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RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)
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Time Lapse
Time Lapse
Dvd
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY COMPELLING AND DIFFERENT TYPE OF SCI-FI "TIME TRAVEL" MOVIE, 20 May 2015
This review is from: Time Lapse (Amazon Instant Video)
"Once you've seen the future, you can't look away" - indeed, from the "Time Lapse" movie poster

Five INDIE Stars! "Time Lapse" is a very different type of 'time travel' movie in a genre that has produced a number of 'time travel' independent films in recent years. It is built almost entirely on the merits of the young actors involved who do a great job of selling the plot. An amateur painter, his girlfriend, and their live-in male friend look for a problematic apartment renter and discover he has created a machine that gives a 'window' into the near future, leading to many wild twists and unexpected turns headed towards an ending that is a big surprise. It has a cast of superb young actors including Danielle Panabaker, Matt O'Leary, George Finn, Amin Joseph, Jason Spisak, and a cameo by John Rhys-Davies of "Indiana Jones" and "Sliders" fame that may go unnoticed. Directed by Bradley King. Highly Recommended, especially to SciFi, Indie Film, and Time-Travel fans. Five ENTERTAINING Stars. (ITunes. Time-1:04. Unrated: profanity and some violence. Closed Captioned. 82% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.)


Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Price: £16.35

5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, WIDE-RANGING PERFORMANCES BY THE "JOHN PATITUCCI ELECTRIC GUITAR QUARTET", 20 May 2015
This review is from: Brooklyn (Audio CD)
Five DELIGHTFUL Stars! Grammy-winning composer, arranger, electric and double bass master John Patitucci’s latest release, "Brooklyn", on the Three Faces Records label reveals the unique and personal sound and concept of his Electric Guitar Quartet which features John on electric bass, the fleet-fingered guitar tandem of Adam Rogers and Steve Cardenas, and drum wizard Brian Blade. Recorded in his native Brooklyn, New York where he started out playing electric bass, the set consists of blues, ballads, two Monk tunes, a hip and respectful take on an old spiritual, and straight ahead blazing swingers. The interaction of the guitarists and bassist produces a distinctive ethereal sound, such as the short “Bells of Coutance”, and the arrangements leave lots of room for unison, solo and background invention, driven along by Patitucci, who often solos in a guitar-like manner in the upper range of his bass, and Blade's astute, impactful drumming.

The ‘best of the best’ begins with the stately 'on-the-beat with drum press rolls' preamble of "IN9-1881” then shifts to the hip hard-swinging, echo-like “The Search” where Patuticci’s pizzicato bass solo sounds like a cross between guitar and bass. The group’s lovely version of Oumou Sangare’s percussive “Dugu Kamalemba” is built on an infectious, interlocked 8-note guitar and complex 15-note bass ostinatos and has almost conversation-like extended guitar solos. “Band of Brothers” is a low down blues over an insistent and elaborate Blade back beat, loaded with both familiar and new guitar blues licks. The scorching guitar solos by Rogers and Cardenas on Monk's “Trinkle Tinkle” yields a “Stormy Weather” quote amid the flying notes and 'trades' with drummer Blade. The Monk ballad “Ugly Beauty” in contrast gets a gentle jazz waltz treatment. “Do You?” has an exciting 'guitar chase' sequence over some stellar drumming by Blade. Wes Montgomery’s “The Thumb” is a salute but not an imitation as the Patitucci and the guitarists solo in a call-response manner over Blades excellent brush work, as the guitarists find new musical ground for exploration. The spiritual standard “Go Down Moses" with the "Let My People Go” refrain is a heartfelt guitar/bass rendition with Blade's backbeat being most effective. The Patitucci family-tribute ballad “Tesori” is the string trio without drums, expanding and contracting the beat underneath the splendid solos. The "John Patitucci Electric Guitar Quartet" scores big on "Brooklyn". Highly Recommended! Five DISTINCTIVE Stars! (11 MP3 tracks. Time-56:11.)


