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Tad Ulrich RSS Feed (Los Angeles, CA United States)

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Braun Cool Tec Men's Solo Shaver
Braun Cool Tec Men's Solo Shaver
9 used & new from $87.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Braun Continues to Make Top Quality Shavers, December 2, 2015
This Braun Cool Tec replaced a previous Braun shaver I had for decades which just stopped working. This new Cool Tec gives me the close shave I have come to expect. It give a comfortable shave as well. This shaver also hold a charge a lot longer than my old Braun, I'd say about 45 shaving minutes.

My only complaint is that the trimmer is about half the size of my old Braun. Since I use that to trim my neck as well, the smaller size is a little disappointing. Otherwise, I couldn't be more pleased with this shaver.

White Tiger
White Tiger
DVD ~ Aleksey Vertkov
Offered by Media Favorites
Price: $6.73
25 used & new from $5.27

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Postumous Tribute to Michael Wittmann, March 20, 2015
This review is from: White Tiger (DVD)
It's easy to watch this film and come away with the opinion that it's simply mystical or mythological and "it really never happened that way." But wait! IT DID HAPPEN THAT WAY! At first, I found it difficult to believe and treated this film as strictly allegorical and mythological as well, until I did some research.

Throughout the Second World War the Russians suffered horrendous tank losses to the retreating German Wehrmacht and Waffen SS units up until Germany's eventual defeat. To bring this into perspective, I think we need to recall perhaps the greatest tank ace of all time, Michael Wittmann a German SS tank commander along with his gunner, Bobby Wohl. And yes, Wittmann was a loyal supporter of Hitler and Nazism.

On October 13, 1943 Wittman and his white-washed Tiger 1 tank numbered "S04" destroyed 20 Russian T-34 tanks as well as 23 infantry and anti tank guns. Yep, in one day! And this is just the tip of the iceberg for "S04." He did similar feats many times from 1943 to 1944. For those who would contend that the Tiger's turret couldn't traverse that quickly to knock out hoards of approaching tanks in such short order, it didn't need to. Wittmann's Tiger could turn very quickly by going forward with one side of the drive train and going in reverse with the other side. Also, Wittman's gunner, Bobby Wohl was an expert marksman and fast loader.

Feats like this caused tremendous mental anguish among the Russians, I'm sure even to this day. Therefore, I believe Wittmann had a great influence on this film. I don't think it is coincidental that Wittman's Tiger tank throughout his tour on the eastern front was winter whitewashed and survived time and time again to reek havoc on Russian armor. The Russians never had a chance to get even. Hence, we have Lt. Naydenov in this film being obsessed to find and destroy the White Tiger. Where is it now?

In reality, Wittmann and his crew were transferred to the Western Front in 1944 where Wittmann eventually met his demise after the Normandy invasion. These revelations, if nothing else, have given me a different insight into this film.

Star Wars The Black Series Princess Leia (Slave Outfit) Figure 6  Inches
Star Wars The Black Series Princess Leia (Slave Outfit) Figure 6 Inches
Offered by Kayfabe LLC
Price: $46.90
94 used & new from $29.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Can Be Made Better., January 30, 2014
As a long time customizer of action figures maybe I can see more in a figure than many folks. I've done a lot of repaints of sculpts that many people would consider rather mediocre and made them respectable. Bottom line, I see a lot of potential in this figure. The worst part for me is the lousy factory paint job which gives her the "thousand yard stare." The sculpt is basically pretty good. If you have artistic ability, I say go for it!!

Take The "A" Train
Take The "A" Train

3.0 out of 5 stars Rather bland., January 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Take The "A" Train (MP3 Music)
I don't know what there is about the Glen Gray Casaloma band that I find so boring. I'm a big band fan from waaaaay back, so I've heard my share. Seldom have I found a band as unexciting as Glen Gray's.

This version of "Train" just lopes along smack dab in the middle of everything. No sense of dynamics or drive. Solos are typical copies of what the Ellington band and others have already done twice over. The proceedings end in a very quiet whimper.

The Gray band was very professional and competent in its day and the calibre of musicianship very good. But it takes more than that to make exceptional music.

I Love Being Here With You
I Love Being Here With You
Price: $0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Driving Shuffle Beat, January 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Jeff Hamilton and crew have proved that a driving up beat shuffle is the ideal approach to this tune. This one swings like mad. Tamir Hendelman is an outstanding pianist with all the jazz sensibilities you could ask for. He turns this tune inside out. Hamilton is, well, Hamilton! He provides sensitive and skillful support and Christoph Luty provides that Paul Chambers-like foundation.

If you download only one tune from this album, make this the one! But if you can, buy the entire CD. It's excellent.

Music for Lonely Lovers
Music for Lonely Lovers
Price: $5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Just For Lonely Lovers, July 26, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very few folks have probably ever heard of Kip Walton. He has hardly recorded prolifically. Just looking at the album cover you might think he's just another early 1960's Troy Donahue look-alike singing loves songs. Wrong! It's early 1960's alright but Walton is a pianist, and a pretty good one at that. Yes, there are mostly ballads throughout for those lonely lovers of the time, but there are several swingers as well, such as "This Can't Be Love", "When Your Lover Has Gone", "For All We Know" and Walton's own "Kip's Blues".

It is evident throughout this album that Walton was Classically trained since there are lots of arpeggios and little minuet choruses interjected in many of the tunes. But Walton can really swing too, not in the Oscar Peterson/McCoy Tyner way but in a more or less block chordal way. The bassist and drummer do a nice job of supporting Walton's sonic excursions. If I were forced to categorize this music I would say it is pop/jazz.

I think this album was recorded back in 1961 since I remember hearing "For All We Know" around that time on KBIG FM in Los Angeles.

