Friday, December 30, 2016

Aeon Flux DVD set, Blomkamp 3 Blu-Ray set

I did some post-Xmas shopping and scored these movie sets. I admit I’m a sucker for impressive packages. The Aeon Flux set was released in 2005, but I’ve been a fan since the Peter Chung created character aired on the MTV's Liquid TV shorts. My production assistant on ExoSquad, Maryanne McClure work on the series. The Blomkamp 3 Blu-Ray set has a mini-art book included, that aced the buying of it with me. I enjoy Neill Blomkamp’s gritty sci-fi vision. I seen District 9 and Elysium, but not Chappie (my boys don’t give it a high rating).

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Santa. Baby - Rankin/Bass' forgotten Christmas Special

Today in the anniversary of the airing of the Rankin/Bass Christmas special Santa Baby, which aired on Monday, December 17, at 8pm on Fox.  Santa Baby was of course build around the famous, "Santa, Baby" song.  Unfortunately, the animated special ever seem to catch on like the other R/B Christmas special although it had an impressive cast of talent actors, Gregory Hines, Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams and Eartha Kitt.  I can't say if the mostly black cast, and urban setting effected the it's appeal.  Here's the Los Angeles Times review.
At least the Santa Baby did show up on DVD.  And CD.

A side note, Santa baby was my last project with Rankin/Bass, but the credit was more advisory, then creative.  One highlight was I got you meet the lovely Vanessa Williams when she came in to record some of her songs.  She wouldn't know me from Adam, but I'll ever forget her, she was fantastic.

So, for old time's sake, I'm throwing Santa, Baby in the DVD player tonight.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day- The Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Haden, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Jarrett

This Sunday Music Muse finds us entering the holiday season, but before pulling the traditional Christmas CD, I found some eclectic finds at the local record shops.  One common tread with these selections is that they are more subdued and introspective in tone.  Just the thing mute the tensions caused by the political fallout of the Trump election.  First up is The Modern Jazz Quartet, Pyramid.  It's hard to feel angry when the sweet music of  this legendary group fills the room.

Next is another Charlie Haden CD, Land of the Sun with Gonzlo Rubalcaba, "a collection of Mexican ballads written by three of Mexico's most prominent modern composers,"(all music).  In 2005, the album won Haden the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. This is mellow affair, worth listening to while cuddled up with special someone by a warm cozy fire. This may get the sparks flying.

Next is Kenny Wheeler, Angel Song.  A solid ECM outing with Lee Konitz (alto saxophone), Dave Holland (double bass),and Bill Frisell (electric guitar), joining Wheeler (trumpet and flugelhorn) for just the right mix of introspection and adventurous exploration you've come to expect from these solid players.  I sometimes think of ECM productions as jazz chamber music, in a good way.

My last selection is another ECM CD, Keith Jarret Personal Mountains, a  quartet with Jan Garbarek (tenor and soprano saxophones) Palle Danielsson (bass), Jon Christensen (drums) and Jarret (piano).  I've heard these players many times on other ECM records as leaders, and as sidemen.  The liner note states this record was a concert in April 1979, but release until 1989 of Jarret's "European Quartet".  I have to admit I like Keith Jarret more in settings where he plays with other musicians than solo.  So, I'm enjoying this.

Next week will probably be time for my Christmas selections.  I had an annual picks, oldies but goodies, like everyone else.  Until then, enjoy.