Sunday, December 26, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Stein, Julian Lage

This Sunday Music Muse Day still finds us in the glow of the Holiday Season.  But personally I've had enough of the Christmas music, sorry.  So, lets move on with these two selections from two jazz guitarists I've only personally discovered in the past few years.  First, John Stein Watershed is the jazz guitartist's first effort after stepping down from his long teaching career at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This a nice straight ahead seesion of most original.  I'll be sure to look for more John Stein CDs.

Next is Julian Lage Squint. Lage is well known Grammy Awards (2010, 2018, & 2019) winning guitarist, "child prodigy, Lage was the subject of the 1996 short documentary film Jules at Eight.[1] At 12, he performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards." - Wikipedia. I just hadn't come across him before several years ago.  Squint is his latest release and has shown up on several Jazz best albums of the year list.  I do have several of his releases as a leader and with other leaders like vibraphonist Gary Burton. So, I guess for me it's better late than never.

As we continue our Holiday Season, stay safe, stay health, and enjoy family and friends.  And be grateful for the good things in your life. Enjoy, and peace.

2021 Christmas Gifts from my boys.

 You know you rasied you kids right when they nail Dad's Xmas gifts.  They covered my makor interesta sci-fi, jazz guitar, and body functions.  Thanks, boys.

The Worm picture has a gritty texture, like fine sandpaper. That's very cool.

Thanks again, boys.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Holiday Music.

This Sunday Muse Day finds us getting ready for the Holiday Season.  Lisa and I picked up a tree yesterday, as our tradition, I week or so before Christmas, since we leave it up until New Years Day.  Both boys haved moved out of the house, but will return for their Taco Tuesday Night to help decorated the tree. Of course with tree going up. it time to pull out our selection of holiday tunes. You'll see some old favorites and some new additions,  Of course, there is alway the Jingle Jazz Radio  programing of Jazz90.1 to add to the celelbration, too.  Enjoy.

Steve Rudes Nexus Kickstarter package - My thoughts.

Last Hump Day (Wednesday) I got the Steve Rude kickstart project I supported, that included his How to Draw the Animated Nexus tips and Techniques.  Steve's love for the Hanna-Barbara style of superhero animation like Space Ghost and Jonny Quest is strongly evident.  His fits in the mold excellently.  He has done comic projects of Space Ghost and other HB characters with great success to fan and crititcal acclaim. 

Steve mentions in the book how has put in a ton of work over 35 years on the getting a animated version of Nexus off the ground, including models sheets, scripts, layouts and a 500 page storyboard, all with "no true prospects" in the sight. When I was at Disney TV I remember hearing Sony was interested, but backed out when they realized Nexus was a mature property. Well, his origin does start with him killing his mass murderer father and becoming a executioner of other mass murderers by order of a mad alien.  Not, exactly kid-friendly stuff for the 90's TV.

I hope Steve finds a way to get an Nexus animated project off the ground. I'm not sure he'll be willing to hand off his creation to others to shepherd it through the many minefields of the animation production landscape.  If the first page of the 500 page storyboard is any indication, there is a ton of revisons that will be needed to done to turn it into an acceptable production board.  Drawing on my experience as a producer/director and Emmy nominated storyboard superviser, that first page is missing at least three establishment scenes just for starters.  I met Steve once when he give me permission to use a clip of his Nexus Animated promo for my Dragonfly Flipz books and I got the sense  he could dig in his heels when he wanted to.  Sorry Steve, but that could be a real problem when dealing with animation execs.

Still this is a nice inside look at a Nexus animated project.  I'd like to still see it happen someday. Until then, I'll keep supporting his various print projects.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Tony Williams, Larry Young

This Sunday Muse Day find us remembering the birthday of the late jazz legend Tony Williams born December 12, 1945,and died February 23, 1997, much too soon at the age of 51.  Many tributes are popping up my Facebook feed. I was a fan from his days with Miles Miles and then his solo career as leader and pioneer of jazz fusion with his group Lifetime with John McLaughlin on guitar, Larry Young on organ, and later Jack Bruce (of Cream) on bass, and New Lifetime with Alan Holdsworth on guitar. I was lucky to see the New Tony Williams Lifetime group live at the Bottomline in NYC.  Today's selection Arcana Arc of the Testimony, with Tony Williams, bassist Bill Laswell, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, and others. This was William's last project as the liner notes states he died before it was completed.  Putting Arcana in perspective in Tony long disography, it is more in the early Lifetime recording in it's edgy more free-jazz leanings. You'll have to be in an adventurous mood for this one.

