Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Steve Khan, David Ashkenazy with Gilad Hekselman

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds us having a much needed rainy day. Our lawn are turning green and the trees are budding new leaves.  A great time to settle in with my first selection Steve Khan Pathwork. This CD continues the fusion guitar exploration of Latin/Afro Cuban rhythms he started back in the 1980s with his Eyewitness bands (with the cool cover art by Folon). This an excellent CD that will have tapping your feet and bobbing to the infectious Latin/Afro Cuban beats.

My second selection is a David Ashkenazy Out with It.  This drummer is new to me and I admit I picked up the CD because I have CDs of the guitar Gilad Hekselman. This CD offer a nice selection of well played tunes, a mix from Wayne Shorter, Bill Frisell, a Beatles' tune, and originals by the leader Ashkenazy.  I think of these players as part of the post-McLaughlin/Coryell/Metheny generation.  Well worth a listen.

So, as the saying goes, "April shower, brings May flowers", lets enjoy the rain and some good music, knowing bright days are ahead.  

Conan vinyl album

Here's rare oddity for you, a Conan Album. I couldn't resist it being a Conan fan, although the Tim Conrad art doesn't scream "Conan" to me. I see a little hint of Barry Windsor-Smith in the figure. Actually, the album started as pitch for Conan audio book or radio series. Marvel's Roy Thomas was involved. Also, it was recorded at ZBS Media, the recording studio of ZBS Foundation who produce the Ruby, Galactic Gumshoe, and other audio adventure series.

I was looking for vinyl record of the missing sound track for one of my filmstrips but find instead, so my trip to the Bop Shop Records wasn't a waste.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Sunday Music Day - Clay Jenkins, Gene Bertoncini, Ike Strum, and Redman, Mehldau, McBride, Blade

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds us celebrating Easter Sunday with family on bright sunny afternoon.  It also a good time to enjoy some good tunes from two groups of musicians who it seems couldn't come up with a group name.  First up is Clay Jenkins Gene Bertoncini Ike Sturm Joy, a trumpet, guitar, bass trio. Trumpeter Clay Jenkins is a member to Trio East with drummer Rich Thompson. I've seen Trio East often, and look forward to seeing them again, soon. The wonderful session is collections of well known tunes and an original by Jenkins, and guitarist Gene Bertoncini.  Worth a listen.

My second selection is Redman Mehldau Mcbride Blade - RoundAgain, as in Joshua Redman saxophones, Brad Mehldau piano, Christen McBride bass, and and Brian Blades drums. This is killer CD that the tune Floppy Diss is getting major air play on Jazz 90.1.  Again, well worth a listen.

It is Easter Day, so I  keeping this short and sweet.  Enjoy.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday Muse Muse Day - Jacob Young, Jan Akkerman

This Sunday Music Muse Day started dark, moody and rainy, but brighten up my mid-afternoon. My first selection fits the mood of the day, Jacob Young Forever Young. I admit I picked up this 2014 release purely on the fact its ECM record and it was lead by a guitarist, although I'd never hear him or the any musicians on the CD.  From the ECM FB group I learned most of musician are Polish.  I often see ECM releases posted to the group that I've never seen in my trips to the record shops. I can hear Pat Metheny's influence in Jacob Young' playing and over all the music is pleasant enough, just not really memorable. Still, I will probably keep it in mind for quiet nights and rainy afternoons.

Keeping with a European theme, my next selection is Jan Akkerman The Noise of Art.  Akkerman is Dutch and best known in the U.S. as the guitarist with the Focus and hit 'Hocus Pocus'. I have some post-Focus solo albums of Akkerman. I have admit this CD sound very dated, in 80's Rock Fusion way. So much so I doubt I'll keep it around long, either it's library donation or record shop trade in.  Sorry Jan.


George Segal RIP - Terminal Man

Sad to hear the news of the passing of actor George Segal this week. I remember him from the movie Terminal Man (1974), an adaptation of the Micheal Crichton book (1972). I did a magazine spread illo based on the book in my Illustration class at SVA. (The head anatomy is truly embarrassing.)

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Baden Powell, Charlie Byrd

This Sunday Music Muse Day is the day after Spring Equinox, the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  It's shaping up to a be perfect spring day for walk in the sunshine and spring flowers are just starting to peek out. My two selections are perfect of settling into patio chair, or cosy window seat with a good book. First up is Baden Powell Lembrancas (Memories), this solo recording is his last made less then six months before he passed away on September 16, 2000. (I'll refer you this link for a full review, since the liner notes are all in Brazilian (?) - Baden Powell: Lembran├žas) I knew of Baden Powell as legend in the Samba jazz of the 60's and 70's, but only have a couple of tunes on jazz guitar compilation CD sets. This set is very warm introspective. If you want to relieve stress in a most calming way, give this a try.  It is very nice. I'll be visiting this CD often. (I also think the photos of him are impressive)

My second selection is Charlie Byrd - The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd. This legendary guitarist is also well known for his association with Brazilian music. His collaboration with Stan Getz on the album Jazz Samba in 1962 introduced Bossa Nova to American audiences. This 1960 session pre-dates Byrd trip to South America in 1961 where he was introduce to Bossa Nova. It's nice to uncover an interest fact like this.  One note: it's mention in the liner notes by Willis Conover the shorter pieces were "ideal for improving the space between commercials, assuming commercial radio station still leave space between commercials." Willis Conover was a jazz producer and broadcaster on the Voice of America for over forty years. Now you know.

So, you can't go wrong with these excellent legends of jazz guitar.  Spring is here, enjoy.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Throwback Thursday - Mecha Press Magazine - ExoSquad, Battletech.

For Throwback Thursday, I found these Mecha Press magazines on my shelf, one with a ExoSquad toy ad and the other has a feature on the Battletech animated series produce at Saban, before I worked there. It have some early crude CGI.

Here's a video history video. ExoSquad gets mention in the tangled history of the show.

Scan the credits there are several friends and former co-workers who worked on this show.