Posted tagged ‘jazz’

Walking Music – 8/15/2020

August 15, 2020

As I said in my post, Walking with Music, in the interests of dispelling the grey-ghost of depression, I am going to occasional post a Walking with Music Artist of the Day and include one song that particularly touched me. Maybe it can dispel a few grey-ghosts in some music lovers out there or just give them something to listen to. Or not. But if you stop by, leave me a like or a comment. The grey-ghost hates those too.

This morning as I began my walk, I dug deep into the hundreds of albums living quietly on the SD card in my Samsung Galaxy S9 and found an old, almost forgotten favorite album, Return to Forever by the band of the same name.   Fifty points if you’ve ever heard of them.   If you’ve been a reader of Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog for a while, you know that I am a music lover and that the genre I love most is jazz.  But I also know there are many who say, I hate jazz.  My favorite jazz story happened when I was in high school.  I borrowed a Modern Jazz Quartet record (you remember those, right?) from the library and  put it on the stereo in the living room.  My Mom peeked in from the kitchen and said, What is THAT?   It’s jazz, Mom, I answered.  The Modern Jazz Quartet.  Well, she said, it sounds like they are all playing whatever they want!   It’s called improvisation, Mom, I said.  She shook her head and went back to the kitchen. (more…)

Old Music

November 16, 2017

art journalThis fine Southern California morning I am in my office.   I have just finished the wash for a watercolor painting.  OK, it’s not so much a painting as a visual journal entry, paint going where it will until something hopefully emerges.  So far it hasn’t.   That is one of the points of art journaling, to teach creative patience.  I have been listening to music and came across an old favorite I haven’t heard in a long time, Desafinado by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd.   I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much music slips into obscurity over time, sometimes because tastes change (I don’t listen to much Neil Young any more) but just as often because there is so much music in our personal soundtracks (you do have one of those, don’t you?) that we can’t possibly listen to them all.   That seems a shame. (more…)

Oh, Susannah

August 4, 2016

susannahSaturday morning, I went for my usual walk in the park and, as I often do, I put on my earbuds and set my smartphone mp3 player to shuffle all.   There are nearly 4,000 songs on my SD card, so it is certain that at sometime during my walk, I’ll get to reconnect with a long lost friend … an old favorite that I haven’t listened to in a long time.  The song that caught my ear Saturday was The Computer Age written and performed by Susannah McCorkle.   Odds are good you’ve never heard of her and I wouldn’t have either if it weren’t for the good old days of CD listening stations at Borders.   The CD I listened to way back then when was Hearts and Minds.   The intimacy of Susannah’s simple, jazzy style appealed to me instantly, so I bought the CD. (more…)

Mood Music

October 23, 2014

moodWhen I was a young man (approximately three eons ago), there was a genre of music known as Mood Music.  Usually, Mood Music was recorded by large, string-based orchestras like the 101 Strings or Mantovani and His Orchestra.  It was not very cool to like Mood Music but since I loved the standards of the American Songbook, I owned several Mood Music recordings.  Yeah, I wasn’t especially cool.  I even had a 101 Stings recording titled Backbeat Symphony that consisted of classical music set to a late fifties rock and roll backbeat.  As you’ll see by the end of this post, it was pretty dreadful.  By the time I reached college age, I’d discovered jazz, where I could hear much hipper versions of the standards I loved and I joined the rest of my contemporaries in referring to Mood Music as Elevator Music. (more…)

Monday Smiles – 4/7/2014

April 7, 2014

GRD tourI’m going to start today’s post with a question.   Can you be both disappointed and enthralled by a single event?  I assure you, you can … or at least I can.  On Friday, I posted about going to see my favorite jazz vocalist, Diana Krall, on Saturday night.  During the week, I noticed the concert was part of her Glad Rag Doll Tour, titled after her 2013 album. I went to check the album out on Amazon and listened to a few trackGRD excerpts. Quite different, to say the least. Different band (acoustic bass, guitar, mini-drum set, fiddle (really) and an additional keyboard). Very different sound, too. I’d have called it vaguely honky-tonk with a bit of a country sound. The album is produced by T-Bone Burnett, who was once Bob Dylan’s manager. He’s also produced a countryish album featuring Allyson Kraus and Robert Plant (how’s that for an unexpected combination?). The musical selections on Glad Rag Doll are actually selected from Krall’s father’s collection of 78 rpm records and best described as Burlesque or Vaudeville. Rick Busciglio of the Examiner said of the musical selections, If any of these songs could be identified as “20’s or 30’s music,” then they are 20’s or 30’s songs as imagined for the 21st Century. I wasn’t overly taken by the cuts on Amazon and went to the concert hoping she’d at least mix in some of the sultry standards I love. Didn’t happen. (more…)

