Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Memories

For Sunday Music Muse Day, at least as a footnote, I only torture my family by playing, now. I started the Muse Day posts to get back into guitar playing, It has helped, and morphed in a little more. Again, my thanks to Peter Grosett for this happy memories.
Seriously, Pete a great guy and the gig was a musical highlight for me. I still have the reel-to-reel tape for the night. If ever I remember to get it transfer to CD before it crumbles to dust, I'll make a copy for Pete.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Art File Archives - Doctor Apollo and Ion

One of the thing about being artist is being a pack rat when it come of keeping old drawings.  Luckily I managed to keep many sketch books and drawing from the early teens when I was just drawing for fun, and finally decide to try to be a professional artist.  Mainly it was because I like comic books, and being inspired by the just emerging Marvel Comic creation of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and others.  I would try to make up my own superheroes and other characters.  You have to remember this was before there were any Black comic book characters,  Marvel's Black Panter appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in July 1966), so that must have influenced creating these guys. But, as life progress most of these never saw the light of day. I think it's time to rectify that.  So I'm starting a post to showcase these old drawings of original characters, in the hope of sparking my creative juices to work on them some more.  I have a list of original characters I made awhile ago, sort of a partial inventory of random ideas.  Here's the list:
As I proceed I'll try to remember concepts, origin stories, powers, etc.and what inspired them.

Doctor Apollo and Ion

Best I can remember Doctor Apollo was inspired by Solar, Man of the Atom, the original Dell Comic.  Like a lot of superheroes, and villains, he was a scientist who experiment went wrong and result in him getting super powers, which included flying shooting energy bolts out of his hand.  His name is a nod to the Apollo the sun god.

 Ion, was Dr, Apollo's brother who got caught in the same accident.
 These are page from this 1966 sketch book (I was 16 years old at the time).  There will a spot drawing of Doctor Apollo or Ion the a page, plus other character I will feature later.

 These two pages show the last drawings I done of Doctor Apollo, , in 2008.

 I'm looking to enjoy this.  Check back if you do too.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Father's Day - Mike Melito, Bill Frisell, Miles Davis, and Weather Report

The Sunday Music Muse Day find us celebrating Father's Day with a nice array of music.  First up.  Local Rochester drummer Mike Melito New Connection CD.  Mike's a friend, and I enjoy seeing him play quite often.  I hope to see him at the upcoming jam sessions at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.   His latest is a very solid, swinging collection of tunes. Mike you'll be happy to know I even paid full price at the Bop Shop Records (they asked that be sure to mention them).  Mike's music was the great way to start Father's Day. 

Next is another interesting Bill Frisell CD.  Disfarmer is concept CD inspired by a photographer of stark Americana, black and white photos of every day farm folk of the middle west.  This is a amazing CD, the music caught to ear of my visiting mother-in-Law and the connection to the photographer intrigued her as she used to work as museum archivist. Well worth listening to.

Next, I continue my exploration of Miles Davis music with the CD, A Tribute to Jack Johnson.  This a actually a soundtrack to the 1970 film documentary about Jack Johnson, the first Black heavy weight boxing champion around the early 1900s. The play and film The Great White Hope is about his life.  I already have this on LP, but picked this up for the convenience of having it on CD. (I might start considering selling the LPs, soon)  Also, Jack Johnson's story brings to mind the great Muhammad Ali, who passed away recently.  Again, the music is solidly in the Bitches' Brew era, performed by the usual suspects.  I just can't get enough of it.

This last selection is a gold mine, and in a way an extension of the Mile Davis selection. Of course, Weather Report founders, Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, left Miles to form Weather Report and the rest, as they say, is history.  Weather Report has to be my favorite post-Miles jazz fusion band (even without a guitarist) bar none. Quoting from wikipedia "Forecast: Tomorrow is a 3-CD/1-DVD career-spanning compilation of recordings of Weather Report. The 37 tracks are presented chronologically, beginning with three tracks pre–Weather Report, from ensemble duties with Miles Davis (both Zawinul and Shorter), Cannonball Adderley (Zawinul), and from a Shorter solo album. In addition to one unreleased track, the set closes with DJ Logic's remix of a Weather Report track.
The 4th disc in the package is a 2-hour DVD of a concert in Offenbach am Main, on September 29, 1978 for the German TV program Rockpalast. The boxed set includes a 100-page book with notes on the set by compiler Bob Belden, a long essay on the band by Hal Miller, and a reminiscence of the 1978 concert by drummer Peter Erskine ."

