Friday, February 27, 2009


The jazz artist of the weeks is the lesser known and sorely under-recorded jazz trombonist and composer Grachan Moncur III. His only two releases on the Blue Note label shown here were perfect vehicles for his composing and improvisational talents. Utilizing an all star cast of Lee Morgan, Jackie McLean, Bobby Hutcherson, Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock these recordings for Blue Note are definitely worth checking out!


I'm sure you are all aware of the President's stimulus package however I must say this sign brings new meaning to the term. This sign was posted outside a strip club in a neighboring city. HAHA!


This weeks live cd pick of the week goes to Donny Hathaway Live. This is one of the great live recording of all time (yes, I said of all time!). Recorded live at the Troubadour in Hollywood and at the Bitter End in New York the electricity of this live performance is incredible! The smokin' live version of The Ghetto clocks in at over 12 minutes while the cd highlight to me is the over 13 minute version of Everything Is Everything. Other great songs included on this cd are What's Goin' On, Hey Girl, You've Got A Friend and many more. A great cd that's deserves to be in your collection if you consider yourself somewhat hip. Pick it up!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


For my many readers out there (maybe five?) you might be wondering
if you can respond to my posts. The answer is yes however please note that you will not see your questions or comments posted right away. Why? Because I have the ultimate authority to accept or reject your comments. That's right! I'm the only one allowed to spew nonsense on this site!
Seriously though, I welcome all comments however anything I may not agree with gets tossed! HAHA!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Because I play the sax I thought I would list my top 5 tenor sax players followed by many others that deserve honorable mention. So here they are:

  • John Coltrane
  • Sonny Rollins
  • Dexter Gordon
  • Joe Henderson
  • Stanley Turrentine
Honorable Mention goes to the following:

Gene Ammons, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Johnny Griffin, Stan Getz, Michael Brecker, Booker Ervin, Sam Rivers, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Yusef Lateef, Ben Webster, Warne Marsh, Hank Mobley, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Tina Brooks, Ike Quebec, John Klemmer, Harold Land, Charlie Rouse

I'm sure there are countless others I may have forgotten but that's some of my many favorite tenor sax players.


As a casual Dodger fan I have been following the Dodgers in their continued negotiations with Manny Ramirez. Hasn't this been going on since last season ended?
I personally hope that they can reach an agreement with him because nothing was funnier (to me) than the sight of all of the young kids sporting Manny wigs (see photo).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


This weeks pick is from the 70's funk group Sun. This under appreciated classic funk cd is titled Wanna Make Love/Come Flick My Bic. This is the cd title however the original 70's vinyl release was titled Live On, Dream On which I played to death.
Classic funk and soul that does not generate any airplay on the old school radio stations for some odd reason. There doesn't appear to be any audio clips that I could find on line but hey, have I ever steered you wrong?
Anyway, check it out! A must have!


This weeks latin cd pick is Willie Colon's Cosa Nuestra. A classic recording on the Fania label featuring the late, great Hector Lavoe on vocals. This is 1971 salsa at its best!

Click link to hear some sound samples.


The dvd pick of the week goes to the classic kung fu masterpiece The 36th Chamber of Shaolin starring Gordon Liu. A classic piece of 70's kung fu cinema that should not be missed! This Dragon Dynasty dvd has been beautifully restored and contains an English language track for those that don't like subtitles.
The quote on the dvd cover from the New York Times says it all:
"Widely considered to be the greatest kung fu flick of all time". You can buy it at Best Buy, rent it at Blockbuster but either way, definitely see it!

Here are some clips from this great classic!


This week's jazz cd pick is Destination Out by Jackie McLean. Although this cd only features four tracks it is another great Blue Note release meant for the serious jazz fan.
This cd features Jackie on alto sax as well as Bobby Hutcherson on vibes, Grachan Moncur III on trombone, Roy Haynes on drums and Larry Ridley on bass. This recording made in 1963 is not for everyone as it lacks the piano usually used in jazz however Bobby Hutcherson's vibes fill up the space perfectly.

To hear some excerpts from this cd go to the following link.
Give it a listen and enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2009


There are those out there to claim to like reggae music but when questioned can only tell you they like Bob Marley.

This blog will attempt to hip you to all types of good music that I feel you need to be aware of.

This week's reggae pick is by a group called The Abyssinians and the cd is titled Satta Massagana. This is considered one of the must have reggae cd's of all time so check it out!