X-Men: Days of Future Past [DVD] [2014]
X-Men: Days of Future Past [DVD] [2014]
Dvd ~ James McAvoy
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars "X-MEN" WREAK HAVOC AS THEY TRY TO SAVE THE PLANET ON UNIQUE BATTLEFIELDS,, 20 May 2015
Three ACTION-PACKED Stars! "X-Men: Days of Future Past" created a unique villain with cohorts, using many of the X-Men characters, and produces riveting CGI scenes, especially the stadium scene that is so prominent in the movie trailers and two other surprise locations where havoc is wreaked. Still it is disappointing that they used some plot devices and dark exterior views that resemble the "Terminator" movies opening scenes. The comic book-like plot is thin, but the action is plentiful, especially with Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence in that eye-popping catsuit) who play central roles, other younger versions of some X-characters, and other adult X-characters who are only briefly seen, as if 'checking in', but not needed for the plot. Starring Patrick Stewart, Jackman, Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Ellen Page, Bingbing Fan, Omar Sy, and others. Directed by Bryan Singer. Definitely Recommended. Three SHAPESHIFTING Stars! (Amazon Video, Time-2:13. PG-13, Closed Captioned. 91% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.)


An Unfinished Life [DVD]
An Unfinished Life [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Redford
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars "AN UNFINISHED LIFE" IS AN EXCELLENT HUMAN-INTEREST DRAMA: REDFORD, J-LO, & FREEMAN EXCEL, 20 May 2015
This review is from: An Unfinished Life [DVD] (DVD)
Five HEARTWARMING Stars. “An Unfinished Life” tells the story of an abused woman who flees to the only place where she might be safe, her Wyoming rancher father-in-law, who is not happy to see her but feels obliged since they share a painful past, her stay is temporary, and another matter has arisen. Featuring an outstanding cast of Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez, Damian Lewis, Josh Lucas, Camryn Manheim, Becca Gardner, and Bart, among others, this is a movie that captures the interest right away with picturesque settings, warm country music, and an interesting story of heartbreak, friendship, hope, and family that triumphs over some predictability by riveting acting and a number of surprises near the end. This worthy movie may have slipped by many movie buffs in 2006. Directed by Lasse Hallström, it is Highly Recommended. Five COMPELLING Stars! (Amazon Prime Instant Video. PG-13 Time-1:48.)


Zoot Sims - In a Sentimental Mood [DVD] [2011]
Zoot Sims - In a Sentimental Mood [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Zoot Sims
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £13.25

5.0 out of 5 stars UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: ZOOT SIMS & TRIO IN A VIDEO OF SUPERB JAZZ MUSIC AND MEMORIES, 20 May 2015
“In A Sentimental Mood” is a 1985 video featuring the legendary DownBeat Hall of Fame tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims, along with the renowned West Coast jazz anchor Red Mitchell on double bass, and the inventive guitarist Rune Gustafsson, recorded in what looks like a home study turned into a filming location, with Sims and Gustafsson seated and with Mitchell standing. The video is of very suitable quality and the sound is absolutely stupendous, allowing the viewer to hear every note, including Sims' lush breathy vibrato on ballads and Mitchell’s finger slides and glisses. The music consists of standards such as Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” where Zoot takes it close to “Sweet Lorraine” on the bridge and that very song pops up a couple of songs later. Then there is “Gone With The Wind”, "Tis Autumn" and a stunning “Autum Leaves” with the best solos of the date by all concerned, although the soloing standards are high throughout this film from this gifted trio of musicians. There is, as well, a bluesy, swinging Sims original “Castle Blues”. Interspersed between songs is brief conversation between Mitchell and Sims on their careers, which in Sims' case began with Ken Baker’s Band, then Bobby Sherwood (of Sherwood's Forest fame) and finally hitting the big time as a 17 year old joining the legendary Benny Goodman big band in New York; also discussed are encounters with Brew Moore, Charlie Parker, and beyond. Highly Recommended. Five SWINGING Stars (Amazon Color Video. Time-51:53. Not: Zoot Sims passed away later in 1985.)


