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RBSProds "rbsprods" (Deep in the heart of Texas)

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Night in Tunisia (feat. Sonny Rollins)
Night in Tunisia (feat. Sonny Rollins)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars SONNY ROLLINS MEETS THE "MODERN JAZZ QUARTET" PLAYING A FABULOUS "A NIGHT IN TUNISIA", 9 July 2016
Five LEGENDARY Stars. From the album "At Music Inn", this is a fateful meeting between one of the most swinging ensembles in jazz and the so-called tenor sax colossus in front of an appreciative audience at the Music Inn. There are over a dozen songs that were recorded by the Modern Jazz Quartet featuring tenor sax Hall of Famer Sonny Rollins, but the one that is the most haunting is their stellar rendition of Dizzy Gillespie's immortal "A Night in Tunisia" (aka "Interlude"). From the elegant and very familiar theme statement arrangement, conceived by music director/pianist John Lewis to incorporate Rollins into the framework, to the solos by all participants, this is really a luminously special musical encounter.

After the theme famous break, Rollins delivers a powerful, concentrated, bluesy solo improvisation with a bopping resolution that is so great it sticks in the mind decades later, note for note, aided by drummer Connie Kay dropping key accents along the way, booting him along, while double bassist Percy Heath secures the bouncing elastic bottom beat. In the background, Lewis strings a recurring bebop phrase together that increases the intensity underneath Rollins. Milt Jackson's vibes solo swings hard with a dash of funk as he adds a unique very inventive arcing to his solo. Then Lewis continues his unique "Count Basie distillation" in his strong swinging solo and setup for the protracted ending with Rollins and Jackson trading musical 'quips' out of tempo near the ending. This is a most memorable encounter for the ages between the Modern Jazz Quartet and Sonny Rollins. My Highest Recommendation. Five FABULOUS Stars! (Atlantic Records. 1-MP3 track. Time-7:07.)


Every Island
Every Island
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars DANNY HEINES & ENSEMBLE CREATE A MUSICAL TROPICAL ISLAND STATE OF MIND, 9 July 2016
This review is from: Every Island (MP3 Download)
Five DREAMY Stars. Master guitarist Danny Heines on his second album of long ago, "Every Island", plays the marvelous, atmospheric title song with his talented sextet. The members are Heines on acoustic, electric, and steel guitars, and bamboo flute; Kip Kuepper on keyboards, bass, engineering and session production; Café on percussion and voices; Steve Holloway on percussion; Mark Oblinger on voice; and special guest Paul McCandless on soprano sax and oboe. The track begins with the sound of percussive notes from a marimba, setting the aural stage for the lovely theme that is hauntingly stated in unison by guitar and voices. Vamping further sets the aural tropical stage for Heines' atmospheric guitar solo, followed by the soaring, serpentine solo from McCandless on soprano sax. The theme then returns with the marimba and guitar, guitar and voice, and finally the McCandless soprano sax on a gentle ending vamp. Highly Recommended. Five TROPICAL Stars. (Silver Wave records. 1-MP3 track. Time-5:36.)


Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Dvd

5.0 out of 5 stars THE EXCITING "SCORCH TRIALS": THE DANGEROUS MAZE RUNNER UNIVERSE EXPANDS, 7 July 2016
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"Lord of the Flies meets Lost" - Wes Ball

Five EXPANSIVE Stars. Based on the book "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner, "The Scorch Trials" is the second movie in the series. The plot begins with the 6 survivors of 'the glade and the maze' who have now been taken to a concrete compound. Surprisingly, there are more young people from other mazes. Some of these are taken away in small groups which makes Thomas and his group suspicious. This mystery kicks off a very wide-ranging tale with many subplots and set pieces. Again, it proceeds at a deliberate pace revealing many surprises and plot twists in this enjoyable SciFi thriller with fine acting and stunning CGI. And the letters "WCKD" are still a point of controversy. This movie also ends on a shocking cliffhanger: the final movie in the trilogy is "The Death Cure". Starring Dylan O'Brien, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosa Salazar, Lili Taylor, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, and Alexander Flores, with Patricia Clarkson, and Aidan Gillen. Directed by Wes Ball. Highly Recommended. Five EXCITING Stars. (20th Century Fox films. Rated PG-13. Color. HD. CC. X-Ray. Time-2:11:41.)


