Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Return to Forever by Chick Corea

I knew it would come to this.  Chick  Corea was one of my Jim's favorite artists - often playing his tunes in the car as we drove along. But to be honest, I did not like or particularly enjoy the new jazz music.  Yes, there are many sections I enjoy, however the sections change quickly  without any rhyme or reason. To me, it is just a mish-mash of pleasant sounds thrown together. Splat!

There are four tracks on the album, first published in 1972 and later transferred to the then new CD format:

  • Return to Forever
  • Crystal Silence
  • What Game Shall We Play Today
  • Sometime Ago - La Fiesta
One moment I am enjoying Return to Forever. The next I can't understand why the tunes are yelling at me. Crystal Silence is enjoyable at first,but makes a quick change, and I feel like my once 4-year-old at his sister's grade four band concert.  "Make them stop.Make them stop!" he cried. What Games Shall We play Today is my favorite.  It carries on in a sing-song way, kinda' like it's title. Sometime Ago - La Fiesta  rattled me.  At first I am humming along, an then a quick change into - to me - discordant sounds.

Oh well.  I will have to just agree to disagree with Jim on this album.

Armando Anthony "Chick" was born in 1941 in Chelsea, MA and grew up in a musical family. He said, "There were always musicians around. My dad would come home from a gig...he'd bring the band back, they'd have their tuxes on and they'd loosen their ties and my mother would cook some pasta."

Chick began studying piano at age four.  His love for that grew as his love for jazz, and he became known as a piano and keyboard expert. He took jazz to new levels. Read more  about him. Learn more about the 23-time Grammy-Winning Jazz Legend, Pianist and Composer at his Web site.Dig in and you'll find schedules for concerts, training for professionals, a blog, and store for all your Chick Corea CDs and T-shirts. Or, listen to some of his music on Youtube.

I enjoyed listening to the music, and remembering how my Jim used to tease me with it. "Shall we listen one more time?"  Mwa ha ha?

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rob Mullins 5th Gear

What wonderful background  music! I enjoyed Rob Mullins 5th Gear. I can see my Jim working at his desk with this accompanying him.

The contemporary jazz album was recorded in 1988 by NOVA Records Inc.  Mullins produced the album with Co-producer Kevin Clock and Executive Producer David Gimpel. The album featured
 Rob Mullins, Marty Ruddy, Larry Thompson, Steve Reid, and SteveTavaglione, and came up with the song list below. They worked together with Mullins, known as an American jazz pianist, studio keyboardist, composer, producer,  arranger. recording engineer,, composer, and producer. Whew! That's quite a line up!  

Track List
Japanese Girl
Larrys Tune
Georgia On My Mind
Rockin' at the Regas
Memories of Tomorrow
5th Gear
Looking for Money
The Bush Patrol
Sky's the Limit

Larry's Tune and The Bush Patrol are my favorites.   Just can't seem to keep my feet still as I am driving down the road listening to them. planetmullins.com is the address for his Web site. Check it out to see when his next live performance is.

Mullins was born in Enid, Oklahoma in 1958, end eventually moved to Los Angeles, California.You can tell by the smile o his face as he drives his red convertible, pictured on the album cover, that he enjoys his music career.  Learn all about him during a recent interview with him in his home town. Or listen to my favorite Larry's Tune here. I won't blame you if you  get up and dance!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Warren Bernhardt - Heat of the Moment

Well this is nice. Warren Bernhardt's Heat if the Moment CD is a gentle reflection of the pianist's jazz style.  When listening, I almost feel like I'm sitting in a lounge with a group of friends with the music playing gently in the back ground. Although  I don't remember the music, Jim would play something like this while he was typing away on the computer. It is just plain nice.

My favorite title of the album, recorded in 1989, by Digital Music Products Inc., is Club Black Diamond by Bernhardt, followed by Love Walked In by Ira Gershwin, and oh my - In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington.

The Heat of the Moment album band was comprised of Bernhardt on piano, Peter Erskine on drums, Jay Anderson on acoustic bass, Gordon Gottlieb on percussion, and Mike DeMicco on guitar.

On the album, the group artfully played:

  • Love Walked In, I. Gershwin
  • Bodas de Sangue, Bros Valle
  • Club Black Diamond, W. Bernhardt
  • Wakin' Up, B. Evans
  • Heat of the Moment, W. Bernhardt
  • There Came You, B. Evans
  • Pali Lookout, M. DiMicco
  • The Two Lonely People, B. Evans
  • Mi En Broma? W. Bernhardt
  • A Sentimental Mood, D. Ellington
Lots of good listening!

