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    Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 11:01 AM


    CoolGood morning! Still bringing the world into focus. Waking up, even from a good night's sleep, is something of a jarring experience for me. It's like somebody suddenly turned on the lights. Whatever I'd been dreaming fades quickly back into the woodwork, and I'm faced with a new day and its challenges. The first is food for my two quadrapeds, and coffee for this biped. 
        But I especially like the first two and last two hours of my day. The first two are for winding up and the last two are for winding down. I look forward to both. 
        One thing I do with the last hours of my day is listen to music. Last night was the Yellowjackets with Mike Stern. I am a big Yellowjackets fan from way back. Russell Ferrante on piano and Jimmy Haislip on bass, two of my heroes. This particular recording has two fine saxophonists(alto and tenor), whose names I should have for you but don't. That would involve walking into the other room and looking at the CD. Sorry..
       My favorite guest guitarist of theirs is actually Robben Ford. Stern is a great player, but in this context, he sounds more like a guy who's playing great stuff. Big difference. He does have a lot of  facility, and plays some cool involved lines with Ferrante in a couple places. I'll listen again- I'm big on second chances- but I wasn't grabbed by the guitar work in my initial listen. 
       I guess I want to hear the heart and soul of the player. There is a Mike Stern solo which fulfills that need: on Miles Davis's record The Man with the Horn. Great solo which knows when to burn and when to breathe. Then again, this is a different dynamic. He's in the band here, and not just a guest artist. 
      I like how Stern plays 'over' the changes at times- quasi-tonal things which take the harmony to different places. A nice, and necessary effect. Another guitarist, who takes this a step further, is Adam Rogers. I'd recommend, for starters, the stuff on YouTube- particularly the quartet stuff with saxophonist Bob Sheppard. The drummer on these cuts is killer- lots of Elvin in there..
       Once again, I've rambled. I can blame advancing age,but I've always had a tendency to veer off-topic(if we had one in the first place), so that might not hold up. Thanks as ever for reading. Hope there was something of interest for you in here. Happy Wednesday(or hump day if you prefer). I'm outa here. More later. 
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