Monthly Archives: December 2015

ZaFTIG – The Zappa Family Trust Issues Guide

I finally found  the definitive guide to all 100 Frank Zappa recordings, ZaFTIG – The Zappa Family Trust Issue Guides by Edward Komara, Contributor, Scott Parker. I trust it will increase the depth of my appreciation for Zappa’s compositional genius.

The author, Edward Komara possesses a job I envy. He is a full-time music librarian and music historian. Imagine working at something you love to that level and getting paid for it.  I try my best to approximate my music contribution with this music blog. Alas, I am employed as a part-time educator and instructional technologist in the field of computer technology.

Mr. Komara has motivated me to self-publish a music book I have developed for 12 years. ZaFTIG was published with the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (an Amazon company).

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Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

I love when an artist challenges our sensibilities with the musical directions they instinctively pursue. Charles Lloyd is that Zen Master.

I await the next musical sojourn Charles Lloyd and fellow musicians will carry us upon with joyous anticipation.

Read more about the soon released (January 15, 2016), “I Long To See You” album by Charles Lloyd & The Marvels on the Blue Note Records page.

My mission is to see Charles Lloyd & The Marvels at the home of jazz, Jazz at Lincoln Center next month.

Here is a past review I wrote about Charles Lloyd at Wesleyan University in 2011.

You can sample the first “teaser” track, “Of Course, Of Course” on Spotify.

I plan to make this a Charles Lloyd’s spiritual renewal weekend, Namaste’.

88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life

Now here is a Web site and book the music of our heart fully embraces. Keep Music Alive. The purpose of their mission is to promote how valuable and important music is in all of our lives: Academically, Therapeutically or just overall making us a happier society.

As part of this mission, their new book “88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life features over 150 inspirational music quotes, anecdotes and stories relating how music has affected the lives of people all over the world. Musicians, songwriters, music educators and music fans from around the world contributed to “88+ Ways” including almost 2 dozen music, film and TV celebrities. For story samples please visit 88+ Ways Story Samples.

50% of the proceeds from all book and e-book sales are donated to non-profits that support schools and communities in need with musical instructions and education. Their current beneficiaries include Guitars in the Classroom, Spirit of Harmony and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

What a great cause, let’s support it my friends!

Jaco, “The World’s Greatest Bass Player”

Dear Robert Trujillo and everyone involved with the making of the documentary film Jaco, I want to thank you for such a beautiful, soulful experience.

 

For years I have tried unsuccessfully to assimilate the artistry of Jaco Pastorius. I realize now I was half-listening to his musical meaning. I wasn’t tuned in to what he was effectively communicating. It wasn’t until I saw Jaco’s life on-screen did I fathom the rich genius of his full spirit.

You can stare forever at a needle and thread but until it sews a tapestry before your eyes, only then can one appreciate how fine someone’s craftsmanship was meant to be.

I view Jaco’s bass playing evolution as that moving needle and thread. He sewed together important musical collaborations in the time he had with us. The film proved how integral Jaco was to Ian Hunter,  Weather Report and Joni Mitchell’s renaissance with jazz.

 

I have dug deeper into Jaco Pastorius’s discography this weekend. Wow, I think I finally get it.  I urge you to see Jaco and allow yourself to enter his continuum.

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Tea Time

Healthy Hacks

Tea is magical. It really is. It’s so easy to make and delivers an abundance of natural herbs and remedies to your body 🙂 It is somewhat overwhelming now to walk into a grocery store and see the tea section. There are over 100 kinds – at least! Below are my top five favorite teas (in no order) that serve for different functions, highly recommend them all. 100 % natural. 100% healthy. 100% delicious.

#1 Organic Happy Tummy by Allegro Fine Tea

Given that I have a million allergies and am often bloated or just have an upset stomach, this tea never fails to heal me. Contains organic peppermint, ginger, cinnamon, dandelion root, and spearmint. So soothing and amazing. It’s caffeine-free too, so enjoy a cup before bed! Bought this at Whole Foods, but it is available at many other stores.

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#2 Yogi Green Tea Super Antioxidant

This is a winner. Enjoy a…

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The 100 Greatest Vinyl Records of All Time

I happened upon this bookazine in of all places, the grocery store. It is part of a music magazine rebirth by Bob Guccione Jr. He gave us SPIN Magazine 30 years ago.

Vinyl

The bookazine was published by Engaged Media Inc. Bob Guccione Jr. serves as the Editor. The primary author is Liza Lentini (a new music journalism source  for me).  The contributing writer is Malena Jaime.

I was eager to understand the criteria the publishing team used to make their determination about this 100. They set the cutoff at 1991 the last year of significant vinyl sales (before the vinyl resurgence these past few years).

My next analysis was to uncover how many of the 100 albums I own which turned out to be almost 2/3rds or 65%.  Not too shabby 😉

So if you are wondering about your vinyl collection, you might enjoy picking up a copy of this bookazine.

The Public Library and Richard Brautigan

Many years ago I would visit on a regular basis, the South Norwalk Public Library.  While looking through the stacks of books I stumbled upon a man who was sitting at a table. He had a huge stack of books in front of him and was avidly reading a title. He had a brown bag lunch with a sandwich half eaten on top of the folded down brown bag. Odd yet poignant what we remember from our childhood.

I asked the librarian who he was and she said to me, “He comes here every day, rain or shine. Stays until closing time. His mission is to read every book in the library before he dies.” I smiled at her, checked out my books and left wondering about this eccentric person I happened upon. I would see him on subsequent visits to the library and say hello as I passed by his regular table.

I think about him from time to time when I see a new book that I want to own and read. I am curious how well read he became. I’ve built a real music library in my home office. I haven’t gotten around to reading many of the music books I have purchased yet. Life keeps us busy. Like many people I read more Web pages than printed pages anymore. The guilt of incomplete reading plagues the music of our heart. I have to remedy this….

If I had my druther I’d retire early so that I could listen to all the music I own and wish to hear from the cloud. That would serve as my backdrop for reading the music books that call me. Note to self: Get a reading lamp and easy chair for the home office…

One author I discovered through Rolling Stone Magazine in the early 70’s was Richard Brautigan. He served as the counterculture author. I was drawn to his works as a twenty year old, community college student. (Little did I realize I would become a part-time lecturer at a community college…)

I’ve looked about the house for my copies of his classic works that I must read again. Alas they are nowhere to be found. I will have to repurchase some of his books to fill that void.

This title comes to mind.

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“The Abortion” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Abortion.jpg#/media/File:The_Abortion.jpg

What triggered these sentiments is the discovery of a new photography book by Erik Weber, Seeing Richard: Rare and Previously Unpublished Images of Richard Brautigan.  

“Erik Weber’s photographs are starkly beautiful works in their own right — but the really great thing for me is that they also amplify the reputation of an outstanding American writer who has been neglected for too long…” from Mr. Cocker’s foreword.

Next to music books, I love to collect photography books. I have another book for my never-ending list. Perhaps I should ask my local librarian to order it for me…;)

American Epic Coming to PBS January, 2016

I have written about the documentary, American Epic in the past here on this blog. It is a series of music films focusing on the birth of modern music in the USA.

This film series kindled my interest in musicology. American Epic comprises a three-part historical music documentary, a feature-length performance film, and a set of companion album releases. The project is executive-produced by Jack White, T Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford, directed by Bernard MacMahon and written by Bernard MacMahon, Allison McGourty, and Duke Erikson of Lo-Max Films.