A great day for Shorter's towering tenor
WAYNE SHORTER towers over most other tenor saxophone players -- as both a player and a composer.
Shorter's work is impressive, whether as a solo artist, celebrated MILES DAVIS sideman or co-leader of WEATHER REPORT.
Today, I'm listening to Shorter's work on the 1960 ART BLAKEY & THE JAZZ MESSENGERS album, "A NIGHT IN TUNISIA."
Along with his stellar playing, Shorter provided his composition "Sincerely Diana," the album's second track.
It sounds perfect on an unseasonably warm day like today -- or any day, really.
What if... the Daleks celebrated Opposite Day?
"AP-PRE-CIATE! AP-PRE-CIATE! YOU ARE A WON-DER-FUL PER-SON. AN-Y FRIEND OF YOURS IS A FRIEND OF THE DA-LEKS. WE WOULD BE HON-ORED TO DOG-SIT FOR YOU THIS WEEK-END. PLEASE HAVE A COOK-IE WE BAKED THEM JUST FOR YOU."
A haunting tale from the brothers Grimm
A young man we might think of today as having a mental disability has no sense of fear.
His father has basically disowned him, so the young man leaves home. He will travel the countryside, he tells his family, so that he might finally learn what it means to shiver.
"A TALE OF ONE WHO TRAVELED TO LEARN WHAT SHIVERING MEANT" is one of the most haunting of the almost universally dark entries in GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES, a collection I am re-reading for the first time since childhood (when I couldn't possibly appreciate them as much as I do now).
In "A Tale of One Who Traveled," I see the protagonist almost in the same vein as Lennie from "Of Mice and Men," except without a George to serve as protector.
Coming upon a group of seven men hanging from gallows, the protagonist of "A Tale of One Who Traveled" takes them down and arranges them around his fire when he fears they are getting cold. Then, he becomes angry when the dead men allow their clothes to catch fire.
It's one of a number of striking scenes in the story, that also includes successive nights spent in a haunted castle.
If, like me, you haven't read Grimm's Fairy Tales in years, I recommend you pick up a copy. The imagery is often cinematic. The subject matter is often thought-provoking -- never more so than in "A Tale of One Who Traveled."
Still feeling shorthanded, but the hockey helps
Sniffles and slapshots?
Chicken noodle soup and cross-checking?
Facial tissues and faceoffs?
I'm unsure of the connection, but for some reason I seem drawn to watching HOCKEY while recovering from a BAD COLD.
Last night, I watched as Tyler Bozak and Clarke MacArthur scored and James Reimer stopped 43 shots and the visiting TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS beat the BOSTON BRUINS, 2-1, to avoid elimination in the STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS.
It was a treat to watch the CBC's HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA broadcast feed on the NHL NETWORK.
I blew my nose throughout the game and downed pills during the intermissions.
This lingering cold still has me feeling shorthanded, but at least the hockey took my mind off it for three periods.
Things aren't what they seem in Matsuno's horror flick
I enjoyed watching HIROSHI MATSUNO'S 1968 horror film "KYUKETSU DOKURO SEN (THE LIVING SKELETON)" today, even though I found it difficult to follow in spots.
KIKKO MATSUOKA plays two characters, a grief-stricken woman struggling to cope with the death of her sister, and the sister who was brutally murdered when pirates slaughtered people on a freighter that was carrying gold.
Three years after the slayings, the pirates begin to be murdered and the dead sister appears to be the culprit -- getting her revenge from beyond the grave.
Things aren't what they seem in this engaging film, however, and there is no better example than a priest played by MASUMI OKADA.
Film buffs will remember the Japanese-Danish Okada as "Frank," the finger-snapping Amerasian in the 1956 classic "KURUTTA KAJITSU (CRAZED FRUIT)."
In "The Living Skeleton," Okada's character has a connection to the freighter tragedy we don't learn until late in the film -- a plot twist that surprises other characters as much as it does the film's viewers.
I will need to watch "The Living Skeleton" again before I fully understand it. One viewing, however, was enough to know I like it.
Alien-possessed vampires meet plane crash survivors
Here are 10 things HAJIME SATO packed into his delirious, 1968 JAPANESE sci-fi horror film "KYUKETSUKI GOKEMIDORO (GOKE, BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL)."
1. A jetliner flying through a blood-red sky.
2. Birds committing suicide by flying into the windows of the jetliner.
3. A UFO that causes the jetliner to crash.
4. Nobuo Kaneko, the veteran Japanese character actor who appeared in "Aru Kyohaku (Intimidation)," "Yaju No Seishun (Youth of the Beast)," "Jingi Naki Tatakai (Battles Without Honour and Humanity)" and many other films.
5. A hijacker who is kidnapped, then possessed by aliens who turn him into a vampire.
6. "I think we're in for something that will blow our minds."
7. A battle for water among the survivors of the plane crash.
8. Hypnotism involving the flame of a candle.
9. A woman whose body becomes possessed by the aliens so they can announce that their invasion of Earth has begun.
10. A tollway full of dead drivers.
Seriously unhinged fare from Shochiku Studios
Japan's second-oldest film studio had some catching up to do when men in rubber monster suits began to dominate the nation's cinema in the late 1960s.
SHOCHIKU was better known as the studio home of Yasujiro Ozu and "serious" movies, but wanted to join the rush in producing DAI-KAIJU (giant monster) films that were making big money.
Knowing Shochiku's reputation for thoughtful drama, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered the deliriously unhinged nature of the studio's horror/sci fi output.
Yesterday I watched KAZUI NIHONMATSU'S "UCHU DAIKAIJU GIRARA (THE X FROM OUTER SPACE)," Shochiku's 1967 combination of toy spaceships, jazzy soundtrack music and men in rubber monster suits.
A crew from a space mission returns with a glowing rock that hatches an energy absorbing monster that rampages through JAPAN.
The space crew then stumbles upon the only substance that will subdue the creature.
I vaguely remember seeing the movie as a kid. Then, I don't even think I noticed that the society depicted in the film would have a fully staffed moon base while still relying on late '60s model automobiles and rotary telephones.
Those incongruities just added to the fun while I enjoyed the movie as an adult.
I can't wait to see more of Shochiku's horror films.