Sunday, April 28, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - Johnny Hodges with Sam Woodyard, Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds me enjoying and celebrating a pair of 2-CD sets of  legendary jazz saxophonists.  First up is Johnny Hodges at Sportpalast, Berlin, a 2 CD live set recored in Berlin, Germany in march 1961.  Hodges uses fellow band mates of the Ellington Orchestra, including my father, Sam Woodyard, on drums.  This CD set was produced by famed produce Norman Granz who handled the European tour of this group, while Duke had gone Paris to work on the movie, Paris Blues, with Billy Strayhorn. It sounds like it was a win-win for everybody.  Most of the tunes are associated with the Ellington playlist, as to be expected.  It's always fun for me to find Sam on other jazz outings.  I think of this as collecting a nice music legacy for my kids.

Next is baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan Quartet, the original quartet with Chet Baker.  This collection of cuts recorded in the early 1950s is giving me a education in the West Coast Jazz style of the era.  It definitely has a more laid back feel than the East Coast style of artists like Miles Davis, and the Bebop of Dizzy Gillespie.  It's  alway fun to discovery the gems of the past in jazz made before I got into it in the 1970s.

Two sets double CDs, I'm looking forward to enjoying for a long time.  Cheers.

Dime-A-Dozen Project #12 Preview -Nova Corps.

This is a preview of the next Dime-A-Dozen Project #12 - Nova Corps.  So, in pulling out art to prep for my video, I only had 4 or 5 drawings, and a 20 page story outline.  I realize I have to up my game on this to at least rough out some of the action scenes in the 20 page outline.  It seems my head is full of the scenes and action, but none of them make it to a drawing page.

As they say...To Be Continued.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - Pat Metheny, Michael Brecker

The Sunday Music Muse Day lands on Easter Sunday and Passover holidays. Much peace and love to all my friends, and their families, who celebrate these holidays.  As for me I'll enjoy some tunes after a long walk grocery shopping trip with Lisa.  First up, is Pat Metheny Unity Band, a some what straight forward, muscular, group than some of his groups.  The playing borders on Hard Bop (?). Of course, I could be totally wrong on that.

My next selection is bitter sweet one, Michael Brecker Pilgramage.  I've knew late saxophonist mostly from the days of The Brecker Brothers Band the jazz/funk fusion group in the 1970s,  he had with his brother, Randy, who played Trumpet and flugelhorn. Pilgramage is a straight ahead jazz outing with stellar group of sidemen, including Pat Metheny.  That said, the music didn't grab me.  I found it unfocused. Music reviews on online gives this 5 stars, so what do I know. I admit the fact that this was his last session before passing away five months later is very sad.

Again, here's wishing everyone a peaceful and loving Easter/Passover holiday. Enjoy

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Music Music Day - Bill Frisell Thomas Morgan, Gary Burton.

Today's Sunday Music Muse Day founds me recovering from the annual madness of Record Store Day.  I hit my favorite shops, Bop Shop Records, Record Archives, and Hi-Fi Lounge, just to soak in the excitement, and ran to Derrick Lucas, and a co-worker friend hosting a brewery sample table at the Bop Shop.  Although,  I didn't pick up any vinyl this year I did make a purchase in each shop.  I'll share a couple here, and in the coming weeks.

First up, Bill Frisell Thomas Morgan Epistrophy,  a new release this week, This duet set seems to be from the same concert  "recorded live at the Village Vanguard" as the Small Town CD released in 2017.  Frisell and Morgan delivers the intimate neo-Americana music feel I like in Frisell's music, plus as they did on the Small Town with Goldfinger, there's a dreamy version of James Bond movie title, You Only Live Twice.  This is music perfect for a quiet evening, or rainy afternoon.

Next up, is Gary Burton: For Hamp, Red, Bags, and Cal has Burton paying tribute to "four legendary and influential jazz vibraphonists", Lionel "Hamp" Hampton, Red Norvo, Milt Jackson (founding member of the Modern Jazz Quartet) and Cal Tjader (an important voice in Cool Jazz and Latin Jazz)   Regarded as a vibes master himself, "Gary Burton at once honors the jazz vibraphone legacy, while steering it headfirst into the creative, new territory".  One of the strongest traits of great jazz players is their respect for the important players who came before, and their desire to keep the tradition moving forward.  Burton shows that spirit fully on this CD.

I have more Record Store to listen to and digest.  I'll be sure to share them.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Dime-A-Dozen Project #11 - M.O.J.O. Squad - Code:MD Metro Detective

[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. I have ton's of unfinished projects in the form of character sketches, incomplete written outlines, half drawn comic pages, and full illustrations. You get the idea, a dime-a-dozen idea. I'm feeling the need to catalog for my own sanity and for a simple record to leave my kids, and as I said above, along the way rekindle my creative juice and start drawing again.] M.O.J.O. Squad - Code MD: Metro Detective features futuristic black cop, Lance St.Clair (aka Lawson St. Clair, aka A. Blackmon) teamed with an alien immigration officer and techno-nerd rookie cop for crime adventures in New York City in 2090. This was clearly inspired by Rick Decker in Blade Runner, the Sci-Fi movie classic.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Stowell - Michael Zilber, Duke Ellington revisited.

This Sunday Music Muse Day actually finds it feeling like Spring.  I got to go shopping with just a light sweatshirt on. At Bop Shop Records, I picked up John Stowell / Michael Zilber Quartet Basement Blues. It's a tasty and energetic outing with Stowell on guitar and Zilber on saxophones and piano.  This 2016 session is their third recording together.  Eight out of the ten tunes are originals  by members of the band, with a tune by Bill Evens (Very Early) and Jerome Kern ( Nobody Else But Me).  It a nice way to greet the Spring.

By second second selection has me revisiting some Duke Ellington selections, the result of a minor discovery.  I had, what thought was, an album cover of the Duke Ellington Piano in the Foreground mounted in a simple glass frame.  The cover features Sam Woodyard, my father, on the cover. This was given to me in Paris by a friend of Sam's.  I wanted to reframe this, but I discovered  it a was a color xerox of the cover, and I would have damaged it if I removed it from the backing.  But, I wanted to have a framed version of the cover to mount on the wall.  So, I looked for a copy at Bop Shop Records.  Owner Tom Kohn and the staff were very helpful, even letting me search their basement stash of Ellington stock. after not finding the Piano in the Foreground album in main floor stacks.  I did found a copy, and picked up another Storyville Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, with Johnny Hodges and his Orchestra, because it had a band photo with Sam in it.  Now I have to find good spot to mount both covers. 

Seems like Spring finally here to stay. Try to enjoy it to the fullest.  Good tunes always helps.