Sunday, December 17, 2023

Sunady Music Muse Day (Covid Edition) John & David Sneider, Gene Bertonciini

This Sunday Music Muse Day find me fighting the ever present Covid-19 virus (first time).  It's been a week and I'm still testing positive, but I must say all things considered, I'm having a mild case, so far. More like a bad cold. Rest and hydration seems to being doing the trick. Luckily, before being forced to quarantine, I get these two jazz gems to help me get back to health.  First, John & David Sneider Sneid Remarks, a family affair from the members of one of the most talented musical families I have come across.  They are of course related to guitarist and Eastman School of Music instructor Bob Sneider, and Bob's talent son Ben Snieder, who just give his Senior recital at Eastman school.  I had the pleasure of hearing, meeting, and talking to John and David at Bobs's gigs from time to time.   Sneid Remarks is an impressive outing of this father-son trumpet duo presenting a set of all originals. I'll be spending a lot of time with this CD. David's tune, "Freedom Tunnel" is already being a favorite of mine. One last note, the cover photo and design is pure jazz classic imagery. Good job, guys. Buy this CD by all means.

Next is Gene Bertoncini Body and Soul, an excellent 5-star rated solo CD the great guitarist, with a stellar career as a leader, sideman, and educator, included teaching at the Eastman School of Music.  This 1999 recording session first of two solo recordings, the second was "Quiet Now" (2015), which I have, also.  The music is truly positive medicine for my "body and soul" right now. Well worth a listen.

Again, these are two gems, not to be missed.  Hopefully, I'll all recovered by the Christmas day.  Thanks, again, for all the well-wishes.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Nemesis Retaliation Game Figure Showcase - Dennis J. Woodyard - Journeyman Artist / Gamer

Nemesis: Retaliation is a 1-5 player semi co-op horror Sci-Fi thematic Board Game created by Adam KwapiƄski and published by Awaken Realms. It is the final, epic part of the Nemesis trilogy (you DO NOT need to play/own previous games to enjoy Retaliation). This time, you will play as a Marines squad, fully knowing what they are getting themselves into – prepare for a lot of fresh mechanics and better then ever cinematic moments, your friends stabbing you in the back, and an onslaught of the alien HORDE!

(I'm a sucker for sci-fi battlesuits. The Game figures and art hooked me. So I supported this on Kickstarter. This looks like a mash up of Aliens/Starship Troopers/and ExoSquad, the animated TV series I worked on as Co-Producer/Director and Character designer) I can't wait to play this board game.

The only bummer is it will probably be a year before this game ships.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Ruby Tuesday: Ruby galactic Gumshoe - Original Storyboard art.

 This is the first draft of the Ruby: Galactic Gumshoe storyboard of the first episode, done as part of a proposed pitch for an animated series. You'll see the overextended drawings, and separate elements being worked out. Enjoy. DJW

In doing this video, I discovered my original animatic video files are missing. So, I might have to do an upgraded animatic, maybe in full color and with added motion and effects. The Ruby S/B animatic and my Art of ZBS videos can be seen on my Yountube channel.   DJW

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Stein, Marcus Doneus

Another gloomy, gray day in Rochester, NY. Just the perfect time to explore some new music.  First up, John Stein No Goodbyes, an excellent and breezy trio set with a vocalist on several tracks, especially in the wake of the serious medical event the struck John at the end of covid (read the first two paragraphs of the liner notes pic) that could have spelled the end of his playing days. This is my fifth  CD I've picked up of his music, which I've come to enjoy immensely. He musical status as performer and educator, being a college jazz guitar instructor, reminds me  of friend, Bob Sneider, and other local musician friends, who are also jazz instructors at The Eastman School of Music, and preforms with their own groups, appears in various venues around town. Their dedicated to the music rings out in every note.  For John Stein, "No Goodbyes" is a welcomed title, and well worth a listen.

My second selection is another one of my shots in the dark, since I had never heard of the guitarist.  Marcus Doneus Spirit of the String. With the phase "Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar", behind his name, I had an idea what to expect and I wasn't wrong.  This is a 2004 release from Austria, but I can't find much background on the guitarist himself.  It's interesting to me as a guitar player, he notes the string tunings of each song after their title. This is pleasant guitar music in the same vain as Windham Hill recordings of Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, and French guitarist Pierre Bensusan, to name a few.  I like listening to this type acoustic playing on occasion. Although it can border "New Age" music, but it also can be good background music for causal social gathering.  Again, if you're in a mellow mood, it's worth a listen.