Let Me Off Uptown
Let Me Off Uptown
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars BLAST FROM THE PAST: ANITA O'DAY, ROY ELDRIDGE & GENE KRUPA's BIG BAND GO "UPTOWN", 20 May 2015
This review is from: Let Me Off Uptown (MP3 Download)
Five SWINGING Stars! From the album “Anita O’Day: The Early Years 1941-1945", comes the legendary jazz diva singing songs recorded early in her career, featuring the Gene Krupa Orchestra, the Stan Kenton Orchestra, and the Nat King Cole trio. “Let Me Off Uptown” is a hot swinging performance with Krupa’s Orchestra. On the song, she trades conversation with trumpeter Roy Eldridge and sings with hip abandon, followed by a "Little Jazz" altissimo trumpet solo that ends the song, all pushed along by Krupa’s swinging, flamboyant drumming. Highly Recommended. Five HIP Stars! (1-track. Time-3:02.)


Pretty Bird
Pretty Bird
Price: £2.97

5.0 out of 5 stars MOLLY MITCHELL's IMPRESSIVE DEBUT- "PRETTY BIRD", 20 May 2015
This review is from: Pretty Bird (MP3 Download)
Five FASCINATING Stars! Jazz and pop singer, songwriter, arranger, and keyboard artist Molly Mitchell’s recording debut on her eponymous recording label is an EP of 3 songs which demonstrate the talent that Mitchell possesses with her clear rich soprano, songwriting ability, familiarity with singing in 3 languages (English, Spanish, and Italian), and keyboard talent. She is accompanied here by different keyboards, violins, cellos, and rhythm section. The scope of her music here reflects her Colombian-American roots, and comes from influences as diverse as salsa and merenge to blue grass, spirituals, and jazz.

"Revelation Song" is an attractive, inspired song which is sung mostly in Spanish with Mitchell’s emotional voice soaring in both solo and multi-tracked modes with a nice cello interlude. The emotions of the song transcend translation and the Spanish reflects her bi-cultural roots. The lovely title track “Pretty Bird” is both somber and hopeful, and a demonstration of the angelic side of her voice, backed effectively by cello and piano. The enchanting “I’ll Be Seeing You Next Time” seems to be a continuation of the message from “Pretty Bird” from a different viewpoint with the same meaning. It is sung in a tenderhearted manner: again solo and multitracked voices, backed by piano, bass, drum, and cello. Mitchell’s voice takes the listener through the emotions of love, sorrow, and finally hope that she will see her friend “next time” in a different reality.This extended play recording is an enjoyable debut by singer, songwriter, and musician Molly Mitchell. Highly Recommended. Five SUBLIME Stars! (3 MP3 tracks. Total time-13:02. “Pretty Bird” is dedicated in loving memory of Jean Amidon.)


Gone Girl
Gone Girl
Dvd
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars GONE GIRL IS COMPELLING, DELIBERATE, SUSPENSEFUL MOVIEMAKING WITH A GREAT CAST, 6 May 2015
This review is from: Gone Girl (Amazon Instant Video)
David Fincher’s “Gone Girl”, based on novel by Gillian Flynn who also did the screenplay, stars Ben Affleck, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Sela Ward in a cameo, and an over the top Academy Award Best Actress-nominated performance by Rosamund Pike, who is fantastic as the mysterious girl who goes missing early in the show, touching off a search for her by the entire town. As the intensity builds, you may be sliding towards the edge of your seat, as everything comes together, then falls apart at the same time. Flashbacks keep Pike’s character in the movie after she has gone missing. No more information, it's better to let the clues come out in this deliberately-paced movie. There are some laugh out loud moments amid the apprehension. Well acted by the entire cast with intense scenes, It harkens back to old classic intelligently-staged movies where you think you know it all and are enjoying the ride, then comes the shock and this movie certainly has several shockers. Kudos to Coon as "Go" and Dickens as "Detective Boney" for their crucial roles. My Highest Recommendation! Five SUSPENSEFUL Stars. (20th Century Fox. Amazon Instant Video. Rated R. Time-2:29)


