Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - Bill Frisell, Stan Getz

This Sunday Music Day sees two major local events coming to close. The Rochester Lilac Festival, and The PGA Tournament at the Oak Hill Country Club. We, wife, son and friends, took in the Lilac Festival last weekend, glad we did then yesterday was very rainy. I have no interest in the golf tournament, whatsoever, but happy for the interest it generates for the Rochester region.  My music selections this week leaves me with mixed feelings, also. First is Bill Frisell When You Wish Upon a Star, this is a CD of movie related tunes.  Frisell has done other CDs featuring movie themes including two "out there" ones with John Zorn, "Naked" and "The Big Gundown - John Zorn plays the music of Ennio Morricone".  I like the concept of When You Wish..., but the final product falls flat to me.  Bob Sneider & Joe Locke's two Film Noir Project CDs, "Fallen Angel" and "Nocturne for Ava" are much better.  Check those out when you can.  Still, I'll always take a chance on a Bill Frisell release.

Here are the covers of Bob Sneider & Joe Locke's Film Noir Project CDs.

Today's second selection is Stan Getz Reflection. Again, I like Stan Getz playing, and music, and readily admit I didn't iget nto his music until his Captain Marvel record, which I saw more as a pre-flight for Chick Corea's Return to Forever group.  Reflections has some classic and legendary players, but the 1963 arrangements sound very dated to me (I was 13 years old back then, so it wouldn't have been on my musical radar.  The strings and background vocals reminded me of 50's "cool, hip" (aka lame), bachelor pad movies. But, to each, his own. 

The weather here in Rochester has turned perfect, sunny and comfortable for those enjoying the last day of the Lilac Festival and PGA Tournament.  So, all's well, that ends well.

ExoSquad Blu-Ray - Complete Series

For one of my Hump Day: Odds & Ends. I broke down and brought a bootleg Blu-Ray of the complete ExoSquad series, seasons 1 & 2. Only the first season was released on DVD.  I have a bootleg CD-R discs of the whole series, but it is low quailty. I have to admit this guy did a nice job in the transfer and the packaging.  The art is from the cover of the the ExoSquad comic art by Michael Golden. The back label looks good but the credits are not to the ExoSquad, the type is too tiny to read anyway.  The Blu-Ray menu screen is passable.  It uses the second season opening as backdrop. Mainly, having this higher quality Blu-Ray of the complete series I can think getting rid of the Director VHS copies I have of the second season. That will help with my decuttering.

Wilson Burrow Sci-Fi Space Set Rockets - Intrism Level One Maze Puzzle

 For Hump Day: Odds & Ends.  I finally did another puzzle maze cube, from my backlog of wooden models.  On this  one I got to use this rare sci-fi rubber stamp set I bought in NYC back in the ‘80s, and haven’t seen another one since.  I’ll do a better video later.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - Jim Hall, Gary Peacock & Ralph Towner

We're having a period of rainy days starting today, my Sunday Music Muse Day, and continuing for most of the week.  I won't complain too much as my selections are perfect for this weather.  First up, Jim Hall Leader & Sideman - Three Classic Albums Plus. It's a two CD set featuring re-issue of three Jim Hall Trio albums and a Paul Desmond album with Hall as a sideman. These are a nice 50's era recording featuring guitarist, Hall, playing some tasty licks, leading solid groups.  Hall's playing with legendary alto-saxophone player Paul Desmond of the Dave Brubeck Quartet fame, before heading out on his own, is an added plus.

My second selection, keeps the mellow mood going, the duet of Gary Peacock and Ralph Towner Oracle CD.  This ECM recording is as excellent as you've come to expect from the label.  Towner switches between classical and 12-string guitars. Towner maybe the first to come to my mind, and finest 12-string player alive.  There will always room in my collection for another Ralph Towner CD. Gary Peacock is an excellent bassist, who appeared on many ECM recording as leader and sideman.

For my local friends, stay dry, and keep you spirits up with some good music. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Rebranding myself: Journeyman Artist and proud of it, or You don't know "Jack".


nounjourneymanplural nounjourneymen
  1. 1.
    a worker or sports player who is reliable but not outstanding.
    "a solid journeyman professional"
  2. 2.
    a trained worker who is employed by someone else.
    "a journeyman carpenter"

As I enter my 70s and I look back on my creative life and career in commercial art, I come to embrace the term: "Journeyman Artist" as a fair description of my career, my creative life's journey, with a sense of pride, not as an insult as some might view the term.  Considering that from that time in junior high school when I was asked by my guidance consulter to decide on a career path (they did that back then) I choose to pursuit my hobby of drawing and art as my career path, to become a commercial artist  (actually, astronaut was my first choice, but failure at math derailed that pipe dream).  I think I remember one book in the school library on commercial art, and it wasn't encouraging. Thinking back, I realized I had no back up career in mind.  So. I'm glad to say, all things considered, I achieved my goal in a round about way, with many starts and stops, and side trips, which didn't end when stepping away and retiring from the animation business in 2008. Making art is too much a part of me to totally abandon it.
Someone, I had once met, once referred to me as a "Renaissance Man" when he found out I was an artist (illustrator), played guitar (never above hobbyist) and wrote songs (again, nothing beyond a hobbyist).   Plus , I wrote stories (original comic book Sci-Fi adventures, at the time). I always liked that image of myself, as a Renaissance Man.  But, in my darkest moments of an introvert's self-doubt I'd think of it as being a "Jack of All trades..." and the lesser used ending of that saying "...and master of NONE". In any case, I'm hoping to continue pursuing my interests in all the creative areas of my life that have atrophied over time as I pursued a professional  career, which causes you to specialize in one area to be marketable, and into retirement.  I plan to use my Youtube channel and my blog to showcase my past, present ,and future endeavors.  Stick around, maybe "knowing "Jack" isn't a bad idea.

Here's the banner for my Youtube page:

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - Brad Mehldau Trio, Julian Lage

On this sunny and warm Sunday Music Muse Day, it actually seems like spring has finally arrived. The grass is turning green, trees and flowers are blooming.  All in all, it's a good day to enjoy new music.  First up, Brad Mehldau Trio Live, a two CD set recorded at the legendary Village Vanguard in NYC, October 11-15, 2006.  With Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Jeff Ballard on drum.  Mehldau once came to my attention with his jazzy renditions of rock tunes, like Beatles' songs. He has esoteric style with a hint of avant-garde in his playing, but never too much to be off-putting, just adventurous.  Worth a listen.

Next up is Julian Lage The Layers. This EP  CD featuring the guitarist teaming with guitarist Bill Frisell on five of the six tracks, all six originals of Lage.  It's nice mellow affair, which could fall into the modern Americana music Frisell is known for, with lot of acoustic guitar playing by both.

I hope the weather is nice wherever you are, and you get to enjoy it.

For Robot Sunday - Pacific Rim Wooden Model

For Robot Sunday, I finally got around to building this wooden model kit my son gave me for Christmas. I just put on some music and dived in. It also took me away from Doom Scrolling on internet. I feel much better, now. I might paint it later.