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Jim R

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  1. Disclaimer: I'm extremely rusty (probably "in over my head" here more than ever), having lost some passion and enthusiasm for music (and this forum) in recent years. But I appreciate what Thom is doing, and want to contribute something (we don't want Elmer Fudd hanging around here). 1. The tune is "Yesterday, When I Was Young", composed in 1964 by Charles Aznavour. Roy Clark (of all people) had a hit with it in the U.S. Sounds like these players are enjoying a sort of casual attempt to recollect the tune and the changes and the possibilities for re-harmonizing and... trying to get it together. Doesn't feel like they quite did, but that's just how I'm hearing it. 2. Outstanding performance, with great energy and emotion. Not really something I'm able to confidently try to identify, however. 3. Another nice one. I like the rhythm section, and the sound quality (pretty great to my ears) helps in being able to appreciate that. Don't think I've ever heard this, although it's more up my alley stylistically. The composition isn't necessarily what I would call memorable, but the tenor player "leaves it all out on the field" in that solo. Impressive. 4. The instrumentation, composition, and mood remind me a bit of Joe H (say, "Page One" era), but I'm not sure I've heard this before. Really nice. 5. I feel like I might've heard this tune before. At first I thought the vocalist might be Curtis Salgado, but no. The solos are good, but nothing too distinctive or memorable to my ears. I like having an organ in the mix here, as opposed to the more frequently heard (on this kind of thing) piano. Unfortunately, this isn't helping me guess who this is. May spin this again later. 6. A nice and relaxing listen. This overall feel reminds me of a bit of Joe Sample's "Carmel" album (it's not that, it just reminds me of that). Perhaps the main difference is that this doesn't begin with as much of a distinct melodic theme, which I might have preferred. At any rate, I would (and will) listen to this again. 7. My reaction to this is much like #2, but I liked this one a bit more. No idea who this is, but I'm glad I heard it. 8. Beautiful. This tenor has a more distinct tone than the average player, for sure. That alone lifts this up a notch or two, in my book. If I hadn't become so passive as a listener in more recent years, I feel like I ought to be able to recognize it and put a name to it (although I don't think this particular player ever got into heavy rotation for me). Ah, nice touch with the "Sabre Dance" quote at 5:42. 9. Wow, talk about getting swept away to another time and place. Okay, now I want to party. Or not, because I'm getting buzzed just listening to this. Don't think I've ever heard it, but it's so reminiscent of some of the music I was partying to back in the 70's. Virtuosic flautistics, but this isn't just about "chops", it's about sweeping somebody away with that feel. 10. Interesting and lovely tune, and interesting bone/flute contrast. I enjoyed the whole thing, although the bass and drums sort of distracted me at times. 11. Not as attracted to anything about this one, but I can't complain... this BFT is already a big winner in my book. 12. I prefer this to #11, but as a long-form piece without much complexity (melodically or harmonically) to the structure, it went on a bit long for me. The solos were less impressive to my ears than some of the earlier tracks here, and thus I struggled to enjoy this one as much. The hand claps behind the piano solo helped, though! 13. Ah, back to working on that Aznavour tune... Still needs some work, guys, but the sentiment is meaningful. Outstanding collection, Thom. Thank you.
  2. My point was that Hazard was significantly superior to De Bruyne, and that the people lumping them together (as having been equally poor) were being lazy, or weren't paying close enough attention. As in the first semi-final, one team really failed to compete with courage and confidence in the second half today. Some are saying that England didn't have the quality in midfield to try to keep the ball and play out of the back, and that may be true, but it was astonishing the number of times Pickford was asked to boot the ball 60 yards and hope. In the first half, I thought England's problem was that they played too much one touch, "hot potato" style. They didn't seem to value the possession they were able to establish, didn't seem to really have ideas about how to create more chances, and seemed carefree about allowing the ball to turn over to Croatia. It came back to bite them, of course. All in all, I do think the better side won (and the energy Croatia showed after three straight games of added time was truly admirable), but England should have done more with their enormous opportunity to reach a final after a relatively easy path.
