Tribute to Chris Hurtle

Deputy

December 25, 1958 – August 14, 2014

Details for viewing, from Bonita Hurtle:

2-5pm on Thursday Aug 21, 2014 at Crowford and Bowers funeral home in Copperas Cove,Tx… He will have full Military Honors Services at the Killeen Veterans Cemetery on Friday 22 August 2014 at 10am and then gathering at our home in Kempner, Tx afterwards.

     This man was a lot of things to a LOT of people!  Chris was a “rare breed”… someone who actually knew what he was talking about, and wasn’t afraid to say so!  That’s why I enjoyed working with him so much…

     I first met him “on the phone”, so to speak!  This was during my first rotation to the National Training Center in mid-2003 (NTC, for those who don’t know what that is)… he had been chartered by (then-Deputy for 404th AFSB) Ray Coffman to “go down there & straighten this out”.  I made the mistake of calling him “Sir” while on the phone with him… in no uncertain terms & a few $*?*&’s, he let me know that he was “Chris”, and he “worked for a living”… those of you who knew him can probably see him on that rant as you read this!  Of course, that was (& still is) exactly the way I like to operate – so we hit it off immediately – even though I had never seen him face-to-face yet!

     The other thing I remember most poignantly about Chris Hurtle is that he was a leader, something you don’t always encounter in Federal Service these days.  He clearly understood from his early days as an Artilleryman that you can’t “tell someone to do it” unless “you know how to do it yourself” (or are willing to learn).  Of course, leadership often means that you have strong opinions about things… I can tell you from personal experience that if he had FOX News (not my favorite channel) on – “don’t touch that dial”… or you would (very quickly) hear an EXPLOSION – right in the vicinity of your ears; in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this was taken right after Warren decided to “switch the station” (thanks, Jeannie) – this pic was taken in the “SPO Shop”, where I worked for Chris just before he went back home to Texas (Fort Hood):

warren and Chris

     I worked for (and with) many Logistics Management Specialists during my “second career” as a Department of the Army Civilian, or DAC… I can honestly say that none of them measured up to the technical and moral standards that Chris did… but, on the other hand, he made sure that he took care of his troops – and you (truly) won’t find a lot of DAC’s these days who understand that once they’re elevated to GS-12, 13 & on up the chain – that IS their JOB! 

     One of our proudest accomplishments together was the corraling, identification and shipment of several thousand pieces of “Left Behind Equipment” (LBE) from Hawaii to Fort Lewis and then back to Hawaii… it wasn’t a cakewalk.. long hours, lots of work from the Department of Logistics folks & a few arguments along the way – but we pulled it off – & without his strong leadership talents, that wouldn’t have happened.  We also worked together in Iraq (he followed me there about 3 months into my 7 month tour)… so, we did a lot of things together – all over the world!  You can see him receiving his award for that tour below:

Chris & Souza Mosul

     Chris was also a very strong “family guy”… some might say that he kinda’ “looked the part”, too (of the TV character, I mean… ha! ha!). One of his pet projects at home (for both him and his wife Bonita & their daughters) was the restoration of an ancient 3/4 ton truck out of the Army inventory – I can’t tell you how many hours Chris devoted to that machine – but it was a lot!!!

m37a1

He worked ’round the house, & when he moved back down to where he wanted to be (Texas), he even did some farming, as shown below:

Tractor

     Chris will stay in my memory, to be sure… now, I’ve left the COMMENTS block open on this page… so, please DO add your comments in (I’ll approve them before they go live).  Chris Hurtle clearly deserves to be remembered as the fine and caring professional he was!  Fire away!

     You’ll find several pictures of Chris below (sent our way by COL Haebig – thanks!):

 

smoking Offloading

 

 

 

Port Operations above & below – he was definitely a “take-charge” kinda’ guy!

 

Hurtle in Charge

 

Always “on the lookout” for trouble!

Chris on lookout

 

Chris always had a tale to tell – & he told ’em well!

