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 say...it'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.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Ken Clark Organ Trio, Jazz Fusion, Warped Sky: Stray Cloud

On this rainy Sunday Music Muse Day, after a touch of 90 degree summer weather the past few days, we settle in with a couple different CD picks.  First up, is the Ken Clark Organ Trio Eternal Funk, with Mike Mele on guitar, and Steve Chaggaris on drums.  They seem to hail from the New England area. I admit I knew nothing about the group before buying this, I just liked the cover and I been getting into younger jazz organ players like Joey DeFrancesco. These guys are a nice addition to the genre. All the tunes are original, except for a Miles Davis tune.  The trio swings, and I'll be keep an eye for other CDs.


The second is a Rhino Record collection, Jazz Fusion.  I like to pick up collection CDs as something to play in the car as I run errands on weekends (it seem more cars companies are eliminating CD player from newer models, just shows I have an old car)  Of course I most have of the tracks on this CD on full albums of CDs of the respective players, with the exception of Dixie Dregs, Ronnie Montrose, and Steve Morse Band.  I've heard of them but I think of them more as Rock than Jazz Fusion.  Some jazz fans and critics feel about Jazz Fusion the way I feel about Smooth Jazz (Kenny G. etc.), mainly they hate it.  I like it and think of Jazz Fusion as my transition from the Rock and Blues Rock of the 60s to listening to Jazz.  Mainly through guitarist John McLauglin playing on Miles Bitches Brew albums. McLauglin and Miles both have a cut on this CD, so what's not to like.



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.
"This Love Can be One-Side for Awhile" (Feb. '81) is tune with lyrics written by the buddy, Richard Miceli (member of the original Warped Sky Band with Rodney Means) and my music.  Again, in this case, "Band" means three guys screwing around playing in our apartment. This is a tongue-in-cheek jazz ballad. The lyrics has little bit of Tom Waits in it, as he was a favorite of Richard.  This version finds me doing my best Giacomo Gates vocal imitation. (Mike Melito, who played with Giacomo will have give him my apologies)
On the production side this is my first tune using my new audio interface set up, the Focusrite Scarlett Pro (2nd gen), MXL 990 mic with pop filter, and AKG Headphones, to play into the computer and Apple Garageband, with an assist from Band in a Box software for backing track, and sax solo. It maybe a aural case of polishing turds, but I see it as decluttering my head of unfinished projects. (Pete Grossett, I'll get to one of your tune soon)

Until next time, enjoy.