Finding Forster Iz A Gem

March 14th, 2006

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Finding Forester Soundtrack CD CoverThe other day I was looking for the “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” medley that I had heard in a commercial a while back. After searching for I while I found that the song I was looking for was played by a Hawaiian artist named Israel Kamakawiwo’ole knicknamed ‘Iz”. I also found that he had passed away due to a weight problem. At times, he weighed over 750 pounds which inevitably caused his early death at the age of 38 in 1997.

I found that the actual song I was looking for could be found on four different CD releases. Two by Israel and the other two were on the Soundtracks for ‘Meet Joe Black’ and ‘Finding Forester’. Not sure if I wanted a whole CD of Hawaiian music so I took a look at the Soundtracks.

‘Meet Joe Black’ was all incidental music except the one track I was looking for “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”. When I took a look at the ‘Finding Forester’ soundtrack I said “WOW”.

‘Finding Forester’ contains 6 different Miles Davis tracks from the ‘Bitches Brew/In a Silent Way’ era. The tune ‘Recollections’ at almost nineteen minuets long starts off the CD. It features Wayne Shorter on sax, Joe Zawinul on electric piano, Chick Corea on electric piano, John McLaughlin on guitar, Dave Holland on bass, Billy Cobham on drums, Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Airto Moreira on percussion. What a line up!! The tune just builds and builds and you wish it would never end.

There are also two tunes by Ornette Colman from the early 70’s and four tunes by guitarist Bill Frisell one of which was made specifically for the soundtrack. Oh, and yes the track that lead me here, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole beautiful rendition of “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”.

I have never seen the movie and I am not sure what it is about, but from the cover I see that Sean Connery stars in it. I think I may have to check this one out.

Lester Young - Jazz Giants of l956

March 12th, 2006

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Lester Young ~ Jazz Giants '56Anyone who says Lester Young made his best sides before WWII should give the record,’Jazz Giants of l956′ a spin. Made 3 years before his death, it features Teddy Wilson on piano and a reunion with ex Count Basie bandmate Jo Jones on drums. On numbers like ‘I Didn’t Know What Time it Was’ and’ I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plans’ Pres blows feathery and beautiful light solos. Who thought you could make a blues out of Fred Astaire?

The arrival of the Lp gave Lester the chance to stretch out, and Vic Dickenson adds some tasteful trombone. A must-have for any Jazz fan.

More information on how to purchase.

Saga: The Chapters ‘Live’

March 11th, 2006

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I recently saw that the Canadian progressive rock group Saga has released a live album titled ‘The Chapters Live’ that is all sixteen of their chapters that they have released over their career. Being a huge Saga fan in the late 80’s and early 90’s (I have all of their albums) I had to pick it up.

On most of their albums you will find songs that are labeled with a chapter (I, II, III, IV, etc.) after them. When you place all of these chapters together one after another they tell a story. The story is built around two main ingredients ‘The Cold War’ and an article that was published about how Albert Einstein’s brain was being preserved. Saga has never divulged an actual story line and fans continually try to piece the story together and send their thoughts to them. You could say this album has been 28 years in the making since their first album was released in 1978 in Canada.

After a few listens the stand out track is definitely ‘Don’t Be Late (Chapter II)’. Ian Crichton screams all over and you can tell they are having loads of fun when it seems Michael Sadler is laughing. They still can rock! I would not mind checking them out live. I was never able to catch them when they had their brief moment of fame here in the US with their ‘Worlds Apart’ album. I only remember them coming around once - a Sunday Night in NYC at The Ritz.

I also picked up their album ‘Generation 13′. It is also a concept album telling a story of a boy from the 13th Generation of their world’s existence. There are some really good tunes here.

Share some of your experiences with Saga. What some of your favorite Saga tunes and any stories you may have to go with them? Have you ever seen them in concert, or be lucky enough to meet them?

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