Sunday, November 22, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Vince Mendoza, Whirligig with Paul Kovit.

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds us preparing for Thanksgiving, which may prove to be more stressful and confusing in these day of rising covid-19 surge and post-election chaos. Lets use music to get us through these crazy days.  First selection is pulled from an artist featured in my November Jazz Birthday Celebration video, Vince Mendoza.  John Abercrombie Animato features Vince Mendoza as composer and on synthesizers, with Jon Christensen on Drums and percussion.  Mendoza composed six of the eights on this CD.  It's Mendoza's composing the caught my ear with tunes of his on some Peter Erskine trio sessions, especially the tune, Esperanca on the Peter Erskine As It Is CD.  The Abercrombie Animato CD is very subdued, like whispered elegance, and a floating musical mystery, perfect for a cloudy moody afternoon.

Here's version of of Esperanca played by other group, not as good as the Erskine version, but well done.

Esperan├ža (Vince Mendoza) - Emilio Mendon├ža Trio

My second selection is a connected to my Paul Kovit & Audience of One video posts, which featured the solo recording of friend's playing I recorded on Sony Walkman back in the 1980's.  I shared the videos with Paul and he loved.  After years of being out of touch we caught up over  a Zoom meeting. He told of the group he was in, Whirligig. I admit England, Irish Traditional folk music is not something I'd seek out, but Paul introduced and give me better understanding of music of Richard Thompson and Fairport Convention.  He also introduced me the music French acoustic guitarist Pierre Bensusan (we attended a concert of his in NYC).  Paul sent me a CD of the group, Whirligig.  He played guitar, mandolin, vocals composed some tunes, and toured with them in the 90's.  Whirligig Spin will be a welcomed and treasured addition to my music collection. I hope I can encourage him to pick up the guitar again.

Happy Thanksgivings to all. Stay Safe, stay healthy, and wear a mask.  

Friday, November 20, 2020

Jazzy Birthday - Celebration of Jazz November Birthdays

I'm so embarrassed. I almost blow off my Jazz Birthday November video, then

Bob Sneider 's birthday pops today, and I realize
Tom Pethic  

had a birthday this month, too. So Happy Birthday to both of them. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Aldo Romano, Ralph Towner, Paolo Fresu, Warped Sky Stray Clouds presents: Paul Kovit

 This gloomy and windy Sunday Music Muse Day finds us worrying if our weeks of leaf racking will be scattered by expected high winds today, 30-50mph. To ease the tension I have some good tunes to listen to.  First up is Aldo Romano Ritual, the Italian born drummer who moved to France when a child and played guitar and drums professionally in the 1950s.  He earned attention playing with jazz musicians Don Cherry and Steve Lacy. In the 1970's he started leading and recording of Avant Garde and rock influenced jazz Fusion.  Those strains are definitely evident in this, his 4th album as a leader, from 1988. It's an adventurous mix and very enjoyable to hear music that's not easy to pigeon hole.  I admit the cover art design first caught my eye, plus the trumpet and flugelhorn player was feature on the next selection.

My next selection is one I presented before, but it deserves an encore appearance, Ralph Towner/Paolo Fresu Chiaroscuro.  This is a beautiful CD by the legendary guitarist Ralph Towner, who at 80 year old is still performing and touring. (His Facebook group one of the few musician groups I follow)  The CD has one of my favorite Towner compositions, Sacred Place. The very first time I heard it, it brought a tear eye with the simple beauty of it. There are two version on the CD, one with Towner playing solo, and aversion in duet with Paolo Fresu on Flugelhorn. both are excellent but I prefer the solo version. Of course, the rest other CD isn't bad either.  I can't recommend this highly enough.  

Here's another Warped Sky Stray Clouds post, actually a follow up video to my No Laughing Live - In Studio Live videos. My friend Paul Kovit, was the founder and drummer of the ad hoc group, but was really a talented folk guitarist and singer/song writer. Besides his solo gigs, Paul was a member of the New York City-based Whirligig which fused Celtic sounds with other traditional folk and world musics. The group played folk festivals across the U.S. These videos are of a recording of a casual playing session while visiting me, "Audience of One", while I worked at Doros Animation studio in NYC back in the mid-1980s. I asked Paul to play an original tune of his I liked, "Don't Call Me Dear", and I used my Sony Walkman to record it, he did, and kept playing, so I kept recording.

After posting Part 2 Paul send me some corrections: "First song is by me called "Plain Facts".  Second song is called "Sloth" by Richard Thompson/Dave Swarbrick.  (A Fairport Convention song).  FYI, the lyric is "Just a roll, just a roll, just a roll on your drum, just a roll, just a roll and the war has begun"I have absolutely no memory, zero, zilch, nada of ever doing the third song." I was able to make corrections and reposted the video again.

