Monday, August 3, 2020

Belated Sunday Music Muse Day - Cindy Blackman, Giacomo Gates, Warped Sky Stray Clouds

Here's a belated Sunday Music Muse Day post, one day late.  I did get to go to my second favorite record shop. Record Archive, on Saturday, for the first time since Covid-19 closed everything down.  Record Archive open with all the health guideline in use, masks required to enter, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and even re-routing of entry and exit. I'm glad I found two good selections.  First up is Cindy Blackman Another Lifetime. "Lifetime" in this context is in tribute to this talented drummer's mentor and inspiration Tony William, and his original Jazz-Rock Fusion band "Tony Williams Lifetiime".   The original Lifetime included John McLaughlin on electric guitar and Larry Young on organ, with Jack Bruce (of Cream fame) joining the group on their second album.  Blackman Another Lifetime features songs from those early Tony Williams album, had a touring group Another Lifetime that played that music also. I also have a CD, Spectrum Road,  of a Tony Williams Tribute band featured the late Jack Bruce and Cindy listed as "Cindy Blackman Santana".  Cindy's playing does her mentor proud. She a dynamic drummer.  Worth a listen.








My next selection is Giacomo Gates  Fly Rite who's become a surprise favorite jazz vocalist of mine. For one, I much more into instrumental music, of all sorts. Giacomo Gates laid back style grew on me.  He's some what of a throw back to classic jazz scat singers, but he throws in a Jimi Hendrix tune, to keep things interesting.  I managed to see him live soon after moving to Rochester, and was surprised to discovery my friend, Mike Melito was the drummer on the gig (it was before Mike and I were introduced by Bob Snieder.  Fly Rite is Giacomo's second release from 1998.  




As part of my Dragonfly Views blog I have a Sunday Music Muse Day post where I always hoped to present original music that I had filed away mostly unfinished and unheard, always putting it off because my playing leaves much to desired. But as I get older it becomes apparent waiting for perfect has become an excuse not to do anything. But, sometimes you just have to get things out of your system. So, rough edges and all here is the song, "Dream Again". Dream Again is one of my original tune, written in 1981. I think it was my first 3/4, waltz tempo tune. The original version is included at the end of this video. This was actually the first time my friend Richard Miceli, who plays flute on it, played it together. This new version was made using a backing track created in Band in a Box music software. You write in chords and a lead line and it creates a backing track, and even a solo performance, with varying degrees of success. I'm often surprised how my simple tunes sound fleshed out by a full band, even an artificial one. Enjoy.


So, even in these strange days of a pandemic, there always a time for some good music, if nothing else, to help keep your sanity. Be safe, stay healthy, and wear a mask.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Scofield, Charlie Haden & Jim Hall

This Sunday Music Muse Day I get to celebrate my first visit to one of my favorite record shop since the pandemic hit four months ago.  I finally returned to the Bop Shop Record, yesterday, they're on limit 3 day schedule and are following all the proper covid-19 guidelines for retail store.  Actually, Tom, the owner, had called me earlier in the week about a special order I placed back in January.  Unfortunately, since I wasn't sure when the shop would  open, or if he found the CD, I bought it online. But, Tom was good about it, and I was able to get one of this week selection instead.  I picked up John Scofield Swallow Tales, his new release from ECM.  The is special CD as it celebrates and is a tribute to Steve Swallow, legendary jazz bassist and composer, who plays on the set, and is long time friend and playing partner of Scofield. You can tell the music is a labor of love by Scofield.  Well worth checking out.







My next selection is Impulse release of Charlie Haden and Jim Hall, a live duet CD including several favorite Haden tune I associate with records with Pat Metheny.  This CD is a real treat by two giants in the world of Jazz.  I can easily highly recommend it. 




