Monday, May 25, 2015

Belated Sunday Music Muse Day - Paradigm Shift, Vijay Iyer Trio, and Brad Mehldau Trio

Due to the Memorial Day weekend, I'm a day off on my Sunday Music Muse Day post. This time up, three new purchases from my local music shop Hi-Fi Lounge, two of which have local connection. First, there is Paradigm Shirt - Shifting Times CD. They're a local organ trio I've heard on Jazz 90.1 radio, and I've seen their concerts listed in the local papers, but I hadn't had a chance to hear them live. I'll be sure to correct that.

Second, is the Vijay Iyer Trio - Break Stuff. Iyer hail from Freeport, NY, which is near Rochester, and he is one of the hottest young pianist performing today. I like this CD more than the last one of brought of his. This one is more accessible to me.

 Finally, there is the Brad Mehldau Trio - Anything Goes CD. This set showcases covers of various well known tunes in a very different renditions.

 Considering myself a guitar-centric music lover, I try to step outside that comfort zone with these piano and organ based groups. They're worth checking out. Enjoy

Memorial Day - 2015

Remember to honor the true meaning of the day. My favorite Memorial Day special is the PBS program Hallowed Grounds that showcases the 23 World War I and World War II American military cemeteries around the world. Just hearing stories of those cemeteries and seeing the vast rows of white gravestones and crosses leaves me feeling sad and humble, but fulled with deep respect for the fallen. Look for Hallowed Grounds if airs on your PBS station.

Hallowed Grounds
I visited the Vietnam War Memorial, when I visited Washington DC, back in the late 90's, and found the name of a high school classmate, Avey Presley, there. Seeing his name on the wall struck me like a lightning bolt. Here's his listing on the virtual wall. Reading his full profile, he was killed by "friendly fire", 2 months after arriving in Viet Nam. it's still a shock.
Our continuing thanks and gratitude to the fallen, should only be matched by the desire for peace in the world and the prevention the additions of more markers to these hollowed grounds.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Music Muse Day- ECM Records Radio,, and John Abercrombie - Timeless

I miss posting a  Sunday Music Muse Day last week because of Mother's Day.  But I'm back.  This week's Sunday Music Muse Day post is a celebration of my enjoying the ECM Records Radio itune channel. A follow member of the Jazz on Jazz FB page shared the link.  ECM Records is one of those rare labels that produces such a great, eclectic selection of music, and musicians, that I'm also willing to pick an ECM record of I'm artist I've never heard of, just because they are on ECM.   I've been listening to the ECM Records Radio this past week, when my normal Jazz station, Jazz 90.1 has other programing on. Today it played several tunes by guitarist John Abercrombie, a favorite musician of mine. Timeless, from the album of the same name, is one of my all time favorite tune. It's the perfect piece to listen to with headphones on, or late at night, for its meditative force to wash over you. Try it, you'll like it. With musical support of Jan Hammer, on Organ, Synth. and Piano, and Jack DeJohnette on drum, this album is the must have for any music lover. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Music Muse Day - Osamu Kitajima

For today’s Sunday Music Muse Day is inspired by Kuni Tomita, friend who plays a shamisen in her Japanese folk music group. The shamisen is a three stringed instrument, like a banjo (maybe). In any case, Kuni’s music reminded me of the musician Osama Kitajima who used traditional Japanese instruments in the rock or modern context. I first listened to him in the 1970’s and 80s. His later work moved into New Age music and sort of lost the the appeal of his earlier works, in my opinion. Here are several of his albums I own. 
Check out the cut from this album, Yesterday and Karma, with vocals by the late, great Minnie Riperton. This one song is worth seeking out this album.
 The Masterless Samurai album has great cover art by artist Louise Scott.  Just a side note, good thing she had the foresight sign her work nice and large since the record company did add her name in the album credits.

 Here's the title tune.

So, thanks for the inspiration, Kuni.