Monday, March 30, 2009

Ric & Dusty

If I have a guilty pleasure it's pro wrestling, not so much the neutered silliness that the WWE and its weak imitator, TNA spews out today. For me the great stuff was the NWA shows broadcast out of Georgia in the 1980s' and not the in ring stuff but the promos, the segments where the wrestlers would come out promoting their upcoming shows in a line of trash talking that was compelling, realistic and as badass as it gets. Some guys couldn't talk that well but the best like Jim Cornette, Tully Blanchard, and Road Warrior Hawk were amazing, fast talking politicans, preachers and used card salesmen all at once, only they were selling themslves.

I've just discovered that You Tube has a bunch of classic promos in its coffers and here is a sample of two of the best. First, probably the greatest talker in all of wrestling, the Nature Boy Ric Flair just being THE MAN!

Ric had a lot of opponents but the greatest one had to be Dusty Rhodes. Dusty was never the world's greatest or best looking wrestler but that fat man oozed charisma and when he got in front of a microphone, he was 24 karat gold. This promo "Hard Times" is supposed to be one of his classics. I definitely believe it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mary Halvorson

One of the more prominent young improvising musicians around these days is guitarist Mary Halvorson. I heard an NPR interview with her where the interviewer couldn't get off the "Wow, dude, you're a girl!" sort of thing but she's proving she has scary chops in a number of settings. Here she is going the power trio route with Trevor Dunn's Trio Convulsant.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eric Dolphy

The blues by way of the very singular Eric Dolphy. This is taken from a German TV broadcast.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Soupy and Pookie

I now realize that one of the cool things abourt watching kids' TV in the Sixties was all the music you got exposed to, especially jazz. I remember seeing Dizzy Gillespie, Willie The Lion Smith and Billy Taylor on Captain Kangaroo and Soupy Sales snuck some jazz records into his routines as well. Here's a bit from Soupy's show featuring Pookie the Lion doing Clark Terry's "Mumbles". He then finishes up with a bit of the Animals.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

David Murray

Here is one of the great modern tenor players, David Murray, doing his composition "Morning Song" at the Village Vanguard in 1986. He is playing with John Hicks on piano, Fred Hopkins on bass and Ed Blackwell on drums. The sobering thing about this clip is that only 23 years later, Murray is the only one of the four still alive.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recent Movies

I haven't written anything about movies in Lord knows how long. I haven't seen anything current for a while for various reasons, but I have been watching a few films thanks to Netflix. Here are some recent impressions:

The Career Of Nyklos Dyzma - This is a bawdy Polish satire about a graveyard worker who crashes an exclusive party, insults a high ranking goverment official and soon finds himself rising swiftly in the Polish government. The jokes about obtuse and crooked politicians are easily recognizable even if you know nothing about Poland and the film is further graced by gorgeous nude actresses throughout.

Gumshoe - A 1970's British film in which Albert Finney plays a would be comedian who pretends to be an old fashioned private eye and gets involved in a real mystery involving South Afircan politics. With thirty years' hindsight Finney's character comes off mannered and irresponsible with his constant Bogart fetish. The story does become engrossing though as it goes along.

The Lives Of Others - This German film won the Best Foreign Film Oscar last year and deservedly so. It's about a member of the East German secret police who bugs the apartment of a prominent playwright on government orders and finds himself drawn into his world a lot more than he intended. There is a slight feel of the neat, well made Hollywood story to it but the overall tale is so compelling and well played out that doesn't hurt it.

Spider Forest - A Korean horror film that manages to use both of the most common twist endings in recent films, the one used in The Sixth Sense and Carnival Of Souls and the one used in Fight Club and The Machinist. It's a circular but touching story that gets more confusing the more you think about it and seems to violate one of the understood rules of supernatural fantasy. It shows a ghost aging from child to adult...maybe.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ornette and Prime Time

I posted something from Ornette Coleman's early quartet before. Here is his electric band, Prime Time from 1978. This edition featured Bern Nix and James Blood Ulmer on guitars and Ronald Shannon Jackson and Ornette's son, Denardo, on the drums. The video quality isn't that great but the music is amazing.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Dave Holland

Something from the great Dave Holland and the NDR Big Band, featuring Robin Eubanks and Billy Kitson going for it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Sometimes when you constantly hear an artist called great, you take that idea for granted and forget how brilliant their work really is. Here is a short reminder of the genius of Miss Ella Fitzgerald.