On the Job Chris Hurtle Making us Laugh

The pictures below were from the military ceremony, and the reception afterwards – sent by Bonita… thanks, Bonita – and R.I.P., my good friend:

more kids fam after1 trib endofsvc bn casket salute honors flag laidtorest

Ancient Archive

What you see BELOW is the index for OLD issues – if you want to look at our most current issues, use the DROPDOWN at the TOP of this page!!!

This magazine has been reviewing fine jazz, blues and improvised music from around the world since 1990 (& even a little before 1990).

During an average month, I receive about 30-40 CD’s (or digital downloads for review); each CD is guaranteed a review, unless it lacks what I call a high “EQ”, or “energy quotient”. As long as the musicians are PLAYING (& not just “playing at it”), a CD will always get a review here, no matter what the genre.

We will only be keeping the LAST 10 issues active on the site… anything previous to that will be placed in our HTML ARCHIVE… you still can click on the ISSUE page, and that will have a link to the ARCHIVE version.  All the content is saved in the ARCHIVE copy, which allows us to save server space.  Please spread the word to others, or write to me with any suggestions you may have at rotcod@rotcodzzaj.com

For your convenience, the older issues are also linked in here:

Prehistoric issues:

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(more comin’ soon…)

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Brand NEW!!! The very FIRST all-ONLINE issue: 

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I hope you’ll spread the word FAR and WIDE… it has been YOUR SUPPORT over the last 20+ years that has kept my efforts alive!

ZP-033 – Mark Kissinger/Rotcod Zzaj – Free Spirit Suites

FSFrontCoverZP-33 – Free Spirit Suites: Pennsylvania-based rock/freeform guitarist extraordinaire Mark Kissinger first joined Rotcod Zzaj in the late 1980′s. They produced several very interesting tapes during the 1990′s; what you will hear on this outing is the “best of”, in digital form. 

Mark Kissinger (super electric guitarist from Pennsylvania) & Rotcod Zzaj join together in a Y2K reprise that will KNOCK yer’ sockzoff! A very beautiful and “gypsylike” musical experience, totally accessible & with music for all tastes!

This album features Zzaj vocals (a fairly rare occasion) on 2 tracks, “Rhythm Rider” & “Speak EZ”, both from poems he wrote many years ago, then turned to music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Full CD – All 12 tracks, plus cover art – ($13.50)

Track 1 – Whirling Dervish  ($1.25)  Sample
Track 2 – Moths Dancing In The Flames ($1.25) Sample
Track 3 – Rhythm Rider ($1.25)  Sample
Track 4 – Dialogue For Drifters ($1.25)  Sample
Track 5 – Fragile Glass Unicorns ($1.25)  Sample
Track 6 – Gypsy Improv ($1.25)  Sample
Track 7 – Speak EZ ($1.25)  Sample
Track 8 – Rimgmaster ($1.25)  Sample
Track 9 – Parade Of Elephance ($1.25)  Sample
Track 10 – Runaway Caravan ($1.25)  Sample
Track 11 – Wanderers Wisdom ($1.25)  Sample
Track 12 – The Path Chosen ($1.25)  Sample

ZP-15 Detroit Improv Duo – Intuitive Tesseract

ZP-15 – DETROIT IMPROV DUO (INTUITIVE TESSERACT) –  D.I.D. I.T. is the second album by Jim Konen (guitars) and Dick Metcalf (aka Rotcod Zzaj, who played Kurzweill PC 88 on this CD).Konen is famous in his local zone (Detroit/Motown) for some masterful techno guitar playing that he performs as “VisionEar”.Metcalf has been recording and performing around the country (& the world) since about 1975.  We did this recording in “one take”, and it’s truly one of the best CD’s ever released on our label; ’tis truly wonderful to record/play with folks who aren’t afraid to improvise! 

