Saturday, 29 March 2008


Morgan AeroMax enters limited production

Considering how often Morgan radically changes the design of their vehicles, the company has shown up rather often on our pages as of late. Last week, the Morgan LifeCar was shown in Geneva, and while we are impressed by the concept that the enigmatic British company was able to crank out, the AeroMax isn't a concept, but a real vehicle that is now officially in production. Originally announced in 2006, the AeroMax successfully blends modern and retro in both design and engineering. Featuring a frame made from ash wood, a body pounded into shape from aluminum and a 4.8-liter, 367 horsepower V8 engine from BMW, the lightweight sporting coupe can accelerate from 0-60 in just about 4 seconds and keep going to a top speed of around 170 mph.

Despite the seemingly low-tech construction methods, this is the first Morgan to feature an automatic transmission and a Canbus wiring setup. Other standard features include Electronic Brake Distribution with ABS, tire pressure monitoring and dual power rear windows which open like wings allowing access to the available leather luggage. According to Morgan's website, all 100 are already spoken for, but they've started a reserve list in case any orders get canceled. If you want one, better get on that list soon.


March 24, 2008 -- BRUCE Willis could be distancing himself from his reputation as a shot-and-a-beer guy. The Post's Braden Keil reports the action star is a partner in the Bowery Wine Co., which opens to the public this weekend at 13 E. First St. "It's upscale and loungy," says owner Chris Sileo, formerly beverage director at The Plaza. "We'll have high-end, light fare that will include paninis, salads and desserts." Willis and his pals, "Sopranos" regulars Vincent Curatola and John Ventimiglia, already christened the place at a private party last week, where the "Die Hard" star took his place behind the bar.

If you're interested here's the adress:

13 E. 1st St.(Bowery & First Ave.)
East Village


An intimate memoir of Che Guevara by his widow is making the rounds of New York publishers this week as the 40th anniversary of his death approaches.

Aleida March tenderly describes the man behind the revolutionary icon in her manuscript, "Evocation." Her book details her experiences falling in love, marrying and raising four children with Guevara, who was killed in Bolivia at age 39.

March, the second wife of the Argentine-born rebel, was convinced to finally tell her story by respected Italian filmmaker Alessandro Cecconi.

She reveals that after a romance that began when they were guerrilla comrades in the Cuban revolution, Che wanted their 1959 wedding to be small and private. But Raul Castro found out and threw a big party. Unfortunately, he neglected to invite his own brother, Fidel, who was miffed.

"Nobody told Fidel, because of the clandestine way in which the party was planned, and he arrived complaining that nobody had invited him," March writes. "He left soon afterward."

Che gave his bride a bottle of Flor de Roca perfume by Caron, "which, of course, I never forgot," she reminisces. But Che wouldn't let her keep the many gifts sent to them, giving them away to the poor.

"On his trips, he would receive gifts from his hosts, some of them very expensive," March writes. "He would get presents for me as well, and he would give them away if he considered them too ostentatious."

She was given a color TV only to see Che pass it on to a factory worker. "And back then, it was sort of an unimaginable item," March says, adding: "Once, after a trip to Algeria, he received a barrel of an excellent wine. When he arrived home, he told me to give it to the army barracks near our home. I would not always unconditionally obey his mandates. Knowing that wine was one of the few treats he allowed himself, I kept five liters."

Che had a dry sense of humor, she writes, adding that he once teased her in a postcard from Morocco, "I was planning to stay faithful to you, but you should see these Moorish girls!"

One of the most heart-rending stories March tells is how Che dressed in disguise to visit his own children before a secret trip to Bolivia to foment revolution there. "When the kids arrived, I introduced them to an Uruguayan old man, 'Ramon' [Che], a 'friend' of dad's. They never imagined this 60-year-old man could be their daddy," March writes. "For both Che and me,it was an extremely painful moment.

"The kids played with 'Ramón' all day. Then, Aleidita [then 7] hit her head after running wild, and Che [a physician] took care of her. Soon afterwards, she came to me to tell me a secret he could overhear: 'Mommy, this man is in love with me!'

Che was captured by CIA-led Bolivian soldiers on Oct. 9, 1967, and killed the next day after telling his executioner, "Shoot, coward. You are only going to kill a man."


«THE COSMOS ROCKS» is Queen's newest record, coming out next September, followed by a world "tour" after it's release.

The band new line up: Paul Rodgers (voice), Brian May (guitar), Roger Taylor (drums).

Fifteen years after Freddy Mercury's death is it time to say:

"The King is Dead, Long Live The King...or should we say...Queen ?


Curtis poses topless for AARP magazine

WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- Hollywood actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who turns 50 this year, has posed topless for the latest edition of AARP magazine.

The daughter of screen icons Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis is best known for her roles in "Halloween," "Trading Places," "A Fish Called Wanda," "True Lies" and "Freaky Friday.

"She will be seen topless on the cover of the May/June issue of the magazine, which is geared to Americans ages 50 and over."

I want to be older," Curtis told the magazine. "I actually think there's an incredible amount of self-knowledge that comes with getting older. I feel way better now than I did when I was 20. I'm stronger, I'm smarter in every way, I'm so much less crazy than I was then. ...Getting older means paring yourself down to an essential version of yourself.

"Curtis said that philosophy extends to her sense of personal style, too.

"I've let my hair go gray. I wear only black and white. Every year I buy three or four black dresses that I just keep in rotation. I own one pair of blue jeans. I've given away all my jewelry, because I don't wear it," she said.


