Monday, August 29, 2011

John Coltrane's 'Sheets of Sound' Technique

Sheets of Sound, is a term coined for Jazz and sax legend John Coltrane (I guess by now you know he is one of my all time favorites.)

In simple terms, it's the improvisation technique used by the 'Trane in the late 50's, where his performances were becoming increasingly technical and experimental.

It mainly has to do with the high speed arpeggios and scale patterns played in high speeds (almost sounding like he is sliding through the notes) and "stacking" them over a series of chords of his choosing; this way improvising takes a more free approach than just playing different scales at chord changes. This technique became much more profound in his career later when he delved into free jazz.

A great example of this is with 'Trane's work with Thelonious Monk in 1957. Give a listen and you will understand (atleast the theory), starts at 0:54:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sony/Legacy Records Launch "Miles Davis Fan Project"

From the official Miles Davis website and press release:


Fans Invited Via Facebook To Create, Name & Design First Internet-Curated Miles Davis Album

Songs Have Already Been Previewed 35,000 Times, With 20,000 “Likes” Already Counted

Basically, 40 classic tracks by Jazz giant Miles Davis will be voted by fans and 10 songs with the most "likes" will be released on the digital album "Blue Flame". Consider it a best-of album chosen by fans.

It's nice to see the estates of beloved musicians who are no longer with us are trying to connect with the fanbase.

Check it out at Miles Davis Facebook Page

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My PS3 Trophy Count

Aside from music and blues, I'm a huge video game nut. I've been playing since I was around 5 years old with the Atari 2600... I played my first DOS PC game in 1990 (with all the Sierra and Lucasarts adventure games). My favorite genres are RPG's and Action/Adventure.

See how you compare with my trophy count!

You can catch me playing Demon's Souls online, slaying Black Phantoms. Waiting for:

1) Dark Souls
2) Uncharted 3
3) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
4) ICO/Shadow of the Colossus HD Remake
5) Assassins Creed: Revelations

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Video of the Week: "SeƱor Blues" - Horace Silver

From 1959, this hard-bop number is one of Horace Silver's classic hits. The bluesy riff over the head-boppin' beat is just lovely.

Has been covered many times... and for good reason!

have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Muddy Waters - Montreux Concert FULL Video

Youtube is something eh?

This is the ENTIRE performance of the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival of Muddy; this powerful band includes a younger Buddy Guy on guitar, Pinetop Perkins on piano, and Junior Wells on harp.

It begins with Junior Well's performing his hits "Messin' with the Kid", "Hoodoo Man Blues", then Buddy Guy performs his "When You See the Tears from my Eyes" and "Ten Years Ago" before Muddy gets on stage to perform the classics "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Mannish Boy", "The Same Thing", and "Got my Mojo Working".

I HIGHLY recommend you watch this; enjoy the real blues.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Homes of Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters was originally from Mississippi, and went to Chicago where he eventually became known as the "King of the Chicago Blues" and "Father of the Blues".

Big titles for such humble beginnings... here's the cabin Muddy was raised in as a boy in Mississippi, recognized as a state landmark:

And here is Muddy's first home in Chicago on 43rd and Lake Park in north Kenwood, also a city landmark:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Campbell's Tomato Soup = Heaven

Ladies and gents, I present to you:

Campbell's Tomato Soup. You might not think it's a big deal (hey it's just a can o' soup right?). I've heard a lot about Campbell's soup as a child and through the media, including Andy Warhol's 1962 painting shown below:

By the way, that painting is worth 9 MILLION DOLLARS. You can read a lengthy article about that painting here.

Basically it's condensed soup which you mix with water. I can't believe it took me this long to buy one of these (Sultan Centre FTW). Being ignorant about cooking, I decided to do it myself. Did you know you can add milk to the boiling soup to make it creamier? I sure didn't!! (It's written on the can.)

It tastes so much better than any tomato soup I've tried. I haven't been creative with it yet (just water and milk only) but I'm sure experimenting with it will lead to great results.

I recommend trying this stuff over the Maggi and Knorr (yuck) sachet soups you're used to!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A New Great Depression Blues?

The worldwide economy is in pure disorder... bailouts, countries going bankrupt, governments in shambles, and citizens feeling burnt out.

No one is safe... hell here in Kuwait things are not looking good either, with all the stock market indexes, delayed payments to contractors, slow development and project execution (read this article in Gulfnews for some economic stats and insights).

I feel that things are only going to get worse if somehow the world market doesn't improve... layoffs and closures only add to this detrimental state of things... I'm no economist... but as a co-owner of a contracting firm, I can tell you things are not all rosy.

Perhaps it's time to reevaluate priorities and push for hard work?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Site revamping!

Just testing out the new simple, bold design... check the header!! (thx bachir_n)

Bass Project: Phase 2 completed!

Referring to my older post Bass Project: Phase 1 Complete, here's the update:

I got the bass refinished in Surf Green, a cool classic 60's color that Fender used back in the day.

I can't say I'm 100% happy with it; but considering we are in Kuwait and what we have to work with, it won't get any better than this. It went back THREE times to be fixed as either it wasn't finished correctly, the paint was chipping or the surface wasn't smooth.

Next step is to put the electronics and hardware in... this part should not take too long!