Tuesday, August 26, 2008

George Benson with Guild Guitar (1967)

Photo by Francis Wolff. I just stumbled across this Flickr photostream while shoving my gullet full of lunch (pretty picture, huh?). It's a VERY cool collection of Francis Wolff photography, all in color and all optimized for your computer screen. If you have the second Blue Note photo book published here in the states a few years ago you will be familiar with the images, but nice to see them in this format. Wolff was an integral part of the whole Blue Note thing - although some of the more progressive artists on the label have indicated displeasure with the change in direction of the label after founder Alfred Lion left the fold in 1967. Speaking of which, that is the year of this photo of a very young George Benson taken at Lou Donaldson's "Alligator Boogaloo" LP sessions. He is holding the current musical object of my desire, a blonde Guild archtop replete with a DeArmond 1100 Rhythm Chief pick-up. This photo just makes me want one all that much more...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

South Van Ness at Army Street (1953)

I feel a little shame admitting it, but only after a serious personal event have I taken an interest in my neighborhood of 6 years as a community. So I am a little late to the party and playing catch up and all that - BUT - it's nice to see that San Franciso's Mission District has so much online support. One of my current favorites, Mission Mission, hipped me to a really nice Flickr shot of an intersection I pass at least once a week:

Take a look here for a better view of the pic, plus a shot of how it looks now. I may have to start patronizing the Dry Cleaners on principle alone!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Man About Town

Man, as in mankind, of course.  Here are just a couple items of interest for SF-Bay Area folk this weekend:

Legendary jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell is over at Yoshi's in San Francisco, Thursday through Sunday.  Kenny's career spans nearly the entire second half of the 20th Century and he is still one of the most vital and energetic performers of this music out there.  I am headed to the first set Thursday night and will post a review.

Also, this is the last weekend to catch the Oakland Museum of California's EXCELLENT
Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury exhibit.  If you are a fan of modern design, art, or music a visit to this show is a must.  It is really well done.  The museum deserves your patronage.  The Karl Benjamin paintings alone are worth the price of admission.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Charlie Parker (1950)

I love Charlie Parker's music. From the moment I first heard Charlie Parker With Strings at Brandt Larson's (sp? sorry Brandt it's been a few years) house in high school, it resonated with me. Anyway, footage of Bird is as rare as hen's teeth (pardon the awful pun), so here is an excerpt from the Norman Granz production, directed by photographer Gjon Mili titled Improvisation from 1950, long believed to be lost. I could think of nothing more fitting to kick my blog off with than this. The full film is available on DVD now, so add head on down to your local video store or pick it up next time you are doing your shopping. Until then, dig this.

The New MyPhone

Good news! My brand new MyPhone just arrived from the A-Tete-a-Tete Store down the street. It's great.  It's black.  It's sleek.  I can make phone calls to anyone in the world with it.  I can keep an address book and calendar on the shelf right next to it.  It does not connect to the Internet (but I have a computer that lets me do that).  It does not have GPS (but I know where it is at all times).  It does not play music (unless someone puts me on hold). Plus I can't send text messages using it (at least I don't think so, it didn't come with a manual).