For those who know Flora, an introduction is unnecessary. Her music has interwoven the life fabric of anyone with a passing interest in Latin and American jazz music for over 25 years.

Her once-in-a-generation six-octave voice has earned her two Grammy nominations for Best Female Jazz Performance and Downbeat magazines Best Female Singer accolade on four occasions. Her musical partners have included Gil Evans, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie and Airto Moreira, with whom she has collaborated on over 30 albums since moving with him from her native Rio to New York in 1967.

Her musical genius was inbred thanks to a Russian émigré father who played violin and a mother who was a talented pianist in her own right. Before leaving Brazil to escape the repressive military regime of the time, she had mastered piano and guitar and liberated an exhilarating vocal talent.

In New York, she and Airto became central to the period of musical expression and creativity, which produced the first commercially successful Electric Jazz groups of the 70s.

Blue Note artist Duke Pearson was the first American musician to invite Flora to sing alongside him on stage and on record. She then toured with Gil Evans about whom she says, this guy has changed my life. He gave us a lot of support to do the craziest stuff. This was the beginning for me. Her reputation as an outstanding performer gained her work with Chick Corea and Stan Getz as part of the New Jazz movement that also contained the nurturing influence of sax man Cannonball Adderley.

Shortly after, Flora started in earnest to re-educate discriminating musical minds, after linking up with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Joe Farrell to form "Return To Forever" in late 1971.

Two classic albums resulted - "Return to Forever" and "Light as a Feather" - nodal points in the development of fusion jazz. When Chick decided to drive further still down the electric road, Flora and Airto chose their own path. Airto by this time had already begun to create his own legend by playing with Miles Davis in 1970, before helping to found the jazz wellspring that was "Weather Report".

Her first solo album in the US, Butterfly Dreams was released in 1973, which put her right away to the Top Five Jazz Singers on the Downbeat Magazine Fame Jazz Poll.

Flora went on to contribute to some of the greatest recording of the seventies - Carlos Santana, Hermeto Pascoal, Gil Evans, Chick Corea and Mickey Hart all benefiting from her vocal and arranging skills. In the mid-Eighties, Flora and Airto resumed their musical partnership to record two albums for Concord - "Humble People" and "The Magicians" for which she received Grammy nominations. In 1992 she went one better by singing on two Grammy winning albums - "Planet Drum" with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart (Best World Music Album) and the Dizzy Gillespie "United Nations Orchestra" (Best Jazz Album).

The launch of the highly combustive Latin jazz band Fourth World in 1991 with Airto, new guitar hero Jose Neto and keyboards and reeds supreme Gary Meek, marked a new era in Flora's career. The band signed to new UK-based jazz label B&W Music - and Flora consciously set out to win over the next wave of listeners.

Gigs at the Forum and collaborations with leading UK DJ/producers Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge led to Flora and Airto as guests on several influential contemporary recordings, including the James Taylor Quartets "Supernatural Feeling" and Urban Species "Listen". Gilles subsequently spent time in the studio remixing "Now Go Ahead and Open Your Eyes" with help of hot new producer Tyrrell and London session drummer and producer Andrew Missingham.Flora's 1995 world tour started in traditional style with a month a Soho's Ronnie Scott's Club with a new band that includes Gary Brown on bass, Helio Alves on keyboards and regular Fourth World rhythm and psychedelic guitar player Jose Neto, along with Puerto Rico master of congas Giovanni Hidalgo and, of course, Airto, joined Flora to take her new album "Speed of Light" on the road.

Recorded across two continents and featuring some of the top names in contemporary jazz such as Billy Cobham, Freddie Ravel, George Duke, David Zeiher, Walfredo Reyes, Alphonso Johnson, Changuito, Freddie Santiago and Giovanni Hidalgo, the album demonstrates emphatically that Flora is ready to shape the sound of the nineties. With important writing and performing contributions from Chill Factor and Flora's daughter Diana Booker. "Speed of Light" makes the connection between her experimental beginnings with Chick Corea and Gil Evans and the new "head" music being produced by jazz players out of the London and New York "Trip Hop" scenes.

Whilst this is certainly music for the head, it is the heart that responds to Flora's extraordinary voice. Open your ears and you will fly.

In 2002, with two new releases by Narada Records, the jazzy "Perpetual Emotion" and the world music "Flora Sings Milton Nascimento", once again Flora takes the listeners to the edge of their imagination.

In September of 2002, Brazil's President Fernando Henrique Cardoso named Flora Purim and Airto Moreira to the "Order of Rio Branco", one of Brazil's highest honors. The Order of Rio Branco was created in 1963 to formally recognize Brazilian and foreign individuals who have significantly contributed to the promotion of Brazil's international relations. The order is named after Barão do Rio Branco, Brazil's Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1902 to 1912, famous for his role in negotiating the national borders of Brazil and referred as the "Father of Brazil's Diplomacy".

The album "Speak No Evil" was released in January of 2003. This is Flora's third album with Narada Records. After listening to the album, George Duke had this to say: "Flora is one of those rare talents that truly understand how to phrase lyrics and melody". Then he said, "she can swing - and she can sing!"

Flora's new album entitled "Flora's Song" was released by Narada Record on June 28th, 2005. "Brazilian Jazz at it's best with colors and rhythms of world music. Rhythms of my soul mixed with the sounds of my heart communicating with words that express the times, trials and tribulations of the world right now as I perceive it."



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