The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner
Dvd
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars THE MAZE RUNNER: A BUILDING, BEWITCHING MYSTERY IN A UNIQUE SETTING, 5 July 2016
This review is from: The Maze Runner (Amazon Video)
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"Lord of the Flies meets Lost" - Wes Ball

Five DYSTOPIAN Stars. Based on the book by James Dashner, "The Maze Runner", the plot concerns a group of young men with a major flaw who are delivered in a unique way, one by one, to a grassy 'glade' surrounded by a high wall which periodically opens, revealing a bewitching maze. The mystery proceeds at a deliberate pace revealing many surprises and plot twists in this enjoyable SciFi thriller with fine acting and stunning CGI. And the stenciled letters WCKD are all over. Ending on a cliffhanger of sorts, the next movie up is "The Scorch Trials". Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, Blake Cooper, Jacob Latimore, Chris Sheffield, Patricia Clarkson, and Will Poulter. Directed by Wes Ball. Highly Recommended. Five DISTINCTIVE Stars. (20th Century Fox films. Rated PG-13. Color. HD. CC. X-Ray. Time-1:53:27.)


Stone Cold [DVD] [2005]
Stone Cold [DVD] [2005]
Dvd ~ Tom Selleck
Price: £4.83

5.0 out of 5 stars JESSE STONE INVESTIGATES SERIAL KILLINGS IN PARADISE, 5 July 2016
This review is from: Stone Cold [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Five ABSORBING Stars. Based on the novels of Robert B. Parker, Tom Selleck plays Jesse Stone, the Chief of Police in the small town of Paradise, Massachusetts and this sleepy seaside burg gets a wakeup call when similar murders are committed. And there is yet another tough case causing concerns for this man with a clinging ex-wife, a girlfriend, and a drinking problem. Also starring Jane Adams, Reg Rogers, Viola Davis, Alexis Dziena, Kohl Sudduth, Polly Shannon, Sylvia Villagran, and Mimi Rogers. Directed by Robert Harmon. This is an enjoyable, well-paced Jesse Stone case with great acting. Highly Recommended. Five DECEPTIVE Stars. (Brandman Productions. Rated R. Color. HD. X-Ray. Time-1:26:01.)


Lonesome Traveler
Lonesome Traveler

5.0 out of 5 stars RAY BRYANT'S HOT, GOSPEL-INFLUENCED JAZZ PIANO MUSIC, 5 July 2016
This review is from: Lonesome Traveler (Audio CD)
Five IMPRESSIVE Stars. The album "Lonesome Traveler" is by the marvelous jazz composer, arranger, leader, and pianist Ray Bryant. Here leading a trio augmented with brass, the group members are either the renowned Richard Davis or the impressive technique of Jimmy Rowser on double bass and the great Freddie Waits on drums with excellent support from Clark Terry and "Snookie" Young on twin flugelhorns providing some brassy punch, but no solos. This is the 15th of the 45 albums that Bryant recorded during his illustrious career. His style shows both a Gospel and funk influenced pianistic style. This album continues the 'travel' theme of his previous Cadet album "Gotta Travel On" and this one would be followed by "Slow Freight". Here, Bryant performs originals, plus jazz and popular music standards, one of which was a surprise.

The 'best of the best' begins with the uptempo title track, "Lonesome Traveler", which is a gospel-tinged delight with exceptional support from drummer Waits and bassist Davis, some potent improvisational work by Bryant with the brass acting as a choir. Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" gets the grand solo piano balladic treatment before heading into gospel music territory, showing a different side of this often-performed song. Then he shifts gears to play the song at mid-tempo pace with the horns in support. "These Boots Are Made For Walking" was made famous by the singing daughter of "The Chairman", Nancy Sinatra, and it gets a toe-tapping boogaloo approach from Bryant that is irresistible. The standard "Willow Weep For Me" is taken into blues territory by Bryant. Bryant shows some Ahmad Jamal influence with the way he performs "The Blue Scimitar" which spins on an attractive Jamal-like pedal point, the music from that would be developed into the popular and challenging "modal" approach to composition and soloing. After the theme statement, the beat goes latin and the solo is excellent. "Gettin' Loose" is latin funk with a shot of gospel music, pushed along by rim shots from drummer Waits and occasional forays by the horns amid the effective Bryant solo. The beautiful ballad "Wild Is The Wind" is Bryant's solo piano vehicle to unleash his very thoughtful approach and his prodigious technique. This is a wonderful album by Ray Bryant showing he was a highly individualistic pianist with a heavy gospel influence that he could bend virtually around any song or beat. Produced by the great Esmond Edwards. Engineered by Ray Hall. Notes by E. Herbert. Highly Recommended. Five EXCITING Stars. (Cadet Records vinyl LP. 9 tracks. Time-39:34.)