This was a really nice surprise to find.  I'm really going to enjoy this.  Hope you enjoyed your Father's day.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day - Miles Davis Big Fun, Water Babies, Live Evil, and Brad mehldau

This Sunday Music Muse finds me still thinking of the Miles Ahead movie we saw a couple weeks ago, and the music Miles Davis was working on at that time. So I had the chance to pick up CDs of music from that Bitches Brew era.  In each case I already own original LPs, but can't resist picking up CD copies for convenience, and the extras the re-issues might have. First up,  Miles Davis Water Babies, recorded in 1968 which pre-dates Bitches Brew, but was not released until 1976.  This is mostly as acoustic outing with the exception of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock on electric piano.

 Next up is Miles Davis Big Fun, which is favorite of mine for inclusion of John Mclaughlin.  The liner notes stated Big Fun was recorded between 1969 and 1972, and released in 1974.  Big Fun feels like a extension of Bitches Brew.  This two CD set  has bonus tracks, which is always nice.

Lastly is is Miles Davis Live Evil, which chronologically should go after Water Babies, and before Big Fun as the dated were recorded in 1970.  This is another two CD set, with cover art by Mati Klarwain, who did the Bitches Brew cover.  Here is where the CD's size doesn't do the art justice as the LP covers did.

All of these will revisited again, and again. As with all the music of Miles Davis there is always something new to discover with each listening.  Enjoy.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Throwback Thursday (1 day late) Ancient Original Comic Book Characters

Throwback Thursday. Here are some ancient original superhero characters from my teenage years (1960s). I keep thinking I need to update them, if I could remember the concepts behind them.  I'll start collecting the various sketches and start posting in future blogs.
Best I can remember Doctor Apollo was inspired by Solar, Man of the Atom, the original Dell Comic.
ION was Doctor Apollo's sidekick.
Sabre Squad, part of S.P.R.I.T.E, which was like Man from UNCLE group
 Warrior was leader of the Sabre Squad.   Also this is the back page of a Famous Artist School test.  You can see the grade and notes at the bottom.  No, I did not do it.

 Falcon was created before the Marvel Falcon. Which is maybe why I stopped working on him when Marvel's Falcon appeared.
This the SolarNaut. The bands on arm and leg absorb sunlight and power his bionic implants, or something like that.
This is the Centipede, an arch-villain of the Sabre Squad.  He operates a giant mechanical Centipede show in the drawings below the figures.

I'm using my digging into my old art files as a way to get  my creative juices flowing again.  It's time to learn to draw for fun again.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Music Muse Day with Bill Frisell, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, and Elvin Jones

This week's Sunday Music Muse Day selections finds me enjoying some well known favorite musicians, and a legend who I didn't have a record or CD by.  First up is the eclectic guitarist Bill Frisell Ghost Town CD.  A review on All Music website says "While Bill Frisell has released plenty of albums under his own name, this is his first true solo album -- the first on which he plays all of the instruments himself. These include electric and acoustic guitar, six-string banjo, and bass, as well as the occasional looped sample."  I didn't notice this until I was listening to it.  Bill's range of musical ideas are always amazing, it hard to label him, so I don't try and just enjoy his work.  His blend of jazz, country, and blue grass, and folk, always make me think of the composer Aaron Copland, who was Instrumental in forging a distinctly American style of composition.

My second selection is Chick Corea Origin- Live at the Blue Note.  This is premiere of a new group Corea put together with a talented batch of young players.

My third selection is Wayne Shorter  The All Seeing Eye.  This Blue Note re-issue of a session recorded in October 15, 1965 gives a hint of the what Wayne brought to later sessions with Miles Davis Bitch Brew era.  I found the music bold and daring.

My last selection is Elvin Jones At this Point in Time.  I have to admit, although I have many records with Elvin as a sideman, this is the first I have of him as a leader.  I also have to admit the Elvin's persona has always scared me, he looks so intense on his album covers.  His music can be just a intimidating, but I intent to face my fear and give it a solid listening.