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.

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