Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day Howard Alden, George Van Eps, Hittin' on All Six

This Sunday Music Muse Day has all of us asking ..."What day is it?" The social distancing directive to stay home, because of the Coronavirus outbreak,  has the days blending into each other.  I tend to listen to music more than binge watch TV, so here my first pick, Howard Alden and George Van Eps Seven and Seven, jazz guitar duo session.  The title refers to the use of seven string guitars (extra bass string) by both players. This was recorded in 1992 around the time of Van Eps' 80th birthday (he passed away in 1998 at 85 yrs old) and was a follow up an early 1991 release,  13 String, where Alden play a 6-string guitar and Van Eps his 7-string. George Van Eps is credited with inventing 7-string guitar back in the 1930. He inspired jazz guitarists like John, and Bucky Pizzarelli, and Howard Alden  to pick up the 7-string.  The tradition continues with young players Charlie Hunter.  This CD is nice collection of jazz standards.  Well worth giving a listen.

Listen to George Van Eps reminded me of a collection he's that I featured before, Hittin' on All Six - A History of the Jazz Guitar, covering the early pioneers from the 1920 to 1950.  These are all great players recording before I was born. Hearing them gives a deeper appreciation of jazz guitarist like Bob Sneider who carry on the jazz guitar tradition.

The social distancing gives us all a chance to step back and maybe take stock of our hectic modern life and maybe re-order a priorities.  Lets hope we all come out the other side of this in a better place, socially, spiritually, and culturally.  Find some good music to accompany your journey.  Stay safe, stay clam, stay healthy.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Revisiting Bill Frisell

This Sunday Music Muse finds us up deeper into the mandatory social distancing as the result of the growing Covid-19 virus crisis.  If you have to be restricted from going out except for food, or an emergency, lets find some music to enjoy.  My first pick is one I featured before, but I pulled it out to fill a request from my mother-in-law who is visiting us while she recovers from hip problem.  She heard me play this several years ago and liked this Bill Frisell Ghost Town.

On another past visit, my mother-in-law, heard Bill Frisell Disfarmer CD, and liked that too.

Actually, Bill Frisell's 69th birthday, March 18, was just this week. He still playing, and going strong.  So, lets celebrate that, too.  I encourage you to find some music to feed you soul.  Stay safe, stay calm, stay healthy. 

Sci-Fi and pin-up beer labels.

While doing my weekly grocery shopping, I browsed the beer section a spied these sci-fi and pin-up labels.  I haven't tried any of these yet. but I might soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Art Blakey, Joe Gordon, Robert Glasper

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds the whole world in the grips of the Coronavirus crisis. I'm hoping a little music will help manage the growing stress from all sides.  My only trip of out of the house, Saturday, was to the Bop Shop Record store for these selections.  First up is Art Blakey-Blakey.  I admit the first thing that grabbed my eye was the classic jazz cover art, by Burt Goldblatt. This CD is a reissue of two ten-inch albums recorded in 1954 for EmArcy label. 'Blakey' by the legendary drummer, is a important quintet session as (from the liner notes) "Blakey was on the verge of starting a new career as a bandleader....By the end of the year Blakey would team with (Horace) Silver in the cooperative group, the Jazz Messengers, which would be his artistic expression until his death in 1990".  Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers is the group I associate Art Blakey with.  It was renowned for launching the careers of countless jazz artists.  The liner notes states the trumpeter Joe Gordon and Alto Saxophonist Gigi Gryce, are sometimes  forgotten but were "extremely well respected" in their time. It's fun re-discovering classic jazz played in the 1950s.  I immediately recognized the first tune, "Minority as played often by the Bob Sneider Trio in live gigs.

My second selection is a new player to me, probably because only I've stepped out of my guitar-centric bubble and started to seek out piano trio music in the five last years.  Robert Glasper Canvas recorded 2005, so this isn't exactly new.  I came across him on youtube video and was impressed, so I'm glad found this.  I'll have to look for more of his work.

So, with all the stressful craziness in the world, be safe, be kind, and learn to unwind.  Good music does help. Peace.

Retro Toys - Sunday Grocery Shopping

Heading to the checkout after finishing my grocery list I turn down a random aisle and found myself stopped in my tracks by theses retro toys. I resisted buying the paratrooper, but went for the Space puzzle. It’s stress reliever. 🤖


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Scofield, Chick Corea, Paul Motian

This Sunday Music Muse Day found us suffering the Daylight Saving Time change.  The old reminder saying "spring ahead, fall back" really means stumble around for few days as your body clock adjust to the time change.  I picked an appropriate selection to ease into the day, John Scofield Quiet.  This is a favorite Scofield CD  of mine, a little different from his usual sessions as he plays nylon string acoustic guitar throughout and the adds a full horn and woodwind section to accompany the basic quartet.  The tunes are thoughtful, adventurous, and slightly off-kilter, in a fun way. I love his nod to the library setting in the CD photos.

I continued the day with more mellow selections, both ECM Records releases. Pianist Chick Corea Trio Music Live Europe, with Miroslav Vitous on bass, and Roy Haynes on drums.  Vitous was founding member of Weather Report but left when they move into more electric fusion they become famous for. Haynes is legendary jazz drummer both as leader and sideman.

My final selection is drummer Paul Motian I Have the Room Above Her, with Bill Frisell on guitar and Joe Lovano on tenor saxophone.  Mellow but a little more angular than the other two, but still very enjoyable.

As much as I feel slight off the time change, I know getting up for work Monday morning will be worst. I'll definitely need more music to ease the pain.

Judy Rosenberg's Ceramic

Lisa and I were so glad we braved the snow last night to pick up this wonderful ceramic piece by Judy Rosenberg, at her showing. It will sit in a place of honor, next to one of Devin’s early works. Thanks, Judy.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day Ralph Towner 80th Birthday, John Mclauglin

This Sunday Music Muse Day must bring good Karma, as I picked my first selection, Ralph Towner My Foolish Heart,  to start my morning before I found out it was Ralph's birthday. Happy birthday Ralph, and thanks for the music.

Next is a collection of John McLaughlin CDs I found in one shopping trip to Record Archive.  With McLaughlin being one of my favorite I have to have them all.  I will admit I'm a little disappointed in the Remember Shakti CDs, as there isn't as much of John guitar playng as I would want.

The other three are electric band released in 2008, 2010, and 2015. With McLaughlin's blistering sonic barrage of notes you always find true gems of inspiration. The tune 'El Hombre Que Sabia" on the Black Light CD is one for me. 

I have more than enough full my listening hours with pleasure.  Hope you'll do the same. Enjoy.