Friday Favorites 3/4/2013

April 4, 2014

diana1I have rarely done repeat Friday Favorites here on Bud’s Blog but I’m making an exception this week.  There’s a good reason, though … I am finally getting to see my favorite jazz vocalist, Diana Krall, who I featured as a Friday Favorite back in August of 2013.  While Muri and I were in AZ last week … and while she was strolling through Chico’s, one of her favorite clothing stores … I took a walk around the Dana Park outdoor mall.  On one of the windows was a poster for Diana’s appearance in the Phoenix area April 8.  Hmmm, said I, That probably means she’ll be in the LA area, too.  Being a busy sixty-nine year old guy, I forgot to look for an LA appearance online until we got back to Anaheim Hills Monday, but sure enough, she was appearing at Segerstrom Hall in nearby Costa Mesa (our in-car GPS, by the way, calls it Costa Messa).  Very few seats left, however, so I got two for Saturday night in the balcony (which is still in Costa Messa, but just).  None-the-lessa, I’m excited, which is why Diana gets a repeat performance here on Bud’s Blog.

Friday Favorites 3/7/2014

March 7, 2014

Why is it that my vocation (engineering) likes to remain dormant until I commit to something in my avocation (blogging) like posting every day in 2014?  Why is it that I can’t just say damn the avocation for a day or two and so what if I’ve posted 178 Friday Favorites in a row?  Obsessed?  Dedicated?  Committed?  Should be committed?  Does it matter?  There will be a Friday Favorite today, albeit a short one.

erinI came across Erin Bode’s CD, Over and Over, back in the days of Borders Bookstores, when I could wander the music section, listening to the latest releases.  It was love at first listen.  Her website gets it right: Vocalist Erin Bode (pronounced BOH-DEE) has a beautiful, crystal clear voice that is too exquisite to miss. She has consistently won over audiences with her sweet personality and sincere performances. Her distinctive repertoire and crossover appeal – evoking comparisons to Eva Cassidy and Norah Jones – have proven equally at home in grand venues or relaxed clubs.  Listen to this, Perfect World, from the Over and Over CD: (more…)

Friday Favorites 1/17/2014

January 17, 2014

butterfly1Why is it that the weeks when I don’t have any work in my semi-retired life are more chaotic than the weeks when I do?  It could be that having business to take care of gives me a center of discipline around which to wrap the rest of my waking hours.  Maybe having tasks that make money satisfy that never-to-be-denied inner need to do something productive, making me less frantic about my other activities for the day.  Perhaps the total freedom of a week without work is overwhelming, making me prone to multiple games of Mole Word and Classic Mole instead of doing something fulfilling.  Maybe, with an empty day at hand, I try too hard to fill it … or fill it perfectly.  Whatever the reason, this was one of those weeks.  Posts went up with more than my usual allotment of typos (since corrected) and even a spelling error in the title (corrected immediately … how embarrassing).   Posts went up without categories and without tags … certainly not mortal offenses worthy of Blogger’s Hell but certainly some time in Poster’s Purgatory. (more…)

Friday Favorites 12/27/2013

December 27, 2013

fourplayI was looking through my pile of CDs the other day … the musical, not the banking kind.  I only wish I had a pile of bank CDs to look through.  By now, I’ve ripped most of my CD music to mp3 files, so the CDs languish in a (large) disorganized pile in our entertainment center.  But I’d heard an old friend on Sirius XM and when I looked for it among the mp3s on my smartphone, it wasn’t there.  The tune was RoboBop, a funky fusion number by the group, Fourplay, and I found it on the CD, Yes Please (which has since been ripped to my smartphone). (more…)

Friday Favorites 10/11/2013

October 11, 2013

trumpetI own three guitars … a beautiful Martin D-28, a middle of the road Martin X-Series that’s easier to finger, and a low end Yamaha classical guitar.   Don’t ask how often I play.  I’ve reverse strung the Yamaha for my left-handed son, so at least it gets some attention.  We also own a piano, a middle of the road Baldwin console style.  Guitar and piano are my two favorite instruments.  Fortunately, the rankings get a bit muddled below piano … otherwise, I’d likely have several other instruments gathering dust around the house.  In no particular order, I am partial to saxophone (especially tenor), violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, and French horn.  Oh, yes, and clarinet in the proper hands … say Benny  Goodman, Artie Shaw or Acker Bilk.  And there’s certainly a lot to be said for a well played bass.  See what I mean?  Muddled.  Plop me down in front a symphony orchestra and I every instrument’s my favorite.  Except, perhaps, for the triangle and the gong.   My third-favorite instrument depends on what I’ve been listening to this week, and this week, I’ve been noticing some very nice trumpet work by Chris Botti.  So trumpet it is.  I know.  This is Friday Favorites … does it break some obscure blogging axiom to feature my (sometimes) third favorite instrument? (more…)