Sunday, March 31, 2024

Sunday Music Muse Day - Grant Green, Charlie Hunter

This Easter edition of Sunday Music Muse Day has me slightly disappointed in both of my selected CDs for different reasons.  First up, is Grant Green Slick Live at Oil Can Harry's. This excellent quality release from Resonance Records which has gained a reputation for presenting previously unissued recordings of several jazz greats, most notably, West Montgomery. The packaging includes a 47 page booklet of liner notes. I know Grant Green is legendary jazz guitarist, but I found this set to be very underwhelming, except for one cut, "How Insensitive (Insensatez) play in more jazz ballad style. Much of the rest of the 1975 live set seems to be trying to do  jazz fusion/smooth jazz (?) versions of R&B pop tunes. The mid-70s was when I was listening to John Mclaughlin, Chick Corea's Return to Forever,  and Larry Coryell, who I feel this group's sound comes closest to, but just barely.  I would only recommend this for history value relating to jazz guitar.

Next, is Charlie Hunter Trio Copperopolis. I have several CDs of this 7-string electric guitarist, and I've  even seen him live at the Loving Cup, here in Rochester.  Again, mainly I'm disappointed in the overall sound of this session.  It has a really loft grunge-jazz quality to it, which I don't find appealing. I'll try to give it a few more listening, giving up on him.

So, here's wishing everyone who celebrates it, a Happy Easter.  

Dennis J. Woodyard Journeyman Artist - Reel #1- In the Beginning

 I'm trying to figure how to use the Youtube Reels feature. here's my first attempt.

It is edited from my Youtube intro video, since Reels only have a runtime maximum of 90 seconds. I have more experimenting to do.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Sunday Music Muse Day - Astral Project, Dominic Miller

For this Sunday Music Muse Day, I have an addition to a group I have in my collection already, and a follow up to one of last week's entries. First up, Astral Project The legend of Cowboy Bill, with 7-string guitarist Steve Masakowski. This is a 2003 release, that follow their 1999 VooDooBop  CD.  Sandwiched between is Steve Masakowski 2000 solo CD, For Joe, in tribute to Joe Pass.  Cowboy Bill is a fine outing by a group I'd like to live, if they're still playing. Definitely worth a listen. 

Next is a followup with two CDs by Dominic Miller. First, Dominic Miller Vagabond, an 2023 ECM  release I passed on, and bought his Second Nature CD, instead. The second is Dominic Miller Shapes, a 2003 Decca release, that features many classic tunes and a version of String's Shape of My Heart, with String on vocals, and actually based on a musical riff by Millar.  So, they share song credit and probably a ton of royalties.  Of the two CDs,   I prefer the ECM, as it seems less commercial in the material. That said, Shapes is nice to listen to on a quiet afternoon, or evening.  

Feel free to check these artists on youtube at your leisure.  I still like buying CDs, as you can see enjoy.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

My Valiant Comics - Nintendo Comics - Captain N

Here's a video of my comic book work for Jim Shooter's Valiant Comics. When I was at the Toronto Comicon last weekend, I stopped by one vendor and he asked if I was looking for anything. Taken by surprise, I blurred out, "you have any Nintendo Comics?" He said, "no, but he wished he had, because they were valuable" WTH? It seems some of the Valiant Nintendo and Captain N comics I do pages for are modestly collectible. (Worth more than Image Comic Wildcats#1 - LOL)

Monday, March 11, 2024

Sunday Music Muse Day (day-late) Dominic Miller, Julian Lage

This day late, Sunday Music Muse Day, has me featuring two guitarists I think of as part of the second, or third-generation of jazz guitarists after the first I was introduced to, like John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Larry Coryell, and Pat Martino, and others. Mainly, guitarists playing jazz-fusion in the 70's and 80's. First up, Julian Lage Speak to Me. Reviewing his Wikipedia page, for a relatively young player, Lage has an impressive discography. Speak to Me is a subdued outing, but full of thoughtful, entertaining music.

My second choice, Dominic Miller Second Nature.  Again, Miller is a guitarist I really wasn't aware of except for seeing his name on a ECM recording (to be honest, I took a chance on this one because it was a cheaper price).  And, again, reviewing his Wikipedia page, I realized he's been building a impressive discography as a leader and sideman, most notably as the guitarist for many of String's post Police recordings.  I like hearing his nylon string guitar playing in various group combinations.  I'll definitely pick up his ECM recording next time I go CD shopping.

I like to found new music, well at least to me.  Hope you enjoy my sharing these.

Drawings from my MAG Art class - (March 6, 2024)

 Here are my drawing from my MAG (Memorial Art Gallery).  

These 2, 5, 10 drawings of the statue in the gallery, reminded me of doing animation turn-around model sheet.

Here's the photo of the room sketch.

I still have two classes to go. 

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sunday Music Muse Day - Bob Sneider & Kristin Korb, Nicki Parrott, Esperanza Spalding

This week's Sunday Music Muse is inspired by a live performance by guitarist friend, Bob Sneider and bassist Kristin Korb at the Bop Shop Record Store, last Monday.

It was a duet setting with vocals by Kristin. I admit this isn't normally my taste in jazz, but I totally enjoyed the show.  Their playing was adventurous and entertaining. I'm constantly being amazed at the depth of Bob guitar playing.  Kristin was new to me, and mentioned they haven't played together in ten years, and she was jet-lagged from traveling from Norway. Neither affect their amazing playing in the least. I liked her so much I bought a CD of hers at after the show. I'd like to see them record a set together.

Here's Kristin Korb Beyond the Moon, a 2016 bass, piano, drums set.  It's an enjoyable outing, I'll throw in the CD player on occasion. I'd like to explore her originals she talked about between sets.

Kristin Korb's bass playing did reminder of two other female bassist/vocalist in my CD collection. First,  Nicki Parrott From New York to Paris, a collection of vocals and tasty bass playing from a musician I hadn't heard of before. Although the liner notes states she was the bassist for guitar legend Les Paul for ten years.  That fact alone was worth a listen.  Plus, and she has 27 albums releases. This CD is more "lounge jazz" for my taste, but the quality of her singing, playing and recording production is top notch.  In fact, the CD is listed on a best jazz of the year list I've seen online.  It will make for dinner background music for the most part, for me.

Thinking of female bass players,  I'd like to add the amazing Esperanza Spalding to the mix., with her Emily's D+Evolution. If you remember the buzz about Kate Bush's tune "Running Up that Hill", used in the Netflix series Stranger Things, you'll enjoy this unique outing by a young multi-talented musician.  She's best know as a highly awarded jazz bassist and college music instructor.  This could be a concept album and "Emily" a alter-ego.  In any case, It a very densely produced modern style. I find the vocal styling hard to follow without reading the lyrics, but that could be my old ears. My favorite tune is the tune " Unconditional Love (Alternate Version) with blistering guitar solo by Matthew Stevens.

So that my step outside my jazz listening comfort zone.  Have a good weekend.

Drawing from Drawings from MAG Drawing class.

Here's this week's drawings from the drawing class I'm taking at the MAG (Memorial Art Gallery)

They are 5 and 10 minutes poses of statues in one of the second floor galleries.

This last drawing is of the cherub in the room with the pipe organ.  I'm thinking I'll return to keep working on it.