These recording bring great memories and help me reconnect with an old friend.  Paul liked hearing
these songs, again. he sending a Whirligig CD  I can't wait to hear it.

Goofy Gold - Animation cels

Here's more animation cels from the basement. There were of an old TV record spot Goofy Gold, a collection of novelty songs I did in the 1970s. I'll label the characters.

Big Bad John.

Running Bear & Little White Dove

Wooly Bully

(One-Eyed, One Horned, Flying) Purple People Eater

Here's the full TV spot.

I'll post more animation cels in the a future post. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Sunday Music Muse Day - Joe Romano - Perez Patituccci Blade

This Sunday Music Muse Day find us celebrating finally knowing who win the Presidential Election. My congratulations go to the new President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. I like to celebrate with some good music, so up first is Joe Romano This is the Moment (the title is perfect and timely).  I know of Joe Romano mainly through the "Artistry in Jazz" radio show on Jazz90.1 WGMC, host by DJ and friend Tom Pethic. It a pleasant surprise to see the sidemen on this CD included drummer and friend Mike Melito, and Dino Losito, who I just saw last night a Bop Shop Record live online concert with friend Bob Sneider (gee... I'm name dropping like bandit), where they performed tunes from there recent CD release of last month. An added surprise is Tom Pethic wrote the Romano CD liner notes.  Joe Romano playing lives up the praise I've been hearing from Tom over the years.  It seems Joe make very few albums as a leader, so this is a gem to cherished.  Thanks, Tom for the heads up.

Next is Perez, Patitucci, Blade Chidren of the Light. This trio of Danilo Perez, keyboards, John Patitucci. Bass and Brian Blades, drums, offers a interest and thoughtful set of adventurous originals.  It a nice compliment to the Brian Blade Fellowship CD Perceptual, I presented back in September.  Well worth a listen.

With the election of a president settled (almost) we can hopefully look forward to better calmer, stable days.  Always look for music to help smooth out the rough spots. Enjoy.


Throwback Thursday - Miscellaneous Art - Galaxy Rangers Animation Cels & various storyboard art.

 Last Throwback Thursday of post some miscellaneous I pulled put while decluttereing.

First is some rare animation cel and backgrounds from the Galaxy Rangers

This was a paint test cel for the used on the presentation folder.

These were from the Dragonlance - Autumn of Twilight DVD, produced and directed by Will Meugniot.

I did one assignment for Tutenstein, the same season they beat out Ozzy & Drix for an Emmy, I was nominated for Storyboard Direction.

More art to come.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Inktober 2020 - After thoughts

Inktober 2020 is my forth year taking the month long daily drawing challenge.  I saw a video about the end of Inktober and doing a recap or critique of your drawing, reviewing you thought process, if any, that when into coming up with a resolution to the prompt. That sounded like a good idea, so here goes.

Generally, I work in ink pens and grey Copic markers for shading. I try to find a twist or humous aspect in the prompt to illustrate, avoiding the obvious if I can. By normal work schedule is to do my drawing in the early evening. Most times I'll get a concept during the day, do a rough drawing before dinner, than finish after dinner. Total time is a max 3 hours.

#1 "Fish" - I thought to channel jack Kirby-like monster in this drawing.  I didn't do any shading on this as my grey markers were rather dry and needed to be refilled.

 #2 - "Wisp" - For this prompt, I first looked up the word's definition and among the result Will of the Wisp was included.  I have a great fairy book to grab have reference from.

#3 - "Bulky" - I remember this was done on a Saturday, I was feeling uninspired by the prompt. I finally decided to use a mattress in the drawing.  After several weak rough ideas, I send to the internet and googled mattress carrying and the photo caught my eye. A quick tracing using my lightbox and the half heart rendering and I called it a day.

#3 - "Radio" - Again, this prompt was so generic it lends itself to so many interpretations.  I instantly thought of the transistors radios of my Boomer youth.   They were probably the first electronic entertainment device could buy with my own money and have total control over.  This was a simple from a photo reference offline.  Again, a 'KISS" ( Keep It Simple Stupid) solution.

#4 - "Blade" - Up to this drawing I felt I was just going through the motions with the prompts.  My first thought was to do my own sword and sorcery character which I used in Inktober 2017 drawing, but then idea hit me to use Blade the character from the Wesley Snipes movie in a fighting pose with a "blade".  I was happy to find he right pose, and actually surprised myself in he resulting drawing. It one of my best Inktober drawings of the past four years and boosted my confidence for this challenge,

#6 - Rodent - With this prompt you can easily go with a host of popular cartoon rodents, like Mickey Mouse, Might Mouse, Danger Mouse and other.  I went with Matthias tthe warrior mouse of Brian Jacques Redwall book series.  I had picked up the first book years ago, I think just because I liked the cover, since I really wasn't into fantasy book, especially one with furry animals.  But, I read it and fell in love with the story and character. It was adapted to a animated TV series the was fair.  I still think it is worth a big budget animation feature. Looking at my drawing now, I think Matthias is a little chubbier than he should be. Next time I'll slim him down.

