Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Music Muse Day - Ralph Towner, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Lionel Loueke, and Clark Terry.

First, to tie up a loose end from last week, I picked up Clark Terry's Portraits CD, with Don Friedman on piano, Victor Gaskin on bass, and Lewis Nash on drums. A fun set of Clark's excellent trumpet and flugelhorn playing, and his mumbles vocals.  A true titan of Jazz, Clark Terry is sorely missed, but never forgotten.

This Sunday Music Muse Day I find myself almost embarrassed with the amount of good selections I found this week.  I try to be mindful of my household budget and not get too carried away with my weekly or bi-weekly trips to the music shops.   There were at least 3 to 6 more CDs I considered buying, but I had to use some restraint.  Also, limiting the number of CDs gives me a chance to have them a good listen.  Sometimes I have to consider is I want to buy a CD of music I already have on a vinyl record or just new stuff.  That's  was the case with this week's first selections my Ralph Towner, "Anthem" and "Chisroscuro".  I pick these over over CDs of Ralph Towner  music I already own, the CDs were only $5.00 in the used bun (where I do most of my buying,  Remember, I say I was on a budget)  I really like Ralph Towner's music played on nylon string guitar, and 12-string acoustic guitar.  My earliest memory of his work was with Paul Winter Consort  "Road" LP back in 1970.  I picked up on Ralph's solo, duet, and group releases on ECM records, which continues with these two CDs.  I put on a lot of Ralph Towner's music when I'm in introspective mood, especially his solo pieces.  The ECM productions are so clear you feel the silence between notes. I such a pleasure to listen to his playing.  There is one tune tilted "Sacred Place" on Chiaroscuro, the duet outing with Paolo Fresu on Trumpet and Flugelhorn, that almost brought me to tears, it so beautiful.  I had t play it over. and over.  It's wonderful when  tune hits you like that.  If you get a chance look for Ralph Towner's music.

 My next selection has me scratching my head a little.  The John Scofield Band - Up All Night CD.  From the song list credits you can see this was a group writing affair and in my opinion the mostly of the tunes written my Scofield hold up the best.  Overall, I don't feel John's playing stands out, and this is coming from a fan of his from the 1970's.  I'll give it a more listens and see if it grows on me.  But, as of now, it doesn't rank with his best.

Next is Bill Frisell - Unspeakable which finds the eclectic guitarist continuing his adventurous musical exploration employing turntables, samples, a horn section, and the 858 Strings, violin,viola, and cello string trio.  Bill Frisell music covers neo-folk, Jazz, and avant-garde and everything inbetween and sometimes at the same time.  Listening to his music is always a welcomed adventure.

I had my eye out for this next selection for a long time, Lionel Loueke - Heritage.  I had posted about him before having heard a tune of his and liking his cool guitars.  Lionel Loueke is a guitarist and vocalist born in the west African country of Benin.  " praised the guitarist for his fusion of traditional African music with modern jazz harmonies, unique vocal inflections, and complex time signatures" ( )
I plan to enjoy this CD and search out more of his work.  Actually, I saw him list as a sideman on CD a decided not to buy,   I'll have to pick it up if it's still at the music shop.

 Finally here another selection the  I would play when in a introspective mood, Tord Gustavsen Trio - Being There.  Being a admitted guitar-centric music guy, this piano, bass, drum trio, helps me break out of that music listening box I can fall into.  Again, the ECM record production by Manfred Eicher is excellent and always draws you in.  In fact, I have three Tord Gustavsen CDs and I picked up the first just because is was a ECM release.

Hope you enjoy this week's selection.  Wishing you open ears, open mind, a lot of joy music.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Thundercats Tuesday - Postponed, but To be Continued

Sorry to postpone making a new Thundercats Tuesday post today.  I sent my son off to college today, so the wife and I were a little busy, and emotionally wiped tonight.  So here is few odds and ends to tide you over until next time.