My second selection is Larry Young Of Love and Peace. The late jazz organist was member of first Tony William Lifetime.  He also had releases as a leader. Of Love and Peace released by Blue Note in 1966 was a year after his best know Unity album.  Young, too, die much too soon, at the age of 37. This recording has a touch of free jazz the Young and others were exploring in the 1960s.  His sense of adventurous playing shows why Tony Williams sought him out for Lifetime.

Sadly, this weekend find the country wishing the best for survivors recovering from the deadly tornadoes the ripped through the midwest.  Our hearts goes out to all families of the victims them.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - David Darling, Mats Eilertsen Trio

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds me sampling some very retrospective CDs.  First up, David Darling Dark Wood. This solo outing by this cellist released by ECM records, and I admit that was the main reason I picked it up, as I'm a huge ECM fan from when I first heard albums by Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, John Abercrombie, Ralph Towner and others.  An ECM release is always worth a listen to step out my comfort zone.  This CD is sparse as you can imagine a solo cello would be.  Almost as sparse as the CD packaging. When in a introspective mood this can hit the spot,

My second choice, Mats Eilertsen Trio Sails Set is a trio outing lead by the bassist. Although not a ECM release Eilertsen has a connection to ECM Record as his other recordings were produced and released on ECM. Plus, he was a sideman on Tord Gustavsen's ECM CDs.  My first knowledge of  Eilersen was on the ECM facbook page. Again this is introspective music, perfect for cloudy winter day of reading and reflection.

A little calming music before the rush of the holiday season might be a good thing.


Jim Steranko Nick Fury - Agent of Shield Artist Edition and Mark Chiarello Aliens to Zombies

Last Friday was truly TGIF for me as these arrived in the mail, the Steranko Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD Artist Edition and Mark Chiarello Alien to Zombie children’s book. The Artist Edition was my only Black Friday purchase and is just incredible. Just the size leaves me speechless. I only still have one of the original comics featured. Having had a brief contact and history with Jim Steranko, beside being big fan of his groundbreaking comic book legacy, this is a special book.

Mark Chiarello's book just looked like a fun one to have. I bought two and plan to donate one, and the stickers to Brighton Memoriaal Library, where I used to work, and they can add it to the collection or use it as a prize for children's program.

After experiencing the Steranko Artist Edition, I have my eye on a couple of other ones, if I can get a good deal on them.  I have my eyes on a Jack Kirby Mister Miracle and Mike Wm. Kaluta Starstruck. maybe after I sell my comic book collection.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Kamasi Washington, Brian Blade

This post Thanksgiving Sunday Music Day, finds me using the last of the leftover turkey on a salad for lunch, as my lastest picks play in the background.  First up is Kamasi Washington Heaven and Earth is by young jazz saxophonist that has been getting a lot attention in the last few years for his lengthy recording efforts. As AllMusic critic Thom Jurek described the album as " a major dose of Afro-Futurism", and observed: "Heaven and Earth is more a refinement of the ideas expressed on The Epic than an entirely new paradigm. Both releases are 3 disc sets. In the case of Heaven and Earth, "Both CD and LP versions of the album contain an extra disc called "The Choice" which is hidden within a closed part of the packaging which must be cut open to access the disc." -Wikipedia.  I discovered that on my own, although I bought it used, so it seems the original owner never found the third CD  "Choice".  Washington's  music is huge in scope and presentation. I'm reminded of Sun-Ra in his look. His pieces are played by 45 plus musicians.  There is a lot to digest and so far his music lives up to the hype. Worth giving it a listen.

My second selection is Brian Blade Fellowship. I've only been aware of this drummer in the last two years, with work his on Wayne Shorter's Emamon project, and other CDs of his I've picked, but this CD is his first album from 1998.  The music is fresh and modern to my ears being well worth checking out.

As Thanksgiving and Black Friday have passed, now on to next Happy Holiday of your choice.  Stay safe. stay healthy.