Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Chick Corea & Gary Burton, The Bob Sneider & Joe Locke Film Noir Project

Here with another Sunday Music Muse Day, featuring two nice finds that feature the vibraphone.  First is Chick Corea and Gary Burton, the New Crystal Silence.  The original Crystal Silence is a classic duet album of the Corea on piano and Burton on vibraphone released on the ECM label back in 1972,  I must almost played the grooves of that album, it was such a favorite. The New Crystal Silence is a two CD set recorded in 2007, wiht eh duet playing with the Sydney Symphony, of Australia.  The second CD in in studio affair, that even the master musicians surprised themselves by completing in several hours, through first takes, when they had planned several days studio time.  Their combined genius and interplay makes to a wonderful and very satisfying follow to the first album.

My other selection is a real treat for me as features a group of local artists who I happen to know.  The Bob Snieder & Joe Locke Film Noir Project, "Fallen Angel".  Leaders Bob Sneider, guitar (Bob Snieder Trio), and Joe Locke, vibraphone, are very active on the Rochester Jazz fronting their own groups, and in the case of Bob, hosting jam sessions at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  Actually, I'm sure all the personal have their groups, also, John Snieder (brother of Bob), on trumpet, Paul Hoffman, on piano, Grant Stewart, on tenor saxophone, Phil Flanigan, on bass, and a favorite, and friend, Mike Melito, on Drums.  Fallen Angel is a concept CD honoring Film Noir with interpretations of  Noir film themes, and tunes the sound like they should film themes. It's a very enjoyable CD.  Nice cover art, too.

 These are fun CDs, that I'll be enjoy for a long time.  Hope you check them out if you have the change.  Enjoy.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day, George Benson, Oregon, and a cool guitar t-shirt.

This will a short Sunday Music Muse Day post.  First, I wanted to show off this cool Yin-Yang Guitar t-shirt, from Me By Me Shop.  It popped up on my Facebook feed and I couldn't resist it.
It would go good with this book I read years ago on the playing guitar titled, Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo, a guitarist who unfortunately died soon after the book was published.  Zen Guitar offers a spiritual perspective on playing guitar, and making music.  I think it's still in print, if you want to give it a try.

For for music this week, speaking of guitar, I picked up the first recording as a leader of George Benson,  The New Boss Guitar of George Benson, with the Brother Jack McDuff Quartet.  Many know George as the pop star beginning with his Breezin' album and the mega hit  single "This Masquerade", but he of course was well-known in jazz circles.  I like hearing his pure jazz outings.  This is a true treasure as five of the seven tunes are Benson originals, with a extra cut, not on the  original album.  This is going to be fun to listen to over, and over, again.

My second selection is a CD of an album I have, but don't mind buying a gain, Oregon, the eclectic group featuring  Ralph Towner, on guitar, Paul McCandless on soprano saxophone, oboe, tin flute, English horn and bass clarinet, Colin Walcot on percussions, and Glen Moore on bass.  I think of Oregon as early world music pioneers, starting with their roots in the Paul Winter Consort, who I saw back in the 1970's.  Their music mixed elements of Jazz, classical, and world music.  Their international hit was the tune
Icarus.  Oregon continues in that direction.  This CD is the German ECM version, which is slightly disappointing in that there are four pages of liner notes in German, with no English translation.  But the CD is still well worth listening to.

That's it for this week, I'm off to host a family cook out for my college bound son.  Enjoy.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Miles Davis, Tony Williams's Lifetime, John Scofield Band, and Patrica Barber.

Happy Sunday Music Muse Day.  This week features some favorite artists that I thought I have the albums of, but in fact, I didn't.  Case in point, Miles Davis Sketches of Spain, a re-issue CD of the classic LP with music arranged and conducted by Gil Evans.  I really thought I had the LP.   I know I heard the music.  I'm thinking I might have borrowed it from the Lincoln Center Music library years ago in NYC. Actually in reading the liner notes for the CD, I might have still bought this because it contains four tracks not on the original LP, plus it has a informative booklet with nice photos of the recording session.

Second, is another CD that I thought I had the LP but, I checked, and I don't.  Tony Williams Lifetime Emergency, a CD of the milestone 2 LP set, with John McLaughlin on guitar, and Larry Young on organ.  This is the group Tony left Miles to form, and interestingly John Mclaughlin  turned down Miles' offer to join his group to join Lifetime, instead.  Another interesting note was the that the original recording was consider by all as "badly botched" with "poor balance and rampant distortion".  Many felt that it add an "raw edge" to it.  This CD was re-mastered in an attempt to, as engineer Phil Schaap states, "getting the audio presented here up to its meager but acceptable level".   As it shows the birth of Jazz Fusion (for better or worse) the rawness offer authenticity.