This album is evidence that Walton was a considerable pianist with good taste. Amazon's reasonable price and ease of downloading and the album's scarcity makes it a worthwhile investment. Give it a listen!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2013 3:14 PM PDT

Last Train From Overbrook
Last Train From Overbrook
Price: $6.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, poor remastering, September 27, 2011
This is a great small band James Moody recording. The title track is something of a jazz classic. What's particularly noteworthy is that the entire rhythm section was deliberately muted for a certain atmospheric quality the engineers were attempting. I don't know if that really amounted to anything special in the long run, but I've become accustomed to it over the many years.

Sadly, though, the remastering of what is obviously an LP is sorely lacking. Not only is the sound quality mediocre but the tempo of the tunes is decidedly slower than the original recording by maybe an added thirty seconds or so. I found the same problem with "An Hour With the Ramsey Lewis Trio" also available on Amazon. On that one I remastered it myself, boosting the tempo to the original recording speed and bettering the sound quality with audio software.

Again, a great album to own but you should go elsewhere for better sound quality.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2014 11:37 PM PDT

Solo Piano
Solo Piano
16 used & new from $0.03

3.0 out of 5 stars Sub-Par Phineas, April 29, 2011
This review is from: Solo Piano (Audio CD)
When I heard this album several years ago, the first thing that crossed my mind was, "What in hell has happened to Phineas?!" (even before I was aware of his psychological problems). Gone was the warmth, smoothness, creativity and confidence that won me over on such great records as "piano Portraits", "I love a Piano" and "A World of Piano." Instead what I'm hearing on this recording is a percussive assault on the piano that speaks to me of the mental illness that was beginning to consume him. It's a window to a tortured soul. And the piano does him no favors either and belongs in a saloon segment of an old "Gunsmoke" episode.

For example, listen to his performance of Quincy Jones' "The Midnight Sun Never Sets" here and compare it to his sublime version on "I love a Piano." There is no comparison!

Newborn's technique is still impressive but that really doesn't add anything of value to this record. If you are a first time Phineas Newborn listener, this album should not be your first choice. Instead, give a listen to the ones I've mentioned above.

Piano Portraits
Piano Portraits
4 used & new from $71.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest From "Fine-us", April 25, 2011
This review is from: Piano Portraits (Audio CD)
Sorry, I couldn't resist the play on words for the title. After all, Phineas preferred to pronounce his first name as "Fine-as or "Fine us." And I don't think I'm too far off in proclaiming this collection as one of his finest if not his best effort, particularly where "I Love a Piano" is concerned.

These two former Roulette albums were produced in 1959 at the pinnacle of Newborn's creativity and sensitivity before later mental health issues started taking their toll on him personally as well as on his music. Producer Teddy Reig just wanted to give Newborn the freedom to stretch out and concentrate on standards or "chestnuts" as the album proclaims. For those who fault Phineas for his perceived emphasis on technique rather than emotion or sensitivity, these two albums will quickly dispel that. Technique comes in many forms and proper execution is one. And that element alone is part of what makes these two albums shine.

Oh, there's plenty of technique displayed here but it is all so seemlessly woven into the fabric of the performances as to be almost unnoticeable. Now, isn't that the way it should be? As for the albums, "Portraits" is notable for some beautiful ballads such as "Golden Earrings", "I Can't Get Started With You" and "Sweet and Lovely" among others. Sometimes Newborn is almost melancholic but he really immerses himself into the fabric of the tunes.

"I Love a Piano" is notable for virtually everything. It starts of with a rousing, uptempo romp through "Take The A Train" that is bound to become many folks' favorite version of that Ellington classic (It's mine!). It concludes with a lilting, superbly developed rendition of the chestnut, "Give Me the Simple Life." As for technique, check out "Real Gone Guy" where Phineas alternates between rapid block chord statements, followed immediately by unison, two octave displays and back to chords again for several bars! And these are just a couple of examples of unobtrusive technical excellence throughout this album.

You will also notice that there are no bass or drum solos. They aren't necessary even though one of the giants of jazz drumming, Roy Haynes is here. You can't ask for better support than what both Haynes and John Simmons provide throughout these performances. I especially appreciate this, given that I am a drummer myself! There are also no waltzes or other alternate time signatures. But you won't miss them.

I think it's pointless to make such claims as "greatest", or "Best" in any art form. But I will state that "I Love a Piano" is among my top five favorite piano, bass, drums albums and I've listened to plenty of them over the past fifty years. "Piano Portraits" is also high on my list.

Bottom line, if you appreciate good music in general and if you like first tier piano music, forget the label "Jazz" for a bit, I don't see how you cannot be impressed with these two albums. Give a listen and you'll hear why!

The Birth Of A Band
The Birth Of A Band
Price: $9.49

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quincy Takes Charge!, November 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Birth Of A Band (MP3 Music)
Big band jazz simply doesn't get any better than this. Way back when (1959-1962) Quincy Jones was at the top of his game on the jazz scene. Birth of a Band may be the best straight ahead big band jazz album that he made, though "The Quintessence" (1962) is right up there as well.

When your band includes such cats as Joe Newman, Phil Woods, Jimmy Cleveland, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims and Sam Woodyard you have to expect the best and this album delivers wholesale. The recorded sound is crisp and clear.

Things start out swinging with the power of a Macedonian Phalanx. A blazing "The Birth of a Band" includes solos by Zoot and Jerome Richardson and doesn't let up throughout the rest of the album. There are also a couple of bonus tracks, "A Change of Pace" and "Tuxedo Junction" which are not just add-on's but contribute to the overall mood.

In summation, this is big band jazz of the highest order and should be in any fan's collection.

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