Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan Paul Desmond Quartet, Warped Sky - Stray Cloud

Welcome to another Sunday Music Muse post.  This week offers a series of double doses of baritone sax goodness, in the person of Gerry Mulligan, on a legendary label, with a legendary producer.  First is Getz Meets Mulligan in Hi-Fi, which finds another giant of the saxophone, Stan Getz, joining Gerry Mulligan for a October 1957 session produce by Norman Granz for the Verve label.  You can't get more steeped in jazz legacy than that.  They even swapped horn on the last three tunes, so you get to hear both play tenor and baritone saxophones.  This re-release also includes tunes not on the original album. That's nice treat. I'll have to review my Jazz history, Mulligan and Getz are considered part the West Coast jazz of that period considered softer that the East coast player.  They sound good to me.

Next up is the Gerry Mulligan Paul Desmond Quartet, recorded in August of 1957.  Again, this of product of Verve, and Norman Granz. The liner notes states Mulligan and Desmond first played together when Desmond sat in with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, who Desmond famously played with, at Carnegie Hall (NYC) in 1954.  Mulligan said they formed "a natural affinity".  It wasn't until this 1957 date the that affinity was fully explored.  Lucky of all music fans it was.

Here's another original tune is part of my Warped Sky - Stray Clouds project. Warped Sky - Stray Cloud, is a combination of songs from old tapes and new renditions of original tunes written and played by me in the 1980s. Today's tune is Without You - Mystical Heart. This started are just a collection of chords. Somehow I had two different songs with the title "Without You", one with lyrics and this one without.  This video has my first complete version played against a Band in a Box backing tracking.  A feature in Band in A Box suggest song titles based on the chord and it suggested "Mystical Heart", it's not a bad title, so I added it.  Another feature is the video of the real musician playing the musical part, in this case the guitar solo. It's curious my ballads start to sound Country, which I never really like.  That may be the Band the Band tracks style. Still, it's another song off by incomplete list. For added plus I used an old illustration of mine in the video.
Enjoy, your week.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Starcom: The U.S. Space Force

StarCom, The U.S. Space Force animated series should have been the first thought with talk of Space Force that surfaced this past week.. It has "Space Force" in it's title. It was a well produced animated TV show. Here a copy of the show's promo kit, used to present the show to distributor.  I think the TMS, a well known Japanese animation company did the show.  I bet several of my animation friends must have had a hand in the art design.

 StarCom have some good action sequences. Well worth looks for a well animated pre-CGI show with a lot of space hardware.  Enjoy.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Triocity with Rich Thompson, Thelonious Monk

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds the starting weekend of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.  I hope to get to a few concerts and shows.  Unfortunately I'll miss my first selection performance tonight, Triocity I believe in You, with local drummer Rich Thompson.  I'll have to console myself with listening to this recent release, a solid set of post-bop playing.  I'll be sure to catch one of Rich's gig soon.

My second selection is a classic, Thelonius Monk Underground.  This CD is a nice reissue of the classic album with several added bonus track not on the original album.  The cover photo is amazing.  Listening  to Monk's music is always adventurous and intriguing experience. I'm sure a couple of Monk tunes will be played by some jazz artist during this week's festival.

 If you in the local area, do yourself a favor and get attend the Jazz Festival, many events are free. It looks Rochester at it;s best.  Lisa and I are Jazz 90.1 Street Team Volunteers and will be manning the booth during the last weekend. See you there.

Spring Cleaning, Comic Books, and Vinyl Records

As summer arrives I find myself behind in my Spring cleaning. The comics are piled on the basement workbench and in boxes, in no particular order, and with no clue what to do with them. I have started sorting my vinyl record collection with the online cataloging site ( I should have thought of that sooner). Boy, that saves time. Plus, you get idea what things are worth (in reality NOT MUCH). So far, the only surprise is a Hendrix bootleg, Discog won't allow to be posted that someone is selling of $50 elsewhere online.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Father's Day, Grant Geissman. Bireli Legrene, Warped Sky Stray Cloud

Here's wishing a happy Father's Day.  What better way to enjoy the day than to kick back and share some good tunes.  First up is Grant Geissman Say That.  This is interesting, I do favor guitarist in my music selection, and must admit the cover art and packageing caught my eye.  I vaguely remembered hearing of Geissman, with the term "Smooth Jazz" popping in my mind.  You know I hate Smooth Jazz. So, reading his liner notes he admit most people see him as a Smooth Jazz guy, and he says, "And I don't really want to be known as a Smooth Jazz guy.  In fact that's the last thing I want to known as, especially the way the music is going, which is to's not music . It's Muzak".  Okay, he earn my money with that statement. He playing is definitely more straight ahead jazz, but there some soft edge to the set.  Another interest note.  Geissman is the co-writer of the Two and a Half men TV comedy theme.  He performs a longer jazzier version on the CD.  All in all a pleasing outing.

My second pick is Bireli Lagrene Standards is 1992 release, from guitarist I remember as a 15 year old who play amazing Dranjo Reinhardt styling in 1981 on his first record release.  This is set of jazz standards, and it has lost none of the fire in his playing. He's just got better with age.

Lastly, here is another tune in my Warped Sky: Stray Cloud project, a combination of songs from old tapes and new renditions of original tunes written and played by me in the 1980s. Beliefs is my "Bob Dylan" tune, an long opus full of social commentary. It was written back 1981, and never really completely until now. (My vocals, rhythm guitar. The rest produced in the Band in Box music program)   The Part (Slight Return) is mainly the Band in the Box rhythm section,  The Part 2 title "Slight Return" is  nod to Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child (Slight Return). 

As with other tunes of mine, there the making of an animated video in the song's storyline. Time will tell. For me, it's one more off my music bucket list. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sunday Music Muse day - Brad Mehldau, Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane, Warped Sky Stray Cloud

Welcome to another Sunday Music Muse Day, where I share recently picked up CDs or items from my musical stash. First up, Brad Mehldau Highway Rider, a two CD set which, at first listen, seems like soundtrack to a unseen movie.  Actually, my wife and I thought parts of it was pretentious, but I like Brad Mehldau's other works, so I'm determined to give more intense listening before rendering final verdict.  With the inclusion of an orchestra, this has to regarded as a serious session.  Unfortunately the CD booklet offer no background info.   Online reviews call it a soundtrack to an imaginary film, at least I got that right.  One also states, Highway Rider is the "most fully realized original music the pianist has written to date", that being 2010.  So, maybe I have to venture outside of my comfort zone, a little.

The next selection is Kenny Burrrell with John Coltrane, is 1958 date lead by the guitarist Burrell for the classic jazz label Prestige with recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder, a legend in his own right.The liner notes states this was a period when Coltrane, a giant of jazz saxophone, was starting to move from the Miles Davis band to forge his own direction.  I love finding gems and fill the gaps in my jazz music history.  History never sound so sweet.

Lastly, here is another tune in my Warped Sky:Stray Cloud project, a combination of songs from old tapes and new renditions of original tunes written and played by me in the 1980s.

Thief or a Savior, is an attempt at a Rock tune, although I don't have the voice for it. It was written back 1985, and never really completely until now.  (My vocals, rhythm guitar and bassline. The rest produced in the Band in Box music program) I still imagine a trio of female backup singers, but couldn't  manage that.

There is the making of an animated video in the song's storyline. Time will tell.  For me, it's one more off my music bucket list. Enjoy.