Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sunday Muse Muse Day - Jacob Young, Jan Akkerman

This Sunday Music Muse Day started dark, moody and rainy, but brighten up my mid-afternoon. My first selection fits the mood of the day, Jacob Young Forever Young. I admit I picked up this 2014 release purely on the fact its ECM record and it was lead by a guitarist, although I'd never hear him or the any musicians on the CD.  From the ECM FB group I learned most of musician are Polish.  I often see ECM releases posted to the group that I've never seen in my trips to the record shops. I can hear Pat Metheny's influence in Jacob Young' playing and over all the music is pleasant enough, just not really memorable. Still, I will probably keep it in mind for quiet nights and rainy afternoons.

Keeping with a European theme, my next selection is Jan Akkerman The Noise of Art.  Akkerman is Dutch and best known in the U.S. as the guitarist with the Focus and hit 'Hocus Pocus'. I have some post-Focus solo albums of Akkerman. I have admit this CD sound very dated, in 80's Rock Fusion way. So much so I doubt I'll keep it around long, either it's library donation or record shop trade in.  Sorry Jan.


George Segal RIP - Terminal Man

Sad to hear the news of the passing of actor George Segal this week. I remember him from the movie Terminal Man (1974), an adaptation of the Micheal Crichton book (1972). I did a magazine spread illo based on the book in my Illustration class at SVA. (The head anatomy is truly embarrassing.)

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Baden Powell, Charlie Byrd

This Sunday Music Muse Day is the day after Spring Equinox, the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  It's shaping up to a be perfect spring day for walk in the sunshine and spring flowers are just starting to peek out. My two selections are perfect of settling into patio chair, or cosy window seat with a good book. First up is Baden Powell Lembrancas (Memories), this solo recording is his last made less then six months before he passed away on September 16, 2000. (I'll refer you this link for a full review, since the liner notes are all in Brazilian (?) - Baden Powell: Lembranças) I knew of Baden Powell as legend in the Samba jazz of the 60's and 70's, but only have a couple of tunes on jazz guitar compilation CD sets. This set is very warm introspective. If you want to relieve stress in a most calming way, give this a try.  It is very nice. I'll be visiting this CD often. (I also think the photos of him are impressive)

My second selection is Charlie Byrd - The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd. This legendary guitarist is also well known for his association with Brazilian music. His collaboration with Stan Getz on the album Jazz Samba in 1962 introduced Bossa Nova to American audiences. This 1960 session pre-dates Byrd trip to South America in 1961 where he was introduce to Bossa Nova. It's nice to uncover an interest fact like this.  One note: it's mention in the liner notes by Willis Conover the shorter pieces were "ideal for improving the space between commercials, assuming commercial radio station still leave space between commercials." Willis Conover was a jazz producer and broadcaster on the Voice of America for over forty years. Now you know.

So, you can't go wrong with these excellent legends of jazz guitar.  Spring is here, enjoy.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Throwback Thursday - Mecha Press Magazine - ExoSquad, Battletech.

For Throwback Thursday, I found these Mecha Press magazines on my shelf, one with a ExoSquad toy ad and the other has a feature on the Battletech animated series produce at Saban, before I worked there. It have some early crude CGI.

Here's a video history video. ExoSquad gets mention in the tangled history of the show.

Scan the credits there are several friends and former co-workers who worked on this show.  

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell

This Sunday Music Muse Day, first day of Daylight Saving Time,  finds us returning to winter after it hit 70 degrees a few days ago here in upstate NY. This morning started with snow flurries, which soon melted away and the skies are clearing.  Still, it's a great day to chill out and listen to some good tunes. First up is Pat Metheny Road to the Sun. This is a new release showcasing Metheny the "composer" as opposed to the "guitarist".  There are two multi-part suites and a solo track that Pat Metheny plays on.  The first suite Four Paths of Light is a four movements for solo guitar was composed by Pat Metheny to be performed by classical guitarist Jason Vieaux, a 2015 Grammy award winner for Best Classical Instrumental Solo.  Vieaux begin his musical training in Buffalo, NY, which makes him sort of a local talent. The second suite, Road to The Sun is a six movement composition performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet. The last tune is written by Arvo Pärt titled “Für Alina and performed by Metheny on his insane 42-string guitar.  This CD might confuse fan of high energy Jazz-fusion, but I really enjoy this excursion into more classical "guitar fusion".

I break into a sweat changing six-strings, so I'd have a nervous breakdown changing and tuning this 42 string instrument.

My second selection is Bill Frisell Is That You, a 1990 release that finds the eclectic guitarist ripping through a range of styles from soft down home Americana to near avant-garde electric fusion, and a wild version Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools".   Bill Frisell CDs alway surprise and entertain on so many levels.

I'm enjoying these tune knowing tomorrow morning will be hell getting up for the first workday after  the time change.  Stay safe, stay healthy, get a vaccine shot as soon as you can, and still wear a mask.

Galaxy Rangers Storyboard Scans - Preview

I was scanning some old Galaxy Rangers storyboard art I did rough layouts for, and the initials of the finisher, artist Jim Wheelock on it. Also, here are pages our stock art system (which really didn't work well) Misc. "Re-useable Scum" was a running joke with us. I post more soon.

I'll be pulling more Galaxy Ranger art for a longer post soon.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Sunday Music Muse Day - Larry Coryell, Ketil Bjornstad, David Darling

On this Sunday Music Muse Day we're having a chilly, but sunny day. There are still patches of snow to be found, but not enough to stop a walk around Cobb Hill Reservoir.   I started day with a quiet selection Ketil Bjornstad and David Darling The River.  This 1997 ECM release is meditative duet recording with Bjornstad on piano and Darling on cello.  David Darling passed away on January 8. 2021.  He had make 15 recording on ECM, as a leader and sideman.  I picked up this CD on the strength of ECM's reputation for interesting music as I never hear Bjornstad's music.  I figured how wrong can you go with piano and cello.  I have a vinyl album Eos with Terje Rypdal, guitarist, in duet with David Darling which ranges from avant garde, sonic noise, to mediative wails and moans. (I'll have to pull that out and give it another listen).  If you like classical music The River might be a good intro to the ECM style of European jazz.  Well worth a listen.  I plan to search out the other selections in the "Further Recording" liner note page.

My second selection is Larry Coryell Bolero.  This is a 1993 duet outing with Brian Keane and Coryell playing acoustic and electric guitar.  Although best known for his pioneering jazz fusion work with groups like his own Eleventh House, I actually prefer his later work in a guitar duets and trios mainly on acoustic guitar, which this is one.  His love for classic music shows through strongly on this CD, starting with the first cut Improvisation on "Bolero", the famous Ravel's Bolero. This is a fine addition to my Coryell music collection.

So. stay warm, stay safe, stay health and wear a mask.  Even as the number of friends and family getting vaccinations increases we're still not out of the wood yet. Take care.