Monday, August 31, 2009


This weeks Jazz/Funk CD Pick of the Week is the classic 1975 recording by The Headhunters titled Survival of the Fittest. The Headhunters were the group that backed up Herbie Hancock on his groundbreaking jazz/funk lp titled The Headhunters (another classic must have!) but also released a few solo lp's without Herbie Hancock. This is the debut solo release by The Headhunters. Now I had bought this album (yes I mean album) when it first came out way back in 1975 and had been waiting for years for this to be issued on cd. When I finally saw this in the cd bin one day I almost passed out and couldn't grab it fast enough!
Now two of the funkiest cuts on this cd (to me) are God Made Me Funky and If You Want It, You'll Get It. Because I couldn't decide between the two I decided to post them both. Anyway, check out The Headhunters and see what I'm talkin' about.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Advertised as "All Funk and Nuttin' But The Funk", The First Annual Long Beach Funk Fest delivered! This was the real deal with some serious funk music on display. I decided to avoid the drive and the hassles of parking and took public transportation to get to the festival (a serious mistake on my part that you'll read about later). As I arrived Slapback was performing and throwing down some serious funk. I thought to myself "this is going to be good!". Bands that followed (like Delta Nove) were all superfunky and Charles Wright and The Watts 103rd Street Band worked the crowd into a frenzy. The only performance that was a disappointment was by an ex-Meters member whose set failed to do much to energize the crowd. There were two stages and the music was constantly flowing. Off to the side were DJ's spinning endless funk, plenty of places to eat, a place for kids to beat on drums and some cool Funk Fest t-shirts for sale (of course I got mine!). The DJ at the Amoeba booth was mixing an endless blend of some super serious non-stop funk where dancers were given the opportunity to freestyle and show their moves. I even heard a DJ spinning some Funk Inc. as I strolled thru the crowd. Yeah, very hip indeed!
Now the faithful readers of my blog know that I love the funk group Mandrill (see blog posts on 5-13 and 5-20). Mandrill was the headline act at this festival and were set to come on last. The problem? I failed to check when they were coming on against the train schedule and if I stayed to see them perform I wouldn't make it home! What? Yes, what a dilemma. I could either watch Mandrill perform and be stranded in Long Beach or leave early and catch the train. So.....with tears in my eyes I left early and boarded the train home, missing a chance to see one of the greatest funk groups of all time. Riding home through Compton, Watts, L.A. and Chinatown I finally arrived in Pasadena where you could see the hills burning. From there it was a short drive home to the comfort of the Vanilla Suburbs. Regardless of my mistake the Long Beach Funk Fest was a rousing success and I can only hope that it becomes an annual event.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Way back in the day (early 70's) we used to spend our Friday and Saturday nights cruising around looking for parties or things to do. We would typically be listening to radio station XPRS which had a program called The Soul Express which played the best soul music around. The disc jockey on this program was the one and only, Wolfman Jack. This radio station would broadcast out of Mexico so the reception was not always the strongest and would fade in and out of your AM radio. (What? Yes, AM radio!) For us XPRS was the best station to hear the music we wanted to listen to so we dealt with the poor reception. Now, eventually Wolfman Jack ended up getting squeezed out of this gig by the Mexican government and ended up in the Los Angeles area working for the local oldies station KRTH and also KRLA. Wolfman Jack was a true original and his talents are sorely missed. Here is a clip of Wolfman Jack for those of you that remember him and for those of you that don't, well get hip and check him out!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This weeks DVD Pick of the Week is the 1978 Shaw Brothers kung fu classic, 5 Deadly Venoms. Just re-released this past Tuesday on Dragon Dynasty this is a must see for all old school kung fu fans. You can pick this up at Best Buy or rent it at your local video store. Either way, go check it out! Have I ever steered you wrong with my Asian cinema picks? I think not! Check out the trailer for this classic piece of kung fu cinema. Enjoy and get hip!


That's right! This Saturday (August 29th) is the Long Beach Funk Festival. This is the first time for this event so please support it so that it becomes an annual event. This is the real deal with some great funk bands and best of all, it's FREE!
Headlining the show is the always funky, Mandrill who you have read about before on this blog. There will be many other great acts performing so take a drive or hop on public transportation and check it out! Be there or be square and you know SAXOMAN will be there! Need more info? Go to this link here for all the details.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


