Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Pat Martino

For this, the last Sunday Music Muse Day of October, I offer a double dose of the incredible jazz guitar legend, Pat Martino.  Both the CD are of sessions he made after recovering from a serious illness the robbed him of his memory, and the ability to play guitar. He basically taught himself play all over again.  You'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the before and after period.  It's a amazing, inspiring story. First up is Pat Martino Interchange (1994) a collection of six tunes, five Pat original and one Mile Davis tune, Blue in Green.

The second CD is Pat Martino Nightwings, released in 1996, two years after Interchange, but actually record in May 27, 1994.  Just three months after Interchange was record (March 1, 1994)  I guess they wanted to spread out the goodness.

 Again, Pat Martino's story and music should be an inspiration to all showing the strength of the creative human spirit. It's the  positive boost we need to get us through those trying times.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Gabor Szabo, Jimmy Herring

This Sunday Music Muse Day find me playing a guitarist I've known by name, and repetition but never owned an album of.  Gabor Szabo, The Socerer - More Sorcery is Impulse! 2-1 CD of two live set recorded in 1967.  A lot of early jazz fusion guitarists, like Larry Coryell named Gabor Szabo as an influence. Gabor has a raw, sparse, European/gypsy sound to my ears. Some of the selections show the era when some popular tunes were being cover by jazz musicians.  There are renditions of Sonny and Cher's The Beat Goes On, and the Beatles Lucy in the Skies With Diamonds  to illustrate the point. Still worth giving it a listen.

My second selection turned out to be a disappointment.  Jimmy Herring Lifeboat. I picked up this CD because I saw Herring performing with John McLaughlin on his farewell tour last year.  I missed most of his opening set, but thought he sounded good with McLaughlin. This CD of his own compositions really didn't grab me. Sort of the down side of jazz fusion, a lot of notes played fast and furiously, but no memorable tunes.  So it goes.

Fall is here.  Time to gather some firewood for the fireplace, watch for falling leaves, and also a good a time to settle in for some good music listening. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Music Muse - Tal Farlow and Lenny Breau, Dave Holland

Welcome to another Sunday Music Muse Day with a alternative suggested activity to watching football, listening to these jazz selections.  First up, is a meeting of two legendary guitarists, Tal Farlow & Lenny Breau Chance Meeting, as stated in this All Music review by Ken Dryden: "The one-time meeting between guitarists Tal Farlow and Lenny Breau came about because Lorenzo DeStefano, who was making a PBS documentary (Talmage Farlow) in 1980, wanted a meeting between the veteran and a rising star. Farlow suggested Breau, and an invitation was extended and immediately accepted by the younger man. After the musicians spent time conversing in Farlow's New Jersey home, they moved to The Sign of the Times, a small nightclub in the tiny town of Rumson, to weave their musical magic. Although this was their first and only performance together, they complement one another's playing as if they had worked as a regular duo."  Great stuff.  I'll have to look up the documentary.

Next up is a more progressive jazz CD, Dave Holland Prism. All Music reviewer Matt Collar said: "His 2013 album, Prism, finds Holland returning to his crossover funk roots with an able-bodied quartet. Featured here are former Tonight Show guitarist Kevin Eubanks, pianist/Rhodes keyboardist Craig Taborn, and drummer Eric Harland. All of these musicians have reputations for playing adventurous, genre-bending styles of jazz, making them perfectly suited for the project at hand."  I enjoyed the music but I found sound of the recording to be lacking to my ear, but I can't quite put my finger on the reason. I'll had to give it more listening.

 So, the TV football season ramps up try to find some time for good music, recorded, and live. Enjoy

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Gerry Mulligan and Johnny Hodges, Les McCann and Eddie Harris

This week's Sunday Music Muse Day finds the weather turning cooler in definite hint of fall in the air. All the more reason to cue up so warm jazz. First up, Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges, the excellent set described in the liner note by famed jazz critic Nat Hentoff as "particularly attractive in the wholly casual air. There's is no stain, no trace of pretentiousness."  This could be labeled West Coast jazz, recorded in LA, as Gerry Mulligan well known baritone saxophone player leading his own groups in the "cool jazz" of that time, 1959. While Johnny Hodges was still a featured saxophonist with Duke Ellington.  Apparently, they admired each others play a long while before getting together for this session. The session features three tunes from each of them.  Well worth listening to, while settling in with a warm drink on cool afternoon.

Next is a re-issued classic, Les McCann & Eddie Harris Swiss Movement, the Montreux 30th Anniversay Edition, released by Rhino Record and Atlantic Record. I usually resist buying a CD of music I already own on vinyl record but this has an extra unreleased track. By all account this historic recording should have been a disaster. A live recording of musicians, Les McCann (piano and vocals), Eddie Harris (tenor sax), Benny Baily (trumpet), Leroy Vinneger (bass) and Donald Dean (drums), who barely knew each other, thrown together at the last minute, with no planned music, no rehearsals, "no time for a sound check, and the PA system is feeding back", against all odds Swiss Movement became one of the most popular jazz album ever record. As noted on Wikipedia, "The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best jazz performance, small group. It reached No. 1 on Billboard's jazz album chart, No. 2 on the R&B chart, and No. 29 on the LP chart." Compared to What, the best known tune, sold millions as a single.  The music is still fresh as it was in 1969.

Winter is coming, but lets not rush and just enjoy the coming fall weather.  I personally like the change of seasons, for the sense of rest and renewal. Enjoy

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday Music Muse Day - Al DiMeola. Gilah Hekelman, my Warped Sky - Stray Clouds

I back after a summer break in August, due to a vacation, and basic summer laziness.  But, I did manage to pick up some new music to share. So, first up is Al Di Meola Elegant Gypsy and More Live. This latest CD from the jazz fusion guitarist best known for his work with Chick Corea's Return to Forever, the pioneering Jazz Fusion group in the 1970's and beyond.  This CD finds Di Meola revisiting tunes from his early solo album, Elegant Gypsy, made after he left RTF. for the most part the material holds up nicely.  I not overly impressed with the drummer.  (Also, I think Al's cover pose is pretentious)

My second pick is from one of the new generation of jazz guitarists, Gilad Hekselman Ask for Chaos.  I think I came across him on jazz post spotlighting new talent.  This CD is actually is just being released next week, Sept. 7.  it must have been a reviewer's copy.  Lucky I found it.  I can heard strains of Bill Frisell and John Abercrombie in his playing, and that's not a bad thing.

Here's another original tune as part of my Warped Sky - Stray Clouds project is Why Should I care? Warped Sky - Stray Cloud, is a combination of songs from old tapes and new renditions of original tunes written and played by me in the 1980s. . This started are just a collection of chords and no lyrics. This video has my first complete version played against a Band in a Box backing tracking. I have to admit musically it goes nowhere. I can't even label it "elevator music". I was trying for the feel of a Pat Metheny I like "Tell Her You Saw me", or Jeff Beck's "We Ended as Lovers, but I just couldn't pull it off. Still, it's another song off my incomplete list.
Hopefully I can stay on a better schedule with upcoming blog post, as Fall arrives. Enjoy.