Next is another favorite guitar of mine, John Scofield Band Uberjam.  There's not much I can say about this except that John is having a fun time playing fusion that mixes a lot of different influences in an interesting way.  Just by the cover art ( you can tell this is not a straight ahead jazz session.

Last is the jazz songwriter, pianist, and bandleader, Patrica Barber, Mythologies. According to, "in 2003 ...received a Guggenheim fellowship to create a song cycle based on Ovid's Metamorphoses.  ( Barber )has taken the heart of Ovid's text (he was a Roman poet doing his own intertextual take on Greek mythology) and created 11 pieces, each based on one character in his cycle. She's in turn written a different piece -- in style, linguistic content, and feel -- for each character she was drawn to" The site goes on to call this Barber's masterpeice. I enjoy her music, but she can be pretentious at time.  That said I  have several of her CDs and like her enough to try more.

I also, shuck in so Brazilian music this weekend to mark the start of the Rio Olympics.  But I cover those before.  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - MIles Davis, Gary Burton Quintet, John Stowell Michael Zilber Quartet.

After a break for a family vacation, I'm rested and back for another Sunday Music Muse Day with a little catching up to do.  First up is another Miles Davis Aura.  I have the LP, but I can't resist buying the CDs for convenience, since I only have my turntable connected to my computer, which I did when I planned to digitize my record collection, but I give up on that idea.  According to Wikipedia, "Aura is a concept album by Miles Davis, produced by Danish composer/trumpeter Pelle Mikkelborg, released in 1989. All compositions and arrangements are by Mikkelborg, who created the suite in tribute when Davis received the Leonie Sonning Music Prize in December 1984, the year Decoy was released."  It interesting that with the exception of guitarist John McLaughlin, acoustic bassist Niels Henning Oersted Pederson, and Mikkelborg, and all the players are unknown to me.  Mikkelborg I knew from several ECM records with guitarist Terje Rydal, and saxophonist Jan Garbarek.  Of course, the playing of Miles is the focus.

Next up is the Gary Burton Quintet, Dreams So Real - Music of Carla Bley.  As sub-title this a collection compostions by famed composer and band leader Carla Bley.  The quintet features Mick Goodrick on six-sting electric guitar and Pat Metheny on electric 12-string guitar.  Steve Swallow on bass, Bob Mose on drums, and Gary Burton Vibraphone. This is classic, highly rated recording, well worth a listen.

My last selection is the John Stowell Michael Zilber Quartet - Live Beauty.  This is live club date and it really has the nice small jazz club feel to it.  I have several early recording of guitarist John Stowell, from 1970s, in duets with bassist David Friesen.  Stowell just fell off my radar for many year.  But I did come across on him again recently.  Saxophonist Michael Zilber is new to me, but the pairing works very well.

I have a slight back log of CDs, but I'll limit this post to these three.  Enjoy.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Memories

For Sunday Music Muse Day, at least as a footnote, I only torture my family by playing, now. I started the Muse Day posts to get back into guitar playing, It has helped, and morphed in a little more. Again, my thanks to Peter Grosett for this happy memories.
Seriously, Pete a great guy and the gig was a musical highlight for me. I still have the reel-to-reel tape for the night. If ever I remember to get it transfer to CD before it crumbles to dust, I'll make a copy for Pete.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Art File Archives - Doctor Apollo and Ion

One of the thing about being artist is being a pack rat when it come of keeping old drawings.  Luckily I managed to keep many sketch books and drawing from the early teens when I was just drawing for fun, and finally decide to try to be a professional artist.  Mainly it was because I like comic books, and being inspired by the just emerging Marvel Comic creation of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and others.  I would try to make up my own superheroes and other characters.  You have to remember this was before there were any Black comic book characters,  Marvel's Black Panter appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in July 1966), so that must have influenced creating these guys. But, as life progress most of these never saw the light of day. I think it's time to rectify that.  So I'm starting a post to showcase these old drawings of original characters, in the hope of sparking my creative juices to work on them some more.  I have a list of original characters I made awhile ago, sort of a partial inventory of random ideas.  Here's the list:
As I proceed I'll try to remember concepts, origin stories, powers, etc.and what inspired them.

Doctor Apollo and Ion

Best I can remember Doctor Apollo was inspired by Solar, Man of the Atom, the original Dell Comic.  Like a lot of superheroes, and villains, he was a scientist who experiment went wrong and result in him getting super powers, which included flying shooting energy bolts out of his hand.  His name is a nod to the Apollo the sun god.

 Ion, was Dr, Apollo's brother who got caught in the same accident.
 These are page from this 1966 sketch book (I was 16 years old at the time).  There will a spot drawing of Doctor Apollo or Ion the a page, plus other character I will feature later.

 These two pages show the last drawings I done of Doctor Apollo, , in 2008.

 I'm looking to enjoy this.  Check back if you do too.