To The Ends Of The Earth
To The Ends Of The Earth
Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars NAT KING COLE SINGS A LOVELY HIT TUNE WITH A LATIN BEAT, 4 July 2016
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"To the ends of the Earth, I'll follow my star, to the ends of the Earth, just to be where you are.." Noel & Joel Sherman

Five DETERMINED Stars! Hall of Fame singer, pianist, and leader Nat King Cole had much bigger hits during his career but no more beguiling minor hit than the Noel and Joe Sherman song "To The Ends Of The Earth". With a male choir, full orchestra, and a latin beat underpinning the song from beginning to end, Cole's famed baritone spins a tale about a lover's determined pursuit across time, space, and "a thousand goodbyes". From the album, "The Nat King Cole Story." Highly Recommended. Five SINGLEMINDED Stars. (Capitol records. 1-1991 digital remaster MP3 track. Time-2:25.)


Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Dvd
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars ITS ENGLAND vs FRANCE: TWO SHIPS IN DESPERATE SEA BATTLES, 2 July 2016
Four SWASHBUCKLING Stars! "Master and Commander-The Far Side of the World" is a seafaring movie about the British ship "HMS Surprise" which is surprised itself in 1805 by a "mystery ship" in the Atlantic around Brazil. Captain "Lucky" Jack Abrey wants desperately to find it and sink or take it. A crewman luckily sees the ship and identifies it so Abrey knows what he is facing. Will he follow his orders or not? The movie's title "Master and Commander" seems much overblown since the movie is only concerned with two ships, not flotillas of them. Nonetheless, the movie appears to be very realistic. With great cinematography, especially the opening shot where a seaman goes through various sections of the ship with only a lantern, the battles also appear to be realistic from on board and shot from out at sea. This is a very well done movie within the scope of its subject matter. Russell Crowe as Lucky Jack is fabulous. Also starring Paul Bettany, James D'Arcy, Edward Woodall, Chris Larkin, Max Pirkis, Jack Randall, Robert Pugh, Ian Mercer, and Thierry Segall. Directed by Peter Weir. Very Definitely Recommended. Four INTREPID Stars. (20th Century Fox. Miramax. Universal films. Rated-PG-13. HD. Color. CC. Time-135 minutes.)


Ramesses II: The Great Journey
Ramesses II: The Great Journey
Dvd
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE LONG JOURNEY OF RAMESSES II ACROSS THOUSANDS OF YEARS & MILES, 1 July 2016
Three and a half HISTORICAL Stars. This film begins by depicting events in the era of Egyptian king Ramesses II, 3200 years ago. He died in 1213 b.c at age 92. Then, the burial ritual and the aftermath over centuries is shown using actors and staged locations, pyramid maps, office and village locations. The story also concerns the many frustrating attempts by Egyptologists to locate his mummy and burial treasure, and the fantastic events following the discovery, where in one case this 'traveling mummy' is accorded the high honors of a state head. The actual events of the reign of Ramesses II of which much is known are not presented, which would have made this video much better. Narrated with music and in-scene dialog from commentators and among actors. Written and directed by Valérie Girlé and Guillaume Hecht. Very Definitely Recommended. Three and a half ENLIGHTENING Stars. (XIVE TV. Les Films du Scribe. Rated G. HD. Color. CC. Time-53:11.)


Hail, Caesar! [DVD]
Hail, Caesar! [DVD]
Dvd ~ Josh Brolin
Price: £10.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "HAIL CAESAR!": THE COENs STRIKE AGAIN IN A FLASHY, QUIRKY "HOLLYWOOD" FILM, 1 July 2016
This review is from: Hail, Caesar! [DVD] (DVD)
Four OUTRAGEOUS Stars. The multiple Oscar-winning Coen brothers are production geniuses who make great, quirky lower-budget films that bring in outstanding actors, have unusual scenes, and have scored well with fans and critics. This unusual film is no exception. Billed as a comedy, the humor emerged for me on the second viewing of the entire movie. Starring Josh Brolin (who was in their "No Country for Old Men") as a religiously scrupulous 1950s studio "Head of Physical Production", Eddie Mannix, he keeps everything running, night and day, for his studio by controlling and pacifying his boss, actors, producers, directors, a wife, and gossip columnists, but he has a big problem: a missing actor. Built around the centerpiece 'movie within a movie' "Hail Caesar!: A Tale of The Christ", there is much more going on in this patchwork film, including a great bar dance sequence by sailors, Ralph Fienne's giving hilarious diction lessons, Scarlett Johansson as a mermaid, a duplicitous Tilda Swinton making the most of brief appearances, and the trouble-some "future". Also starring George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Jonah Hill, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Heather Goldenhersch as the dedicated secretary and movie voiceover by Michael Gambon. Produced, written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Very Definitely Recommended, especially for Coen fans. Four BEGUILING Stars. (Universal pictures. A Working Title Production. Rated PG-13. HD. Color. CC. Time-1:46:20.)


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