Click on the link to listen to some samples.


OK, now I know soccer (or futbol as some call it) is supposed to be the most popular sport in the world however like most Americans I really don't get it.

  • What is exciting about watching a three hour plus game that ends with no score?

  • Why do soccer players always fall down, writhe in pain, get carried off on a stretcher only to return 5 minutes later?

  • How are you supposed to know how much time is left? The time they show is the elapsed time and the time that is actually left is up to the referee.

  • Why do so many soccer games (especially in Europe) end up in riots? It's just a game isn't it?

  • What is the deal with penalty kicks? Shouldn't there be overtime or sudden death or something?

I could go on and on but figure I'll stop here as I've probably offended 3/4 of the world. Oh well.....

This Simpson's episode will show you how most Americans view soccer. ZZZZZZZZ


Does any man like getting a haircut? I went to get a haircut today and as usual I have my hair cut by a different twenty something year old airhead that you have to try and make conversation with.
I usually can't get out of there fast enough and just want it to be done and over with.
Getting a haircut is almost like going to the dentist although less painful however at the dentist you are in a private room. Getting a haircut you are out in the open for all to see.
First they shave the sides and back with clippers, then you walk to the back for a shampoo and then you make the longer (although it seems longer) walk back to the chair with your hair all wet and sticking up and YES everyone is looking at you!
They then take the scissors to your hair as your looking at everyone else who appears as miserable as you (mostly the men). They then ask if you want gel in your hair or any products, etc...Nope - I'm good - where do I pay? Lemme out of here!


Well my picks for the Oscars did not quite pan out and my earlier post seems to have mysteriously disappeared however I did pick the following winners:
Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.

I completely missed out on the Best Actress (although she was my second choice), Best Actor (who knew?), and Best Supporting Actress (a real surprise).
I still don't get the Oscar nod for Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder. Although this was a mildly entertaining movie there is no way he should have gotten a nomination for this role. Let's be serious!

I did catch quite a bit of the red carpet activities switching between E and ABC. I think the E channel gets my vote for most hilarious as the obviously gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) co-host was using a "glamastrator" to freeze and highlight what he felt were exceptional tastes in gowns and jewelry. Too funny!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


OK, what's the deal with auto racing? I know it has a huge following but I just don't get it. How is watching cars go around, around, around......(forever) in circles entertaining?
Now I know people that enjoy this and I even know people that race cars but I just don't get it (like soccer). The only think exciting is when there's a major pileup of cars but you can watch those highlights on ESPN's Sportscenter.
Sorry but auto racing I just don't get at all. Just my two cents on this so called "sport".


Is it just me or does shopping with the wife for household goods affect men in the same way?
Yesterday my wife dragged me to Home Goods and Bed, Bath and Beyond to look for a mirror. I don't know what it is about these stores but as soon as I walk into these stores I get really sleepy. It feels like all of the life has been drained from my body. I am ready for a nap after walking the countless isles of stuff for the home.
I look around at the other men shopping with their wives and they all have the same glassy eyed, blank expression on their faces. You can almost read their minds as I'm sure they are all thinking "what the hell am I doing here?"
I saw one guy reading his Blackberry as his wife was trying to show him a stack of rugs. HAHA!
Anyway, I don't know if other men feel the same way as me but I felt my voice needed to be heard.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I love Ebay. I have been using Ebay for years. I have bought and sold hundreds of items. Currently I have a 100% feedback rating with over 400 transactions.
I have sold cd's for over $300 (Mazarati and Appolonia 6), bought and sold saxophones, sold saxophone mouthpieces for over $300, sold my remaining vinyl collection and sold electronic gear that wasn't working (all disclosed of course) on Ebay.

I had been in a Freddie Hubbard (jazz trumpeter) mood lately since he had recently passed away and saw one guy on Ebay was selling a whole bunch of Freddie cd's for 99 cents each (at least that's what the starting bid was).
I bid on several of these cd's and managed to win only two of them. I was outbid at the very last second (literally) on about five of these cd's. Oh well...........I guess my buying skills have deteriorated and I'm not as fast on the bidding as I once was.