Bernhardt was born November 1938 in Wausau, Wisconsin, the son of a pianist. His home was filled with music, and often went to sleep as a toddler under his father's grand piano as a notable pianists played above.When his father passed at an early age, Bernhadt took a break from music and began studying chemistry and physics at Chicago University. There, however, he was attracted to the local music scene and all the jazz players had to offer.  Several well-known musicians took him under their wings and he was hooked. And so, his career as a noted jazz, pop, and classical  pianist began.  His career lead him not only down many solo and band leading paths, but in cooperation with many performers and bands, including Simon and Garfunkel and Steely Dan.

I enjoyed an interview with the artist on youtube. Bernhardt spoke about his career in ways which made him seem like an ordinary guy. He did, like many of us, have to consider how he was going to pay tuition for his kids when choosing a job. Learn about his career well-played at wikipedia.

Listen to some of the some of his music here. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Peter Buffett The Waiting

It's Peter Buffett, Mary.  Not Jimmy Buffett of Margaritaville fame. Glad I finally have that figured out. The abstract, down tempo tunes from the American musician, composer, author and philanthropist are enjoyable and relaxing. I don't remember Jim playing these tunes, but they are the kind that easily fit into the background .  So maybe he did play  The Waiting.  I just don't remember it.

The 1987 album, released on the Narada Mystique label, includes nine titles - each as smooth and enchanting as the next. Titles include:

  • Empire Builder
  • The Waiting
  • Why
  • Aberdeen
  • Generation Prelude
  • Generation
  • New West
  • One More Time
  • Big Sky
The Waiting is my favorite.  The electronic music played ever-so-softly in the beginning reminds me of the sunrise eventually breaking forth in all its glory. Listen and see what you think. Or, you can listen to the whole CD album on Youtube  here.

Buffett, 61, is the youngest son of billionaire Warren Buffett. The keyboard artist adds emmy-award-winner, co-chairof the NoVo Foundation - established to help end violence toward girls and women- performer and composer to his description. His 30-year-plus career is capped with his Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett. Attend one of the presentations to listen to his music, find out what it is like to grow up as the son of a billionaire, and various experiences.

Read more about Buffett at his Web site here. I hope you get a chance to listen to some of his music.  It is enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Alphonse Mouzon Band: Back to Jazz

LAUGH OUT LOUD! I  could not believe what I was listening to and the memories it dragged  up. The bleeping blooping sound of the Alphonse Mouzon Band: Back to Jazz track Space Commander reminded me of a pre-personal-computer-day video arcade - which Jim loved!  He would spend evenings feeding quarters into the machines at the Electronic Zoo in Kent, Ohio playing some ridiculous game, until he realized quarters were running out and he better get a job.

Fortunately, there is only one piece on the CD, released in 1986 by L & R Records, which  sounded video arcade-ish.  The rest is very pleasant soul-jazz-funk.  I can even remember the tunes and  carry them around in my head all day. Sound tracks include:

1 St. Thomas,Written-By – Sonny Rollins
2 The Next Time We Love
3      Poobli
4 Space Commander
5 Peace On Earth
6 The Baker's Daughter
7 Just Because Of You
   Step Into The Funk
   When We Were Young
10  Hello, I must Be Going

Space Commander is of course, my favorite.  Listen here  on Youtube to the CD album. (Try not to dance....)

Alphonse is known as an American jazz fusion drummer and the owner of Tenacious Records - primarily used to release his recordings. He was born in 1948 in South Carolina, and began his music studies in high school. The next step was moving on to New York for college where he began studying medicine.  But drumming eventually won out.

His career included acting, producing, voice-over work, composition and arrangement.  He performed in all four corners of  the world, and is listed in all major jazz publications.  Performances included acting alongside Tom Hanks in That Thing You Do! and other acting and musical performances on the movie screen.

He served as the original drummer for Weather Report in 1970-72, and gained even more notoriety with the fusion band Eleventh House, 1973-75. Mouzon's career also included stints with Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Jeff Beck, Tommy Bolin, Chubby Checker, Eric Clapton, Betty Davis, Patrick Moraz, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Lee Ritenour, Seawind Horns and Freddie Hubbard.  A very  busy, creative guy. 

Mouzon passed December 25, 2016 at his home in Granada, California. You may read more about hiim  at Wikipedia. I can see why Jim enjoyed him so much.