As I finish writing this, we're getting a heavy rain down pour.  Better that than snow that's in our forecast in a few days.  The weather just add a texture to the music.  Enjoy.

Thunderday Tuesday Video - TC #107 - TC #109

I thought I might start sharing my designs on what I'll call "ThunderCats Tuesdays" blog post as videos on my Youtube Channel as part of my Journeyman Artist theme. Here's a batch for Show #107 - #109. The first image is the title page of the script, which was marked up to tell me which elements needed to be designed. Enjoy.

The set will begin feature new characters I designed for the show that I'm very proud of. Be sure to check back.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - Bill Frisell. The Nels Cline Singers

This fine Sunday Music Muse Day, finds us out of Thanksgiving leftovers. (We finished the last piece of pecan pie last night while watching a movie on Netflix)  So, today started with a normal weekly grocery shopping trip, before settling in for some afternoon jazz. Unfortunately, this will be brief, since both selections are less the enjoyable.  First is Bill Frisell Silent Comedy.  Believe me, if you buy, and  listen to it, you'll find the joke's on you.  I'm a big Frisell fan, and even got my 80+ year old mother-in-law into his music. But Silent Comedy sound like Frisell just doodling around with a new guitar effects rack without reading the instruction.  There is no real structure, or direction to the music. Only a hard core Bill Frisell completest, should go anywhere near this.  You've been warned.

I had to give my next selection a little bit of a break, The Nels Cline Singers Instrumentals.  I knew his music would be experimental and out there.  I'm not really familiar with vocal versions.  There is a musical concept here, free-form rock/jazz (?), but not one I lean toward.  So, this gets another pass for me, although there are some interest sections.

I'll give myself points for stepping out of my comfort zone in giving these both a full listen.  You win some, you lose some.

Mountain Maiden group promo/intro video.

Even with my best intentions, I had spelled some names wrong in my Friend's Anniversary video to Marie Mularczyk O'Connell, and Mountain Maidens, Candice Baranello and Lorraine Berger. So here's a correction and revision that can used as a group promo or intro video.

When I first saw this guitar wooden jigsaw puzzle, by, CRAFTHUB PUZZLES, I knew I had to do something with it for Mountain Maidens. 

 I hope the Mountain Maidens make good use of the video. These ladies are truly inspiring. 

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - Mark Isham, Miroslav Vitous Group with Michel Portal

This Sunday Music Muse Day finds us featuring CDs with the common theme of "remembering" other musicians and groups. First up is Mark Isham Miles Remembered: The Silent Way Project.  Mark Isham, plays trumpet and keyboards in a wide range of genres including jazz, electronica, and he composes soundtracks for TV and film.  He played on several of my favorite albums, David Torn's Clouds about Mercury, and Andy Summer's Charming Snakes.  (He also allowed Lisa to use one of his tunes from his first album, Vapor Drawing, for an animation short she animated and produced) Miles Remembered is his tribute to the music that inspired him at the start of his career. I think he does a good job with this to capture the essence of Miles music without directly copying it. This is definitely worth a listen.

My second selection is Miroslav Vitous Group with Michel Portal Remembering Weather Reporter.  Vitous was one of the founding members of Weather Report, the legendary Jazz Fusion group, with Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter.  He left the group when their music shifted from its "free jazz" roots to a more commercial sound that brought the band great success.  So, I'm assuming this CD is Vitous' version of what (his) Weather Report music should sound like. I'm sorry to say I found it disappointing.  It does present a "Free Jazz" feel, but if this was the direction WR had stayed on, I doubt I would have been a fan for long.  Being an ECM release, it was worth giving it a listen.  I have, and enjoy other Mirolav Vitous recordings. But this, as a take on Weather Report's music, just falls flat for me.

Next week is Thanksgiving. Here's wishing everyone a wonderful, peaceful holiday with family, and friends.  Be sure to enjoy and share some music with favorite holiday dishes.

