Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Morrie Loudon, David Friesen, Herbie Hancock

Time for another Sunday Music Muse Day.  These weeks are flying by, ummer is almost over and fall is just around the bend.  Whatever the season, it's always a good time to share good music.  Two of my picks this week are leaps of faith, sort of. The first, is Morrie Louden Time Piece, which I picked up because it has guitarist Lionel Loueke, who's CD I picked up recently, and the drummer Adam Nussbaum, who I know from his work with guitarist John Scofield, on it.  Those were the only names I recognized among the large players list. Time Piece (as I researched) is Louden's debut album released in 2007 and it gets 3/4 stars on All About Jazz website.  I have to agree with the reviewer, "Time Piece turns out be a delightful mix of material, showing his writing skills as well as his chops on the acoustic bass."  I'm enjoying it, and especially like the title tune.  I'll have to look for more of his CDs.

Another small leap of faith is next selection of David Friesen, Airto Moreira, and Gary Barone  Anicent Kings.  Just a small leap, because I have albums of bassist David Friesen in duets with guitarist John Stowell, from back int he 1970's.  I just haven't come across his music lately.  The same could be said for master percussionist Airto Moreira, who played with so many legendary artists and group including Miles Davis (Bitches Brew era), Weather Report (first album), Return to Forever (first two album) and countless other.  Jazztimes said, "The album, recorded in 1994, makes its point eloquently without shouting...and the echoes of this session occasionally suggests a distilled Bitches Brew. Minor keys dominate."  There is one cut, Rooftops, that I heard echos of Jimi Hendrix' Third Stone from Sun, It well worth a listen.

My last selection is more of a no-brainer, Herbie Hancock The New Standard.  It would be hard to pass up a Herbie CD with the talented players on the session, Micheal Brecker, saxophones, John Scofield, guitars, Dave Holland, bass, Jack DeJohnette, drums, and Don Alias, percussion.  Most of these guys have lead their own groups in addition to having played together on other various projects over the length of their careers.   A nice addition to my music stash.

This is my first weekend as a empty nester, so it's nice to have good music to help fill the void.

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.