I actually had very few Thundercats action figures.  I remember getting some playsets and giving to my younger brother for Christmas.  You'll notice Lion-O is in a Lorimar-Telepictures coffee.  They were the owners and distributor of Rankin/Bass.  There action figurs from two other shows I worked on in this picture.  Can you name them?  Post your answer a comment.
 This a detail of a Thundercats promotion folder I sold on Ebay years ago.
 This map of New Thundera was done by artist Jim Meskimen for the Return to Thundera five-parter.
Again, I do have some other odds and ends to share, so please check in again.  Thanks.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Music Muse Day - Duke meets Coleman Hawkins, Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um, Clark Terry, and Dave Brubeck Quartet

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds me sharing new purchases with classic appeal, and a personal connection.  First up is the Duke Ellington meets Coleman Hawkins CD of the classic Impulse album.  I've been looking for this CD forever since I my father, Sam Woodyard, plays on this with other members of Duke's band.  Plus, Sam's name is right there on the cover, like so many of the classic Impulse covers.  But, the biggest thrill is the first tune"Limbo Jazz", were Sam is heard vocalizing on the tune unaware the he's being recorded.  I'm so glad Duke release this cut as is.  I always get a kick out of hearing it. Of course the whole session is full of great playing by everyone.  I had a copy of Limbo Jazz on a Starbuck Jazz compilation, so it's nice to have the original set. An additional plus is I found this in the used bin for $5.00.  That's a true bargain, but having it is priceless to me. 

The next selection also has Sam playing with his close friend, Ellington band mate, Clark Terry, on Clark Terry and his Ocrhestra, featuring Paul Gonsalves. (I picked up another Clark Terry Cd, but I'l save that for next week)  This CD starts off swinging with a drum intro by Sam on the first cut, "Serenade to a Bus Seat".  I think Clark have a thing for humorous titles. The music swing so hard it brings a smile to your face.

Talk about a bargain, This 2 CD Legacy Edition set of Mungus Ah Um / Charles Mingus is just that.  It's full of classic Mingus tunes and many of my favorites. I'm embarrassed to paid $9.99 for this.  A real head-scratcher was that the record shop (that will remain nameless) had it in a miscellaneous section it call "not sure what to label these".  I think the staff needs a little music education, if they don't know  Mingus is a Jazz legend. In any case, their lost is my gain.  The CD set contains the entire album versions of the Mingus Ah Um and Mingus Dynasty LPs, plus alternate takes and bonus tracks, and a nice liner notes booklet.  Like I said, a real bargain.

My final selection is the Dave Brubeck Quartet - Jazz Impression of Japan.  The liner notes says this it was long out of print.  I looking forward to to enjoying this.  

You can never have too much Dave Brubeck in your music collection.  Enjoy

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thundercats Tuesday TC 127 - 130

This week's Thundercats Tuesday marks the final episodes of the original Thundercats series.  I was lucky enough to get a chance to design some new characters and write another script, more on that later.

TC #127 - "The Touch Of Amortus"

TC # 128 - "The Zaxx Factor"

 Unfortunately, I lost the finshed pencil design.  The one above is an earlier sketch in which I thought of giving Zaxx's a Ibis head. 

 Zaxx's head is a tribute to Foghorn Leghorn, classic  Warner Bros. cartoon character.

 TC #129 - "Well of Doubt"
 Well of Doubt and second and last scripting assignment.  The concept for the story was inspired by the terracotta warrior statues found buried in China.  I got to see a exhibit of them in Canada two or three years ago.  I think their amazing.  I knocked around was a slightly different storyline for this episode, but I'll save that for next week.

 This episode saw the return of Tor and Jagara.

 This is actually animation cel setup of this cave scene.  There is 6 levels of animation art in this.

 TC #130 - " Book of Omens"
 This last show have everything but the kitchen sink in it.  There was plenty of reused prop and background designs.  Pyron was a lot of fun, if just a ltttle over designed and really he didn't get a lot of screen.

 I glad the Dragon' hall returned.  That one of my favorite location.

 So ends the original Thundercat series.  I was a wonderful experience for me and a blast to work on.  I still have some odds and ends to share so join me next week for more Thundercats Tuesday.

Celesta art got all the items in the last post.  She listed the comments.  Good job, Celesta.

Celesta asked why episode #110 was missing.  Well, actually I didn't have to do any designs for the show.  It was all reused characters, props and backgrounds,  In fact I don't even have to script title sheet in my file.  Thanks for visiting the blog.