Category: Instrumental

Pat Metheny ‘The Orchestrion Project’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Improvisation #2” by Pat Metheny Orchestrion Project If the essence of Jazz is to listen to and improvise off of the musical ideas of those you are playing with, and you are in essence a one man band, can you still consider the music you make jazz? The orchestrion is a mechanically controlled mini orchestra that was designed by Pat Metheny and controlled by his touch on the guitar. Metheny based his orchestrion on his childhood fascination for his grandfather’s player piano. But where the player piano plays itself, Metheny, in essence plays an entire orchestra controlled through his guitar in the album and film, The Orchestrion Project. Metheny has...

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra ‘The Jazz Age’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#841 in the Series) is Bryan Ferry, The Jazz Age Talk about something coming completely out of left field. I had heard nothing about this album until one day I saw it pop up on a listing of new releases for the week. What makes it more surprising is that was true even though it had been out in the UK for about three months. The premise of The Jazz Age is quite simple. Bryan Ferry takes some of his more popular recordings and transposes them into 1920s era jazz pieces.  I love the idea but I must admit that it did take me a few listens to warm to the record....

Todd Rundgren’s Utopia ‘Disco Jets’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Cosmic Convoy” by Todd Rundgren & Utopia If it had come out when it was recorded, it would have been met with shrugs, or even worse, total disdain. Instead, except for those lucky few who could afford an expensive Japanese import box set, we’ve had to wait 36 years for it to finally get a legal release, and then only in the U.K.  However, if you’re a fan of Todd Rundgren and Utopia, then it was totally worth the wait. Disco Jets was recorded in 1976, directly after sessions for the album Faithful. The album found Todd Rundgren with his head firmly in the past, giving half the tune stack...

Neal Schon “Late Night”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#713 in the Series) is Neal Schon, Late Night I decided to feature this album today because I’ve always been a huge fan of Neal Schon’s guitar playing. He’s always been my favorite soloist. I always felt that so many of the so called “guitar gods” never played with the emotion that this man does. We first saw him as a child prodigy with Santana at about age 16.  He was the first “second guitarist” that Carlos ever had in his band.  He’d play with them for a few years or so before forming Journey about 1973. We’ve featured the first two Journey albums here on Cool Album of the Day in...

“The Sting” Original Soundtrack Recording

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#687 in the Series) is the Original Soundtrack Recording from the Academy Award Winning Motion Picture, The Sting. The Sting was one of my favorite movies of all time.  It’s also one of my favorite soundtracks of all time. The Sting starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford and was set in the Chicagoland area beginning in the late 30’s. The soundtrack featured the great ragtime styling of Scott Joplin.  Here, Joplin’s music is recreated by pianist Marvin Hamlisch.  Hamlisch also added some original compositions to the mix. Scott Joplin was born in 1867 and lived until 1917. His popularity peaked posthumously after The Sting hit the big screen. He was awarded a Pulitzer...

Dan Siegel “Dan Siegel”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#660 in the Series) is 1982, self-tiled release from Dan Siegel. When you go to a concert do you pay attention to the opening acts? Do you see what they have to offer? If not, I suggest that you do, as I’ve found many acts that have become favorites by doing so.  I wonder if how much longer it would have taken me to find NRBQ if I hadn’t seen them open for John Prine in the early 80’s. Another of those was when I first saw Dan Siegel. I was spending the summer in Kansas City, and was an aspiring rock and roll writer for Night Rock News magazine at the...

Pat Metheny Group “Pat Metheny Group”

    Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#642 in the Series) is the eponymous release by The Pat Metheny Group. (ECM) Often when I post these pieces to either here at the website or on our sister Facebook Page I often get a reaction saying something like, “this album is good but I like ‘blank’ better” or possibly “you should’ve done their other album called ‘blank’ as apposed to this one.” As I’ve said before our goal was never to just feature an artist’s best album, that would narrow the field down considerably plus whom am I to say if what I think is the best album parallels with what you think is the best album. Don’t worry...

Brian Eno / Harold Budd “Ambient 2: The Plateaux Of Mirror”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#631 in the Series) is Harold  Budd / Brian  Eno, Ambient  2 :The Plateaux  Of Mirror It was a beautiful day today, sunny in the morning, and you could easily have been fooled into thinking spring was arriving early. There’s a row of old-fashioned houses that I can see from a window at work and all morning long, as the slow rising sun crept up, the houses were changing colour, pink, orange, red. It was a lovely sight and it brought this album to my mind,  it’s an old favourite which I hadn’t played in such a long time. Up until 7 years ago I worked in a paper mill and worked...

Return to Forever “Romantic Warrior”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#591 in the series) is Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior It was May 12th of 1982 when a group of friends and I were driving to the Asia show (at the fabulous Chicago Auditorium) when I plugged in this beauty of a piece into my 8-track player and when it came out of my Jensen Supersonic speakers, having heard it for the first time, they were blown away. If you never heard of this band you probably heard of the individuals that make up the groups line-up of jazz fusion superstars. This was largely keyboard master Chick Corea’s brainstorm, but to recruit the greatest fusion bassist in Stanley Clarke, guitar virtuoso (especially...

Brand X “Product”

Today’s Cool Album of The Day (#582 in the Series) is Brand X, Product. Brand X was a band that wasn’t a band, well not at first were they a band, but then became a band. You Got it? Here’s the idea. Genesis drummer and new lead vocalist Phil Collins along with Atomic Rooster guitarist John Goodsall were looking for something to do as a side project.  How long was it supposed to go on? Well not long really.  Just do some jamming and maybe record a platter or two if the sound came together.  This was in 1976. They added bassist Percy Jones and keyboard Robin Lumley to complete the band. They decided to release an album here and there....

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