The Republic of Tea, Natural Hibiscus, 36-Count by The Republic of Tea
The Republic of Tea, Natural Hibiscus, 36-Count by The Republic of Tea
Offered by Sam Store US
Price: £34.17

5.0 out of 5 stars REPUBLIC OF TEA “HIBISCUS” FLAVOR IS A VERY SOOTHING CAFFEIN-FREE TEA,, 6 May 2015
Five FLAVORFUL Stars! “Hibiscus Superflower Tea" is another of the wide variety of teas available from The Republic of Tea. This soothing flavor is made of caffein-free, “heart healthy*” ruby-red African blossoms and is labeled as a “Herbal Supplement”. But as a propriety-blend, in addition to Hibiscus (flower) it also has Sweet Blackberry (leaf) and Stevia (leaf) which does not taste sweet. The tea bag is round and floats on the surface during the 5 minute steeping. Serve hot or cold, but for cold tea, Republic of Tea recommends doubling the amount of tea. Comes in an air-tight metal container. Pregnant or lactating women should not use this type of tea. Otherwise, Highly Recommended. Five RUBY-RED Stars! (taste test is based on a single serve 1.58 gram Republic of Tea round tea bag. *Heart Healthy aspects has not been validated by the FDA.)


Jazz for Sunday Afternoon Vol2
Jazz for Sunday Afternoon Vol2
Offered by samurai media JPN401
Price: £48.35

5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXHILIRATING SUNDAY JAM SESSION WITH DIZZY, PEPPER, GARNET, CHICK, RICHARD, & MEL, 5 May 2015
Jazz impresario Sonny Lester produced a number of “Jazz For A Sunday Afternoon” sessions for Solid State records, recorded live at various clubs in New York City. They always included all-star musicians and singers. Some other recordings under the "JFASA" banner are titled “The Vocalists”, “The Pianos”, “The Guitars”, “The Trumpets”, “The Saxophones” and this particular group of "various" outstanding musicians who recorded two volumes for JFASA. This is Volume 2 which consists of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Garnet Brown on trombone, Pepper Adams on baritone sax, a very young but musically mature Chick Corea on piano, Richard Davis on bass, and Mel Lewis on drums. Volume 1 has these same musicians with Elvin Jones and Mel Lewis on drums plus Ray Nance on violin.

The session kicks off with a fiery 16 minute uptempo jam session based on the standard “Sweet Georgia Brown" featuring notable extended solos by all concerned pushed along relentlessly by Corea, Davis, and “Mr Accent” Lewis, with Brown, Gillespie, and Adams playing exceptional improvisations, even simultaneous solos near the end over Davis’ walking bass, and a marvelous drum solo from Lewis. Movement III from the Ferde Grofé's “Grand Canyon Suite’ is “On the Trail” and it is a perfect vehicle for a jazz interpretation. Dizzy plays one of his best recorded trumpet solos, note-for-note memorable for decades, with Birks both lyrical and fleet-fingered with great backing by Mel and Richard, a soulful solo from Adams on baritone, and a sizzler from Garnet. Corea has a sparkling solo with a great “Blue Moon” quote and ‘comps’ nicely behind Davis’ complex double bass solo. Gillespie gets a second bite of the solo apple and lays down another memorable solo before the close. Gillespie’s “Tour De Force” has Brown seconding the theme with “Jeepers Creepers” before a swirling solo from Adams, then Dizzy plays with an ebullience that matches the fervor of his “On The Trail” solos. This is an exceptional recording of a great Sunday afternoon session by 6 masters of the jazz art. My Highest Recommendation. Five SWINGING Stars! (3 tracks. Time-38:40)


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