  3. Congratulations, brownie! France did indeed deserve to win, as they defended very well, and were smart and disciplined in managing the game until the final whistle. I also agree that these were the two best teams remaining, which is why I was very excited to watch this match today. Even though I've been watching the World Cup since 1974, I still find it difficult to remind myself that the high stakes so often cause these later matches to be disappointing (no, I'm afraid I didn't find this match to be "breathtaking"... but then I'm not French! ). The nerves take their toll on most players, and the tactics can become so conservative as to virtually destroy the potential for appealing play with teams willing to take risks and attack and create excitement. In this match, it wasn't surprising to see a scoreless first half. What surprised me (and that's an understatement) was the way Belgium failed to assert themselves after they went down a goal. These Belgian players are experienced and battle-tested, and it appeared to me that they lost their courage and confidence. I've since watched several analysis programs on youtube with various experts commenting (Jose Mourinho did a very good interview, for example), and they all agree with what I've stated above. The one thing that really surprises me is that even the experts seem to overlook some of the details. The one that stands out to me is the notion that Hazard and De Bruyne (and Lukaku) were somehow all equal in their "failures". A few analysts are recognizing that Hazard was in fact quite good today (at least he seemed to sense the urgency, created some danger, and didn't often lose the ball), but I've heard very little criticism of De Bruyne specifically, and to my eyes he was dreadful. Gave the ball away cheaply time after time. Anyway, even if he had been decent, I think (as many people are saying) that no matter how long that match lasted, Belgium simply weren't going to find the net today. Credit to the French defensive mentality and team spirit.
  4. Hadn't watched this for a few years. It's really cool to have the dialog between Wes and Pim included.
  5. I love it. The ability to out-think less experienced players is a nice feeling. I had to stop playing when I was in my early 40's, but even when I was younger there were always plenty of players around who were relatively new to the game. Interesting. This reminds me of something I didn't mention, which is that I played against a number of teams that were assembled largely according to ethnicities/nationalities. For those teams, it always seemed to up the stakes to some degree, despite the assumed friendly/recreational nature of the activity. It's understandable, though. Playing for pride and all that. Yeah, I can't say I'm at all surprised. Pick up games are just a different atmosphere. Fortunately, people typically controlled themselves pretty well in the rec leagues, because the league organizers had a pretty strict policy. I can only remember one player getting banned from the league while I was playing. Again, I'm not surprised, and you've described very well what I disliked so much about those settings. Intimidation and a lack of trust and flexibility. As if it matters who wins in a pick-up game! Anyway, if you're still enjoying that avenue for playing the game, then you're more probably tolerant than I was of those selfish and quick-to-judge-your-skills guys. If I were you, I'd be looking for a rec league team to join up with. Generally, the turnover rate on most teams was always pretty high when I played, so I'd think it wouldn't be too hard to find a team that's eagerly looking for good players to join them. There were also different league levels according to age and skill/experience. There were minor fees to join a team, and of course the regular responsibility to show up and play games according to a schedule, but for me it was well worth it. Even if you had to start out as a reserve player for awhile, it might be worth investigating (if you haven't already considered it). What position do you prefer to play, by the way?