This weeks Jazz Artist of the Week is the great tenor sax player Dexter Gordon. Dexter is one of my top five favorite sax players and his great big sound is instantly recognizable. The well known photo of Dexter shown here was taken back in 1948 and I'm sure is familiar to many of you.
Dexter recorded a large number of albums over his career but to me his best work were the things he recorded for the Blue Note label. Any cd you pick up by Dexter on Blue Note is a definite winner. I especially like the cd's One Flight Up or Go. You can also try and find the out of print box set, Dexter Gordon The Complete Blue Note Recordings. Of course this is the one that I own! HAHA!
Anyway, here is a video of Dexter live in Copenhagen in 1971. Listen to the unmistakable sound of Dexter as he casually warms up and then hits the stage to perform Those Were The Days My Friend. Great stuff!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


This weeks Jazz CD Pick of the Week is the 1962 recording by Sonny Rollins titled The Bridge. This recording marked a return to recording for Sonny after three years of self-imposed retirement and woodshedding. The title track of the cd (The Bridge) is based on the fact that Sonny spent much of his retirement time practicing by himself on the Williamsburg Bridge. Here is Sonny Rollins playing The Bridge with Jim Hall on guitar from 1962. Enjoy!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I know it has been quite a while since my last Photo of the Week post so here goes! This is a photo I took a few years back in Thailand. Now I'm not exactly sure as to the name of these ruins however I believe this is Wat Phra in the city of Ayutthaya.
Originally founded by King U-Thong in 1350 Ayutthaya was the capital of the Thai kingdom at its mightiest. Conquered and sacked by the Burmese in 1767, today only the ruins of its splendor remain.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


This weeks DVD Pick of the Week is the 2005 Korean film titled Welcome To Dongmakgol. This is a really great movie that I have watched several times.
The movie is about six soldiers (three North Koreans, two South Koreans, and one American) who find themselves stranded in a remote mountain village during the Korean War in 1950. The villagers no nothing about war or conflict and just live a peaceful life. Slowly the soldiers begin to overlook their differences and find their similarities. This movie has great cinematography, great music and is a truly enjoyable story. There are certain scenes in this movie that have me crying like a baby every time I watch it.
Anyway, check it out! Here is the trailer for the film although I was unable to find a trailer with English subtitles.

Monday, August 10, 2009


It has been quite some time since I posted a Sign of the Week. So with that said, here is a sign posted outside of a strip club in a neighboring city. HAHA!
Every time I drive by this place I have to look at what the latest sign says. It is usually something pretty funny!


I realized it has been quite a while since I last posted a Latin CD Pick of the Week. So with that being said this weeks pick is from the great group from Ecuador, Los Soneros Del Barrio with their cd titled Siguiendo La Tradicion.
I first heard about this group a while back when I used to subscribe to the magazine The Beat. What was (and is) great about this magazine is that it would feature music reviews of all types of world music (Reggae, Latin, African, Middle Eastern, etc.) The Beat is a great source of information for world music and a way to get hip to some artists you may not have been aware of. This is one swingin' salsa cd that you are sure to like! I especially like the use of the baritone sax in the horn section as well as Frankie Vazquez on vocals.
Here is Los Soneros Del Barrio performing live with one of the hits from this cd titled Ahi Na' Ma. Check it out and get hip!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


This weeks DVD Pick of the Week is the Korean monster/comedy The Host. This movie will have you laughing and crying as a monster terrorizes the people of Korea. A really great movie that even the non-Asian movie lovers should enjoy. Check out the trailer and enjoy!


OK, now when I say let the urine fly I am not talking about the bags of urine (as well as feces and blood) you will get thrown on you at a soccer game. That's a different subject and one that I will be blogging about soon. No, what I'm talking about is totally different. Recently I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I typically don't need to turn on the light as I pretty much know where the toilet is. Anyway, as I let the urine fly I failed to hear the sound of splashing water in the toilet. Thinking my aim may have been slightly off I repositioned myself in front of the toilet and again let the urine fly. Again, nothing! What the? I can't be that bad of an aim can I? Anyway, I finally turned on the light and noticed that the lid and seat were both down! What? It appears I had peed all over the top of the toilet! I then lifted the lid and seat and finished doing my business although there really wasn't much left to do at that point. Oh well...........

Sunday, August 2, 2009


There was an article in today's L.A. Times about the use of Photoshop to improve a persons photo. Now I can tell you that SAXOMAN recently faced this dilemma as well. As you all know I recently graduated with my EMBA. One of the many options of my graduation photo service was to have my image Photoshopped. What? Are they trying to say my image is flawed? Not perfect in every way? Well anyway, after I realized this was nothing personnel I looked at what they were offering. Basically this service (for a fee of course) would make my skin clearer, my teeth and eyes whiter, and also eliminate any wrinkles. Basically I would look like one of those mannequins you see in a department store or I would look like a big giant Ken doll.
Yours truly SAXOMAN opted not to have this artificial enhancing and went all natural. Yep, that's right! All my glorious faults and imperfections were there for the whole world to see! I must say though that I was slightly tempted for a split second. HAHA!