Robot Sunday - 3D sketch

For Robot Sunday, I inked a old robot sketch on this 3D Drawing Pad paper, using 3D glasses the see the effect. Well, it works slight with the naked eye, but I'm not sure if you'll see it on the screen.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Thundercats Tuesday - TC #102 - TC 106

I was the staff artist who designed the secondary characters, props, and backgrounds for last season of the original show's episodes #96 to #130. But really the Pacific Animation Company (PAC), the Japanese animation studio, was such a well-oiled machine, I only had to give them rough designs and they did their magic. I thought I might start sharing my designs on what I'll call "ThunderCats Tuesdays". Here's a batch for Show #102 - #106. The first image is the title page of the script, which was marked up to tell me which elements needed to be designed. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - Grant Geissman, Den Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt

This Sunday Music Muse Day find us planning for Thanksgiving in a week and a half. To me the sight of Xmas Trees is too soon for my taste, but in the retail world all the end holidays blend into media blur.  For this week's musical selection I'll start with guitarist Grant Geissman Bop! Bang! Boom!.  This CD is as enjoyable as the title and cover art.  Geissman came to fame through his playing with Chuck Mangione in the 1970's and wrote the theme for the Two and a Half Men TV show.  This 2012 CD is his 14th of 15 record releases.  According to Wikipedia, "In 2006, he released his thirteenth album as a leader, Say That!, on his own label, Futurism Records.[  A throwback to the jazz that first influenced him, he has described the sound of this album as "Wes Montgomery meets Horace Silver meets Jimmy Smith."  I found that's a fair assessment.  This ai enjoyable CD to listen to and very entertaining, but there flashy moment grabs me, but I do recommend giving it a listen.  I will say Grant Geissman really goes all out on the cover art and insert art , and packaging graphics.  That alone grab my eye. 

My second selection, Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt  Fire on the Nile, was a shot in the dark, as I had never heard of these musicians, and a duo of just drum and guitar is out of the ordinary.  I'm glad to say, I like this 2014 CD release. The music is a little hard to lock down, but my favorite track, "Sharrock", give a nod to the late progressive jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock.  I could hear echoes of his music in the tune.  Again, another CD worth a listen.

Again, this time chaos and worry, I hope you take care of yourself and find time to enjoy some good music to calm your soul.  Enjoy.

Accordion fold Book Art.

An artist posted to Inktober 2023 about an idea doe accordion book of sketches. I liked the post, and idea since I just found this old accordion book of mine from my SVA days. I’m think of doing a updated version.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Sunday Music Muse Day - John Scofield, Ralph Tower with Wolfgang Muthspiel and Slava Grigoryan

This post-Halloween Sunday Music Muse Day finds me enjoying two of my favorite guitarists who both record for ECM Records.  First, a new release by John Scofield Uncle John's Band.  Obviously, the title is a play on his name and a nod to the Jerry Garcia tune on the CD.  The late Jerry Garcia was a guitarist and leader of the Grateful Dead, the legendary Rock band. Being about the same age, I get his musical references when he includes versions of a Bob Dylan (Mr. Tambourine Man), Neil Young (Old Man) and Jerry Garcia tune (Uncle John's Band). Those were definitely songs of my youth, too. I'm liking this 2 CD trio session much more than the disappointing  solo CD released last year. I think has returned to his musical comfort zone.

Next, is a 2013 ECM by Ralph Towner, Wolfgang Muthspiel, and Slava Grigoryan  Travel Guide.  This is a guitar trio session of quiet, gentle, music. Perfect for those introspect moments, or listening while curled up with a good book.  I'm a long time fan of Ralph Towner, but fairly new to Muthspiel, only seeing he mentioned on posts in a ECM FB group.  Grigoryan is totally new to me. But, now I'll keep an eye out for their other works as sideman, or leaders.  That's how I've always discovered new music.

In these chaotic times, please take time to take care of yourself, may music be a part of that.  

Inktober 2023 - #25 - #31

Here's my last week of drawing for Inktober 2023. I'm trying to get back on a consistent posting schedule.

HumpDay: Odds and Ends - Discount Store browsing or "retail dumpster diving".

Here's some item I came across while browsing my local discount stores, like Ollie's Discount and 5 Below., which usually happen on Wednesdays "Hump Day". Most of the stuff I didn't buy. Starting with this Star Wars advent calendar. 

I did buy this Star Wars trade paperback after I saw the single issue $6 multi-comic bag. $2 for the TPB seems too good to pass up.

I missed on these bags of comics seen at a Wegmans grocery store.

Here's a cheap Transformer knock-off, seen at the 5Below Store but the package art is pretty good.

Another questionable advent calender.

I've seen and heard of the book but can't remember when, but I like the cover

I might go for this Game of Throne pop-up map when it goes on a further discount after the holidays.

I like browsing discount store. I think of it as "retail dumpster diving".  It's amazing how much stuff is just overproduced in the retail market, but sometimes you can find a cheap gem worth having.