  6. An interesting question, Dmitry, which I haven't thought about in a very long time. Before I get to that, I should emphasize that I rarely played in "pick-up" games. I played in recreational leagues, in a structured setting with scheduled ten-game seasons, and an organized team. The team went through constant changes over the years, but ours included one of my brothers as well as a friend who I'd grown up with and played with in high school. So, I generally knew what to expect most of the time (like I said, I always played as the team's striker), and over time I even got to know what to expect from many of the opponents that we played once or twice per season. Even though there was really nothing "at stake", I still always took it pretty seriously anyway (not only wanting to win, but wanting to do everything I could to help facilitate the game being played the right way). Besides being able to score some goals, what I really loved was passing. Making a great pass was always more gratifying than scoring a routine goal of some sort. I was sort of a target striker, but I usually didn't try to hold the ball up, and although I had decent speed, I didn't try to attack with the ball very often. I usually preferred to play the ball first time to a wing or a mid, and then look for space and a return pass. I played with some guys who could really serve the ball into the box nicely, so I scored a lot of my goals via headers. Anyway, back to your question. I felt a combination of excitement and anticipation before games, as well as some anxiety. I can recall having concerns about all kinds of things... poor fields, poor referees, playing games with certain team members absent, difficult opponents, playing with injuries, and not wanting to let my teammates down. The anxiety was all out-weighed by the prospect of the team playing great, and the joy of being part of that. When I did find myself involved in pick-up games, it could be very uncomfortable... people not knowing each other's skills and temperament, having to play out of position, etc. Those scenarios usually involved more selfish play, less teamwork, and less fun. Thanks for asking, by the way. What have your experiences been like?
  7. I played in high school (starting in 1970, when the sport was first offered as part of the athletics program, through 1974). I had a step-grandfather in Tacoma WA who hailed from Liverpool, and he used to send me the sports section of the Liverpool paper after he'd read it. Lots of articles about Kevin Keegan and Stevie Heighway. I started going to San Jose Earthquakes games in 1974 (the beginnings of the old NASL), and also began watching the World Cup (only available in spanish, on a UHF tv channel, in those days). In the mid-to-late 70's, I was able to get both "Soccer Made In Germany" (Bundesliga matches, announced by Toby Charles) and "Star Soccer" (EPL, announced by Mario Machado) on our local PBS affiliates, and started to learn more about the game. But the World Cups continued to be spanish-only until many years later, and when we did finally get english-language coverage ('90 or '94?), it was cringe-worthy (Seamus Malin explaining the rules of the game to Jim McKay for 90 minutes). I wasn't talented enough to play in college (SJSU was often ranked in the top ten in the nation at that time), but I played in recreational leagues for about 20 years (always at striker, where I was lethal ... I scored just over 300 goals in roughly 300 games). Injuries began to mount, and I had to give it up when I was in my 40's. I've remained an Earthquakes fan through the transition from the NASL to MLS, and I've been a fan of the U.S. national team ever since they qualified for Italia '90. These are not good times for either the Quakes or the Nats, but I'll keep my chin up. I'll watch an occasional EPL or La Liga or Champions League (etc) match, but I'm generally much more interested in the international game (all of it... WC, WC qualifying, regional tournaments, and even friendlies) than I am in following foreign leagues. I'm not even sure why that is.
  8. Dino Wilma Flintstone Wanda Venus Fairywinkle-Cosma
  9. So, I listened to track 9 in the hope that I might recognize the Canadian player. Thought it might be someone like Peter Leitch, or Lorne Lofsky, or Reg Schwager. Doesn't sound like any of those to me. This player sounds a bit less fluid/polished and confident than those guys. Good player, but not what I would call world class (feel the same about the pianist). He/she sounds like they might have been influenced by Joshua Breakstone (who has done a few stop-time tunes like this, btw). I think I like the composition better than the playing on this track. I've heard about another Canadian player named Richard Ring, but I'm not familiar with his work.
  10. Possibly, but the record might have been in mint condition too. This is a photograph (by a camera of unknown quality) taken out in the sun, from a distance, and we don't know if the image has since faded. I still see bluish on the left and reddish on the right (spotlights), and everything else matches perfectly in terms of the cover's layout. Zero doubt. Now, everybody back to work on that Steve McQueen LP.
  11. Yes, these make it pretty obvious, along with the other details that match.
  12. ? It's clearly the Little Richard LP. Look at the whole cover, not just the human figure.
  13. My personal favorite, which hasn't even gotten a mention so far:
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