As part of my Dragonfly Views blog I have a Sunday Music Muse Day post where I always hoped to present original music that I had filed away mostly unfinished and unheard, always putting it off because my playing leaves much to desired. But as I get older it becomes apparent waiting for perfect has become an excuse not to do anything. But, sometimes you just have to get things out of your system. So, rough edges and all here is the song, "November Night 2020". November Night is one of my favorite original tune, written in 1980. The original version is included at the end of this video. This was actually the first time we, my friends Rodney Means and Richard Miceli, played it together. That version was posted back in 2008.


This "2020" version was made using a backing a backing track created in Band in a Box music software. You write in chords and a lead line and it creates a backing track and even a solo performance, with varying degrees of success. I'm often surprised how my simple tunes sound fleshed out by a full band, even an artificial one. One area I need to work on is sound mixing in Garageband, I'll get there. Enjoy.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Pure Moods, Warped Sky Stray Clouds 'Song to my Friends" and "The Wise Fool" by Peter Grosett

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds us in our 4th of July holiday weekend.  In these days of pandemic and political chaos, I chose to have a low-key holiday and stay close to home. I spent most of 4th stacking and organizing CD collection in our new CD storage unit.

In moving the CDs I came across a many I haven't played in ages. My pick for today's Sunday Music Muse Day is one of them, Pure Moods. a 1994 compilation CD of New Age music, for lack of better description. I remember seeing TV ads for it, a thought it was cheesy.  I must have picked it up out of a discount bin, and actually it has some good tunes on it, like TV show themes from X-Files and Miami Vice. Plus Artists like Enya, Mike Oldfield, and David Byrne (of Talking Heads). But My favorite tune is Native American group and song, Sacred Spirits - "Yeha-Noha".  It's natural beauty is stunning.



Sunday Music Muse (Part 2) (Actually another (embarrassing) attempt to clear the backlog of undeveloped and unfinished music ideas.) "The Wise Fool" is another  original tune written by friend Peter Grosett back in 1982 and a really favorite tune of mine.  (You can see my last post for Peter's "Flowers" for a fuller a background) I was hoping for a little Gary Burton Quartet feel with the vibraphone.  This backing track was created in Band in a Box music software.   So, rough edges and all here is the song, "The Wise Fool". I hope it gives a hints of the great song Peter wrote.  I grabbed photos Pete has shared to make this video. I hope it serves as a tribute his continuing creative spirit. 



Here's an extra Warped Sky Stray Cloud entry,  a tune inspired by this image post by my friend and former co-worker at Bright Memorial Library. It's silly tune I wrote back in the '80, and I always thought it would be a good kid's library tune. Working at BML, I thought it would be a nice theme for BML story time. So, I made this fake promo for the library, and with the quality of my vocal you can consider it satire.  



Hope everyone have a safe 4th of July, all thing considered.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Father's Day Edition - The Guitar Trio - John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia, Warped Sky - Stray Clouds

Happy Father's Day to all dad of all kind, shapes, and sizing.  All the best, on this Sunday Music Muse Day.  My buddy Rodney Mean shared a concert video of a version of the super charged acoustic Guitar Trio of John McLaughlin, Larry Coryell, and Paco DeLucia from 1979.  I inspired me to pulled a two albums with Al Di Meola, which I think was the original lineup and the on that recorded and toured in the U.S.  :The Friday Night In San Francisco - Live, (1981) and Passion Grace & Fire.  and later The Guitar Trio CD (1996) I remember attending a NYC concert with McLaughlin, Di Meola, and De Lucia, probably about the late 70s. The blazing speed and shear barrage of notes never seem to diminish the high quality of the music.