#7 - "Fancy" It's  curious how one word can launch you down a creative rabbit hole that would make Alice think twice.  Inktober's # 7 prompt was the word "Fancy", as in like something..  Simple, enough but my brain immediately jump to "Soldier Fancy",  which was the folk group of friend back in the 1980's n New York City.  The song is about young maiden who happy offers her "wares" to earn money to offer her boyfriend when he returns home from war, so they can have a better life.  That's very librarated idea for the time. 

#8 - Teeth - This was a generic prompt if ever there was one. But for dramatic drawing sharks teeth would come to mind.  Next to sharks teeth Xenomorph from the move Alien has to have the most terrifying teeth in history.

#9 - "Throw" - Another generic prompt. Thor throwing his hammer gives it more drama.

#11 - "Disgusting" & #12 - "Slippery"  Sometimes you fell behind schedule and need to catch up, you can combine prompt into one drawing.  Slime eel fit the solution perfectly.

#12 - "Dune" - Of course sand dunes are first option to come to mind.  But DUNE the sci-fi book and movie is much more fun. I like to add humorous text to drawing sometimes to add extra context.

#14 - "Armor" - Again, the first thought would be a knight's suit of armor. I thought of a favorite 
                           picture of my son in cardboard box armor as kids. Adding images of the knight adds 
                           a sense of wonder of a kids imagination. I like this solution and I may enlarge and doa                             color piece.

#15 - "Outpost" - For this I pull elements from two old personal art pieces, the title page of unfinished  sci-fo comic story "Outpost 3" and a sketch book drawing of a guy in a battlesuit.  Again, this is one I may work up in to a larger full color version.

#16 - "Rocket" - The possibilities are endless with this prompt.  But I thought of my first toy rocket and the usual fate of launching it.

#17 - "Storm" - Instead of a weather system. I went with the Storm, the X-Men character, played in the movie by Halley Berry.  I again, like this drawing and realize using reference strengthens my artwork.  Plus, I gifted to my friend Larry Huston who was a director on the classic X-Men animation TV series for his birthday.

#18 - "Trap" - Keeping with comic book characters, I went with Mister Miracle and his wife Big Barda. The joke is Mr. Miracle is master escape artist, but man alive can escape the "don't I look fat" trap. 

#19 - "Dizzy" - I chose to use a boxer, modeled on a early drawing from Inktober 2017.

#20 - "Coral" - Coral is tough prompt, but once I hit upon using Finding Nemo characters who live in a coral reef. 

#21 - "Sleep" - I really took a stretch in this drawing.  The quote I used is from a character in the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, a classic adventure movie I saw as a kid.  The quote just stuck in my my mind. 

#22 - "Chef" - It seems Chef Boy-R-A-Dee was the first chef that came to my mind.  The product is item from my youth of the 1950s and '60s. It's still around, but I like thinking of it as atomic fallout shelter food.

#23 - "Rip" - Again, keeping with my superhero theme, Hulk ripping out of his cloth is always exciting

#24 - "Dig" - Again. I like the idea of tapping in the imagination of child during play.

#25 - "Buddy" -  For his prompt I chose guitarist Bubby Guy. In picking reference photos I couldn't decide each one to use, so I used both.  The graphic pattern on the left is taken from old drawing.

#26 - "Hide" - This scene from Lord of the Rings immediately came to mind with this prompt. I might have rendered it darker, as it's not as dramatic as I hoped.

#27 - "Music" - This is a abstract drawing fro, 1971, I wanted to use of this prompt. I'm sure I rendered                            it to full effect, so I'll need to work on it more. 
#28 - "Float" - My first idea was to use the Muhammad Ali quote. "float like a butterfly...sting like a bee", but decided not to use a boxer again,  I couldn't come up with a solid replacement, but the old Ivory soap TV ad kept popping into my mind, so I went with a simple bar of soap.

#29 - "Shoes" - It was easy to want to use some the most famous shoe, the Ruby Slipper of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

#30 - "Ominous" - Noting is more ominous and frightening than a approaching tornado.

#31 - 'Crawl" - This again was board prompt.  Luckily, my wife suggest a caterpillar, and I chose the biggest crawling bug I could think of Mothra.  I felt this was strong ending to the challenge. 

One self-observation from this year's challenge is I need to work larger.  The 6"x8" sketchbook is convenient, but the art then to look rough when viewed on larger in my computer screen. Also I'd like to try some color work, for the first time in decades.  Time will tell.