OK, since Jazz is prominently featured in the title of my Blog, what does this Blog have to do with jazz?
Well I am a die hard jazz fan with an extensive collection of jazz Cd's that seems to grow on a weekly basis.
I play the saxophone (alto, tenor & soprano sax) in my spare time and have recently been dabbling in the EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument). I hope to one day get into a jazz band and bare my soul with extensive soloing.
There are those that say they love jazz and when you ask them who they like they start rattling off the names of artists that they play on The Wave (94.7FM) in the L.A. area. This to me is not really jazz but is known as Smooth Jazz. Some call it Snooze Jazz and others call it Instrumental Pop. Either way, to me it is not true jazz. Sorry and no offense out there to those that like this stuff it's just not for me.
In this Blog I will try an educate those who know little about jazz and also keep you updated on jazz releases and purchases in my never ending quest for more jazz music.


I'm not aware of very much reggae music being played on the radio these days however I do try to tune in to 90.7 FM (KPFK) in the Los Angeles area every Sunday from 3:00 - 5:00PM. This program is hosted by a guy named Chuck Foster who is very knowledgeable in reggae music, has written a book on this subject and also writes a column in The Beat magazine where he reviews all the new reggae releases.
His knowledge and reviews of reggae music have steered me in the direction of many great reggae artists that I was completely unaware of.

The attached link will take you to The Beat magazine which I used to subscribe to.
This magazine has interviews, photos, upcoming festivals and reviews of all types of world music. It is really a good magazine that I recommend highly.
Hmmm......speaking of festivals, the Raggamuffin festival (previously known as The Bob Marley Festival) is being held in Long Beach this weekend. I went to this once and had a blast. I got to see great performance by Burning Spear, Beres Hammond, Damian Marley, Wayne Wonder, and others. A really great time! Oh well, maybe next year.

Friday, February 20, 2009


OK, you all are probably wondering what the hell I have to say about Asian cinema. Let me tell you how this all began and why I am such a fan. As a fan of Quentin Tarantino I had bought the dvd's Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2. I was watching all the bonus features and Quentin was talking about all the movies that had influenced him in making these movies. He mentioned Five Fingers of Death, 36 Chambers of Shaolin and many others.

This got me to thinking that as a teenager I had went to the drive-in with some friends and saw Five Fingers of Death. I loved it and remember seeing several Bruce Lee movies like Fist of Fury around that time as well. There was also Black Belt Theater (later called Kung Fu Theater) on every Saturday afternoon that I used to watch after Soul Train. I remember watching these Kung Fu movies and getting a kick out of them. The best ones seemed to be the ones that were the most ridiculous with people flying through the air or limbs being cut off.

So with these memories fresh in my mind I started looking at Asian movie web-sites. I found that these sites not only reviewed the classic old movies but all the current Asian movies as well. This led me to find out where I could buy these movies. I located a small place in San Gabriel and would frequently go there to buy my movies. Later I discovered that in Chinatown I could buy the same movies for about $4. The movies in Chinatown are definitely bootlegs but I can tell you that the artwork and packaging is superb. There have been movies that I didn't like and I traded them in and they took them because they looked so authentic.

So this is how it all began. I will be posting updates on the latest and best movies I have seen. Although most of these movies have never been released in this country they are definitely entertaining and worth a watch.


There is nothing I enjoy more than going shopping for used cd's. I love scouring the used bins to see what treasures I can find at an affordable price. Living in Claremont, CA I am close to a Rhino Records but also make a point to visit Amoeba in Hollywood, Poo-Bahs & Penny Lane in Pasadena and ALWAYS make a point to hit the Pasadena Swap Meet (Flea Market?) in Pasadena the first Sunday of every month. This is where I get cd's for $5 a month and typically come away with a stack of cd's. I typically buy jazz but am also into other types of music such as latin music (salsa, latin jazz, etc.), classic 70's soul and funk and also classic reggae music. I have bought and sold and traded hundreds of cd's over the years. I continue to buy cd's with no end in site. Is this a bad habit? a compulsion? or just a love for good music? I don't really know but for now I will continue on until I no longer have the urge to buy music which I really can't see happening. Oh well........I guess it could be worse in that I was buying everything brand new and paying full price. At least that's the logic I'm using for now.


Here is my maiden voyage blog. It was suggested by several that I would be a good person to blog so here we go. I will be discussing a variety of topics including (but not limited to) the following:
Jazz music, latin music, old school soul music, reggae music, cd shopping, Asian cinema, sports, and life in general. My blog has no boundries so hang on for an excursion through my mindless thoughts.