Monday, June 27, 2016

Some Monday Wes

For some reason I started thinking about the late Wes Montgomery.  He was, and still remains, one of my favorite jazz guitar players.  Everything about him was great, but I think the thing that set him apart was that he never used a pick -- it was always just his thumb.  This of course gave him the most mellow guitar sound imaginable.  Yet, when the tune called for a hard edge or a cookin' riff he could lay it down with the best of guys who use a pick.  If you've got some Wes laying around in your CD collection, pull one out and take a listen -- a great way to start your week.  In the meantime, you might want to check out this wonderful live version of "Twisted Blues." Wes with some superb fellow musicians: Arthur Harper on bass, Harold Mabern on piano, and Jimmy Lovelace on drums.  Bass and piano solos are right up there with Wes' lead.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Elizabeth Warren tell it like it is

I've been enjoying Elizabeth Warren's carpet bombing of Trump.  She really gets under his skin.  Her latest salvo deals with his taxes and his claim that he is super-rich (or is he?).    You don't want to miss this one.  Check it out right here.  Love that Lizzy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Missy Higgins

I just realized it has been a long time since I posted anything.  So, for lack of anything better, I guess I'll share one of my recent discoveries.  While listening to Pandora a few days ago on a jog with the dog, a song came on that I had never heard before by a vocalist I immediately connected to.  I really liked the sound of her voice as well as the arrangement of the tune, and her phrasing and dynamics.  I had to stop and haul out my music player to see who the singer was.  Her name is Missy Higgins, another of many fine Australian musicians.  You can read about her here.  The particular song I first heard is called "Where I Stood."  Check out the "official video" here. Although the video is a bit hokey, the music is very much to my liking.  Enjoy.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Cheap Trick at Daryl's House - Oh hell ya!

The new season of Live at Daryl's House got underway a couple of weeks ago with the first guests being "Cheap Trick."  These guys have been around since 1973 and are still as authentic as can be.  They are old friends of Daryl's and it shows throughout the entire show.  I simply love watching Rick Neilsen on guitar.  He is the ultimate hip old dude.  And Robin Zander still kills the lead vocals.  The whole show was a true delight, with lots of banter and a plethora of great performances.  But to my mind, the best thing of all was a mind blowing performance of "Heaven Tonight."  I've played it over and over and am still sort of freaking out over how arresting it is -- it just grabs me from start to finish, with my high-point being Daryl's brief, but amazing vocal riff at about 5:25 into the track.  You gotta check out Heaven Tonight right here.  If you've got good speakers or a set of good head phones by all means crank up the volume.  I'm guessing that you may play this over at least once more.


Monday, May 23, 2016

Remembering Art Farmer

Okay, you consider yourself a jazz fan. Answer me this:  When discussing flugelhorn players, who comes to your mind?  Clark Terry?  Freddy Hubbard?  Roy Hargrove?  Chuck Mangione?  Those cats are all worthy, but in my book Art Farmer is tops in that category.  Aside from eventually playing the flugelhorn exclusively, he also invented and played a hybrid instrument that he dubbed a "flumpet."  Art died in 1999, and you can read about him (and his flumpet) right here.  Luckily for you, I found this gorgeous performance of "Petite Belle," which makes my case.  Jim Hall on guitar, Steve Swallow on bass, and Pet LaRocca on drums.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bernie blues...

Sometimes I find an article that perfectly describes a position or view that I agree with completely.  Struggling with articulating the push and pull of the Bernie Sanders candidacy, I found this well-reasoned piece that fits my feelings to a "T."  

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Back from Stinson Beach

We left on Monday for our rental at Stinson Beach.  We got back yesterday.  The unit we rented turned out to be awesome.  We were right on the beach with a second floor view of the Pacific, seeing whales migrating north, various types of ships and boats, many kinds of birds and quite a few surfers.  
I took a few pictures:

Here is a view of the back of the units.  There is a very large rental on the whole bottom floor with two one-bedroom units on the second floor.  Ours is on the left.

Here is a view of the unit shot from the beach.  Your can see our unit on the right.  We spent a whole lot of time looking out of the windows you see in the picture.  The high point was seeing lots of whales that came very close to shore allowing us to see them surface and spout.  What wonderful, mysterious beings they are.

Finally, here is shot of the beach looking south.  You can see Highway One on the right side of the hill, descending into the town of Stinson Beach.