Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Music Muse Day - Stan Meets Chet, Chick Corea Vigil, and Jack Bruce Spectrum Road

This week's Sunday Music Muse Day features three interesting CDs, a pleasant surprise, mild disappointment, and an exciting find.

The pleasant surprise was the Verve Records re-issue CD, Stan meets Chet, as in Stan Getz, and Chet Baker.  Both men legendary jazz figures on their respective instruments, Stan Getz on the tenor saxophone, and  Chet Baker on the trumpet.  I couldn't pass up this CD as the liner notes states the LP of their meeting was long out-of-print.  I admit I've been late in getting to know the music  of both more closely.  So this CD will help in making up for that.

My mild disappointment is by Chick Corea, The Vigil, a CD some critic said was his best since the hay day of Return to Forever.  I had seen this CD several times and debated buying it, but after listening to the Return to Forever Anthology, which included the full Romantic Warrior album cuts, this past week.  I relented.  Well, let's just say there are echoes of the best RTF tunes in the CD, but unfortunately the bad excesses of the later RTF albums, like Musicmagic, are present, most annoying is the vocals of Gayle Moran Corea (a nice enough singer) singing Chick horrible lyrics.  I posted them so you can judge for yourself.  Even just as poetry, the lyrics just don't work.  I can console myself with the cover art, at least, Chick in a shiny suit of armor.   I think Chick has "thing" for that image.  Romantic Warrior has a knight in armor on it.

The exciting find is the CD, Spectrum Road, featuring the legendary Rock / Jazz bassist, the late Jack Bruce.  Jack, of course, is best known for being a member of Cream, the premiere Rock power trio, with guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker (FYI- one of my all time favorite Rock groups).  Those who know of Jack Bruce's jazz connections will know he played with an early version Tony William's Lifetime, with guitarist John McLaughlin, and organist Larry Young. Lifetime was truly a groundbreaking Jazz-Fusion group, playing a very raw and intense brand of music.  Spectrum Road is sort of a tribute to the late Tony Williams.  Eight of the ten tunes are Tony Williams compositions, from the Lifetime albums, and one each from William's "Believe it" and "Joy of Flying". The other players on Spectrum Road are guitarist Vernon Reid, of the Black Rock  group Living Color, on organ is John Medeski, of the "post-Fusion trio" Medeski, Martin and Wood, and finally drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, who I'm not familiar with, but she's on my musical radar now.

All in all, not a good collection.  Even the Chick Corea CD has some moments to enjoy.  With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I'll have more free to give these another listen.  Enjoy your turkey day.

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