Keeping with theme of Father's Day, here's a song about children. (Actually another (embarrassing) attempt to clear the backlog of undeveloped and unfinished music ideas.) "Flowers" is an original tune written by friend Peter Grosett back in 1982. Peter and I met at the Guitar Center in NYC, where we were taking lessons and started practicing. Peter was pursuing a career in Jazz guitar, and I was just trying to justify having a guitar. He was always a more accomplished player than I, but somehow we clicked and we liked playing together. We even did a couple of pay-for-tips gigs a East Village cafe, La Figero, and at an uptown venue. One of the joys of playing with Peter was his sharing his original tunes. "Flower; was actually performed in public, vocals and all. (There is reel-to-reel of it I need to transfer before it rots) As part of my Dragonfly Views blog I have a Sunday Music Muse Day post where I always hoped to present original music that I had filed away mostly unfinished and unheard, always putting it off because my playing leaves much to desired. But as I get older it becomes apparent waiting for perfect has become an excuse not to do anything. But, sometimes you just have to get things out of your system. So, rough edges and all here is the song, "Flowers". I hope it give a hints of the good song Peter wrote. This backing track was created in Band in a Box music software. You write in chords and a lead line and it creates a backing track and even a solo performance, with varying degrees of success. I admit the version came out more "smooth jazz" than I would like, and BIAB sound can be clunky and rough, but thats Jazz.

Peter and I are still in touch and his creative paths has turned to photography. I'm glad I was able to incorporate one of photo in this video. I hope my Peter like it as a tribute to his all around creative spirit. old and new. Enjoy

Monday, June 15, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Bill Conners

This Sunday music Muse Day I had a single pick, Bill Conners Of Mist and Melting.  This is one of ECM re-issue of classic albums from their deep catalog.  This Bill Conners was the original electric guitar in Chick Corea's Return to Forever, the legendary Jazz-Fusion group.  Bill Conner left after the first album to pursue a solo career.  Of Mist and Melting is one in series of albums for ECM where he plays acoustic guitar.  I already had this on vinyl from it's original release in 1978, but couldn't resist getting it for the convenience of the CD format. 



I actually have cassette tape of an unreleased solo concert of Bill Conners, playing classical guitar  at the Tralfamadore Cafe in Buffalo, NY.  (early 1980s ?) from Public Radio program.


I'm always tempted to upload this to youtube for Bill Conners and ECM fans, I'm torn on the issue of bootleg material that doesn't benefit the artist. Having a lot of professional musician friends, as an artist myself control of your is important.  I'm hoping the concert still exist in vault somewhere and it released someday.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Sunday Muse Day - Warped Sky - Stray Cloud

Sunday Music Muse Day. "Is This Your Life Music" is an original tune written by me back in 1982. The lyrics seem to remain relevant to today's social-political climate. 


I felt the need to get them out there. As part of my Dragonfly Views blog I have a Sunday Music Muse Day post where I always hoped to present original music that I had filed away mostly unfinished and unheard, always putting it off because my playing leaves much to desired. never progressing above rank amateur. But as I get older it becomes apparent waiting for perfect has become an excuse not to do anything. So, rough edges and all here is the song, "Is This Your Life". But, sometimes you just have to get things out of your system.
This "2020" version is an update. I did a rougher version (if that's possible) back in 2017 after Trump was elected. This version made using a backing track created in Band in a Box music software. You write in chords and a lead line and it creates a backing track and even a solo performance, with varying degrees of success. So the video has two versions, one with sax part generated in BIAB, which is kind of funky. I'm think of submitting this and other tunes to HITRECORD, the online creative collaboration group, I could use all the help I can get.


Enjoy.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Another Belated Sunday Music Muse Day - John Scofield, Steve Tibbetts

Another belated Sunday Music Muse Day post, as these pandemic days are making me lose track of time.  Again, I dipping into my vinyl collection. John Scofield has new CD coming out soon, so I thought I'd revisit one of his early albums, the John Scofield Quartet Rough House (1979). His playing definitely has a rough edge to it, but the Scofield sound and style is in full force.


My second choice is Steve Tibbetts Safe Journey (ECM - 1984), which is one of my favorite albums.  It's hard to describe as it moves from spacey guitar rock to meditative trance music with a world music mix of kalimba, tabla, steel drum, and congas.  Well worth checking out.



As we celebrate Memorial Day.  I try to be mindful of the true meaning of Memorial Day, a time to remember and reflect on the fallen who give their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms and rights they believed in.  



We can best honor them by making the world a better place for everyone, and lessen the need for more cemeteries.

Stay safe, stay calm, and stay heathy.