop.  I'll share a couple here, and in the coming weeks.

First up, Bill Frisell Thomas Morgan Epistrophy,  a new release this week, This duet set seems to be from the same concert  "recorded live at the Village Vanguard" as the Small Town CD released in 2017.  Frisell and Morgan delivers the intimate neo-Americana music feel I like in Frisell's music, plus as they did on the Small Town with Goldfinger, there's a dreamy version of James Bond movie title, You Only Live Twice.  This is music perfect for a quiet evening, or rainy afternoon.

Next up, is Gary Burton: For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal has Burton paying tribute to "four legendary and influential jazz vibraphonists", Lionel "Hamp" Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson (founding member of the Modern Jazz Quartet) and Cal Tjader (an important voice in Cool Jazz and Latin Jazz)   Regarded as a vibes master himself, "Gary Burton at once honors the jazz vibraphone legacy, while steering it headfirst into the creative, new territory".  One of the strongest traits of great jazz players is their respect for the important players who came before, and their desire to keep the tradition moving forward.  Burton shows that spirit fully on this CD.

I have more Record Store to listen to and digest.  I'll be sure to share them.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dime-A-Dozen Project #11 - M.O.J.O. Squad - Code:MD Metro Detective

[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. I have ton's 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.] M.O.J.O. Squad - Code MD: Metro Detective features futuristic black cop, Lance St.Clair (aka Lawson St. Clair, aka A. Blackmon) teamed with an alien immigration officer and techno-nerd rookie cop for crime adventures in New York City in 2090. This was clearly inspired by Rick Decker in Blade Runner, the Sci-Fi movie classic.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Stowell - Michael Zilber, Duke Ellington revisited.

This Sunday Music Muse Day actually finds it feeling like Spring.  I got to go shopping with just a light sweatshirt on. At Bop Shop Records, I picked up John Stowell / Michael Zilber Quartet Basement Blues. It's a tasty and energetic outing with Stowell on guitar and Zilber on saxophones and piano.  This 2016 session is their third recording together.  Eight out of the ten tunes are originals  by members of the band, with a tune by Bill Evens (Very Early) and Jerome Kern ( Nobody Else But Me).  It a nice way to greet the Spring.

By second second selection has me revisiting some Duke Ellington selections, the result of a minor discovery.  I had, what thought was, an album cover of the Duke Ellington Piano in the Foreground mounted in a simple glass frame.  The cover features Sam Woodyard, my father, on the cover. This was given to me in Paris by a friend of Sam's.  I wanted to reframe this, but I discovered  it a was a color xerox of the cover, and I would have damaged it if I removed it from the backing.  But, I wanted to have a framed version of the cover to mount on the wall.  So, I looked for a copy at Bop Shop Records.  Owner Tom Kohn and the staff were very helpful, even letting me search their basement stash of Ellington stock. after not finding the Piano in the Foreground album in main floor stacks.  I did found a copy, and picked up another Storyville Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, with Johnny Hodges and his Orchestra, because it had a band photo with Sam in it.  Now I have to find good spot to mount both covers. 

Seems like Spring finally here to stay. Try to enjoy it to the fullest.  Good tunes always helps.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - Leni Stern, Kurt Rosenwinkle

On this Sunday Music Muse Day, Mother Nature is playing an early April Fools Day joke on us as spring flower are being cover with snow fall. Maybe listening to some CDs I picked up at the South Wedge Record Fair, today, will help me get the last laugh.  First is Leni Stern Recollection, it's a anthology of tunes from various prior releases of the fusion guitarist.   The cuts include guitarists Bill Frisell and Wayne Krantz, plus drummer Paul Motian.  Not  lightweight players.  The CDc starts with two vocal tunes, with hint of country music in a slight Bonnie Raitt vain (who I like) which I find not to be her strong suit. I enjoy her instrumentals much better. Still there is much to like in this CD set.

Next up is Kurt Rosenwinkel Heartcore.  This is my second CD I've picked up by the young guitarist, who has a been acclaimed as a raising star in the new generation of jazz players.  With my first listen I have to agree with Nate Chinen writing a review for JazzTimes (Oct. 1, 2009), "Heartcore will have its critics, and they’ll fall into one of two camps: those who revile Rosenwinkel’s electronic “corruption” of jazz and those who think his concoction is merely sonic wallpaper. What both sides will have missed is the luminous melodic allure of the album, along with its subtle intricacies of texture. The disc has its shortcomings...Somewhat uneven but almost ceaselessly fascinating, the album reveals not only Rosenwinkel’s purest motivations but also the possibilities of his alternative approach." I'll have to give it more time, but I'm not hearing the greatness some critics have professed to have hear in his playing. He's not this generation's Pat Metheny or Larry Coryell in my opinion, so far.

The snow is still falling lightly, but it will melt away before nightfall, but I can still her Mother Nature giggling at us.  Time to turn up the music.  Enjoy.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - Keith Jarrett, Vijay Iyer Trio

Today's Sunday Music Muse Day finds me spending time with two piano trios.  Keith Jarrett At the Deer Head Inn, with Gary Peacock on bass, and Paul Motian on drums. Not much you can say but that it's the top notch playing you'd expect from this these well-known players. It's a live recording, made in September, 16, 1992. Jarrett relates in the liner notes that Deer Head Inn, in Allentown, PA. was where he had his "first serious trio job on piano" thirty years early, and also a reunion playing with Paul Motian, who he hadn't play with for 16 years.  It goes to show that sometimes there a lot more behind a gig then just the music.

My next selection is Vijay Iyer Trio Accelerando, with Stephen Crump on bass, and Marcus Gilmore on drums.  This 2012  release by the young pianist was named jazz album of the year in 3 jazz critics polls.  Besides the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship Iyer has won a ton award and honors. His music is adventurous, engaging, and challenging for the listener.  Iyer states,"this ablum is in the lineage of American creative music based on dance rhythms."  I was draw to last tune on this CD, The Village of the Virgins" written by Duke Ellington for his ballet "The River".  I had saved version to my youtube music collection.  I'm glad to have the full CD.

Yesterday's morning snow melted quickly, hope it's the last of the season.  Everyone hoping for day of sunshine and good music.  So do I.  Enjoy.

Belated Robot Sunday March 17, 2019

I was a day late posting this last Monday for Robot Sunday, March 17, 2019.
Hopefully, I'll get around to inking it.  Enjoy.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - Dave Holland Qunitent Gary Burton.

Again, this Sunday Music Muse Day find us with ever changing weather. we woke up with light layer of snow, which melt by midday sunshine, but the temperature stat dropping.  After some weekend chores like grocery shopping it nice to kick back and enjoy these tunes.  Dave Holland Quintet Prime Directive, a stellar outing on ECM. It get a 4 of 5 star on most review posts, and it lies up to every star.

Next is a nice follow up to to a CD I featured recently.  Gary Burton Next Generation is the the follow his Gary Burton Generations CD, where he introduce guitarist Julian Lage.   Gary again exhibits his well talent for presenting raising young talent nad discoveries.  This CD also features tunes written by guitarist alums Pat Metheny and Mick Goodrick, and plus showcase tunes by the current members. Going with the theme of alum's tune, I wish Gary had included one by  Larry Coryell, the late great guitarist who was in Burton's early classic group.  Gary Burton is very much a fine example of the band leader/mentor in the jazz tradition of drummer Art Blakey and Miles Davis.  You can expect good things from the young players who pass through his group.

Spring should be just around the corner, at least that what the calendar  says.  Lets just hope for the best and welcome it with good music. Enjoy.