Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Weather Report, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Peter Erskine

It's a rainy Sunday Music Muse Day for me, so what better way to spend the day than listening to Weather Report Live and Unreleased. a two disc set of live performances recorded in the U.S. and London between 1975 and 1983, with five different versions of the band. The only constant is Joe Zawinul, keyboardist and Wayne Shorter, multi-saxophonist. Weather Report is one of my all time favorite groups, especially being  non-guitar based, which hooked me on a lot of fusion bands.  I first saw this on youtube and thought it was fan made bootleg, since I had never seen it.  I'm glad it is a official release.

Continuing with Weather Report is The Wayne Shorter Quartet Without a Net. This 2013 recording of live dates was Wayne's first Blue Note release since 1970.  Wayne shows he lost none of his sense of adventure on this 4/5 star rated CD.  Happy to said he's still going strong at 84 years old.

Just to make it an all Weather Report day, Peter Erskine Behind Closed Doors Volume One.  This CD by the former Weather Report drummer, is a collection of previously unreleased  tracks between march 1979 and March 1996, with a array of talented comtemptories, like John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Marc Johnson, Bill Dobbins, to name a few.  I've enjoyed Peter Erskine post- Weather Report music as a leader and composer.  I hope I come across Volume 2 soon.

It's still raining outside, but listening to music on these CDs brightens the forecast. Hope you find good music in your forecast.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dime-A-Dozen Projects #7 - Sword & Sorcery, Conan, Frank Frazetta

[Dime-A-Dozen Projects is so named from a conversation with creative friends of mine as we lamented that when we were working full-time for someone else, we get these (in our minds) original "million dollar" ideas, that would, somehow, turn into "dime-a-dozen" ideas when we were out of work and on our own.]

Next up in my Dime-A-Dozen Projects is my move to Sword and Sorcery.  Comic books provided me with one of the richest sources of inspiration. This occurring in the 60's, coincided with the rise of Marvel Comics and the glory days of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and the other comic book masters of that time. My old sketch books are full of original characters modeled after those great Marvel Age creations.
Then one day, two new influences entered my artistic life. On the paperback book rack in the local newspaper and candy shop was a cover that just leaped at me, a dagger wielding, dark-haired barbarian atop a red cloaked ape. Thus, artist Frank Frazetta and Robert E. Howard's "Conan" gained a new and loyal fan. This truly "dynamic duo" not only provided endless visual and literary enjoyment but also inspiration. 
I just devoured the Conan paperbacks, the short stories were perfect for inspiring my attempts a portraying Conan.

My sketches and color illustrations lead to me trying some comic pages of a original story to feature Conan. "Scales of the Guardian".  (I later change the character name to Brute)

I changed the character to a original character, Brute, the Iron-Eye, for a attempt at flashing out the story, which went unfinished.

Another unfinished  story, The Temple", featuring another original barbarian warrior, Vols. Some story elements would show up my Blackwolf story (but I'm getting ahead of myself, that is a whole major Dime-A-Dozen Project post). One production note: for some reason I did the arti and lettering with thin rapid-o-graph pen, on thick illustration board, then at  page five, I switched to brush work, bad brush work I might add, before giving up altogether.

I did mention to complete a original story in the sword and sorcery vain as sample page to show Jim Warren, publisher of Creepy and Eerie Magazines.  The main character, Rothtar, of the Tanlor Tribe, was just a one-off, and story a self-contain one to fit the Creepy anthology format.  I've come to think of the story as the original for the my Warrior in the Mist character (another Dime-A-Dozen Project that will get its own post).

These explorations of sword & sorcery lead to my developing my own character, which will be the subject of my next Dime-A-Dozen post, Blackwolf.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Bob Sneider, Paul Silbergleit

The week's Sunday Music Muse Day will be a brief one.  We had trip to the emergency room over night, not life threatening, but tiring the less.  After allowing myself to sleep until noon, I play my first selection to ease into the day.  Bob Sneider Out of the Darkness, one of Rochester's finest musicians, guitarist and favorite of mine. This is Bob's second recording which features, the swinging Mike Melito on drums, and his Bob's brother, John Sneider on trumpet.  Unfortunately, I have to miss a performance by Bob and Mike at the Lovin' Cup, a local venue.  I was looking forward to good music, and a good meal.  Listening to Out of Darkness will have to be my consolation prize for the evening.  I'll definitely make the next gig.

My second selection, is someone new to me, Paul Silbergleit Silberglicity.  The liner notes from this 1996 release, described his playing as "...will surely impress even the toughest listeners of straight-ahead jazz."   So, I figured it was worth a listen.  I'm am impressed and most of the tunes are originals.   Checking out his web site, he has many things is common with Bob Sneider, "Paul Silbergleit is a Milwaukee-based jazz guitarist, composer, educator, and author. Straight-ahead in style, he bears the influence of figures such as Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, and Kenny Burrell."  I think he and Bob could have a lot to talk about.

That's it for this week. Hope you find some music to calm the chaos, but no Kenny G.  Enjoy.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Music Muse Day - Ralph Towner, Chick Corea.

For this week's Sunday Music Muse Day, I got to share the latest releases from two of my favorite musicians.  One of my regular music buying shop, Record Archives, was having a 43rd anniversary bash, and offering a 40% off sale. So, I took the opportunity to pick a special item I had my eye on but resisted due to the high price (hey...I'm on a family man's budget). That item was the Chick Corea: The Musician, 4-Disc set, with 3 CDs and a Blu-Ray of Chick 's special 70th birthday celebration, which he spent by playing the Blue Note jazz club in NYC for a a month of 48 show with various musician from his stellar career.  It a parade of "who's-who" of the jazz world. I'm just working my way through the music CDs, and look forward to the Blu-Ray special.  An added bonus the packaging as 5 1/2" x 7 1/2" booklet with 46 page of liner notes and full color photos print heavy glossy paper.  It's a very nice set, worth the full price.

The Record Archive discount sale made it easy to pick up another CD I had my eye on, Ralph Towner My Foolish Heart. It's a solo effort, with Ralph on classical and 12-string guitars.   In the liner notes he states the title, especially the version by legendary pianist Bill Evan inspired his piano playing (piano being his first instrument), and later his guitar playing.  It's great to see Ralph going strong into his mid-70s.  I plan to enjoy every moment of this CD.

These two selections will keep me busy for days, and I'm sure I'll be revisiting them often, in the future.