 

 

 

Full CD – All 8 tracks, plus cover art – ($9.50)   (NOTE:  after you click CHECKOUT, you can enter the DISCOUNT code – FULL CD purchase only; does not apply to individual tracks)

Sine – ($1.25) Sample

Skippies – ($1.25)  Sample

The Beat  ($1.25)  Sample

Inner Strength – ($1.25)  Sample

Oasis – ($1.25) Sample

The Fastrack – ($1.25)  Sample

2Blu2Groove – ($1.25)  Sample

Rongnine – ($1.25)  Sample

 

Get your own copy of the Rotcod Zzaj autobiography!!!

zzajfrankfurt

NOTE:  If you just want to “get to it”, you can PURCHASE this tome by clicking on “purchase” – only $12.00. 

(NOTE:  after you click CHECKOUT, you can enter the DISCOUNT code)

SO – you’ve been wondering about who this “Rotcod Zzaj” character is; what makes him tick… & why he’s STILL (after nearly 70 years) prowlin’ about on the net…you’ll also see a lot of pictures that would fit in (very well) with a “throwback Thursday” theme… quite a bit of stuff from my 1960’s period….

In his own words, all the way from Pennsylvania, to Yemen, to Thailand & all corners of this fantastic globe… you’ll get the “straight skinny” from the man himself in these pages!  Here are just a few quotes to give you an idea of what you’re in for as you read my story (the previews only go up through about 1968 – to get more, you’ll have to PURCHASE it…:

(the earliest years)  “I can’t tell you exactly where all my inclination to play came from, but I can say that I’ve always felt a need to play. I grew up in a family that (though sometimes slightly dysfunctional) had one common language they could always rely on – MUSIC! ”

PURCHASE

(mid-1960’s, boarding school)  “When I moved down to Kentucky (around 1960, I believe), I participated in a chorale run by (of all people in that region) “Doctor Pepper”… I’m not kidding, his name was Herbert Pepper, with (some kind of) a doctorate for teaching. In retrospect, considering the rather strict environment there (it was a “Holy Roller” church school that my dad had sent me to in order that he be able to conduct illicit affairs in a Cadillac hearse – another story in/of itself), I learned a lot from ol’ Herbert. He picked me for some solo works, as well as a “Youth For Christ” quartet… I must admit, we were pretty durned cute with our red vests, black bowties, black slacks & penny loafers. That musical adventure did teach me a little more about reading music, because Dr. Pepper was really hardcore about being able to read… and having groupies in the pews was a great experience for a 14-year-old.. ha! ha!”

freefrankfurt     (from Germany, in 1964):  “The exchange rates (Deutsch Marks to Dollars) were far higher than they are these days, so even on meager finances (I made about $98 a month during that first year there), I could still cruise the jazz cellars, rock joints & other venues (you know, the strip clubs on Kaiserstrasse) in search of new experiences.”

“Times (in the Military) were definitely different back in the mid-‘60’s – it was pretty much understood (with any of the “good” supervisors, anyway) that as long as a young guy wasn’t breaking the law (to any serious degree, anyway), he should be allowed to “form” his personality… of course, that led to lots of opportunities “to” violate the rules… the hope was that those same young men would learn from their mistakes & not repeat them. “Honor” was a concept that was still around… if you gave your word (no matter how painful it might be to do so), you kept it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(my Alabama period, 1968 or so)

I explored the joys of motorcycles, a 1966 GTO & other “guy” kind of things (like ladies – I got married in late 1968… another story too long to tell in this narrative). Southern bourbon, catfish & hushpuppies, as firstgoatwell as hours-on-end of listening to the emerging artists of the day, like Sly & The Family Stone, The Who, King Crimson, The Supremes, Allman Brothers, a smattering of jazz artists & a WHOLE LOT of southern blues, was a large part of the experience there… the military was just moving into “race relations” (in great part due to situations across the Army that came close to rioting)… my awareness of those issues was already pretty keen (from real-life experiences I had in Harlem when I was preparing to move to Germany, as well as the local scene there in Huntspatch in the late ‘60’s…. they still had the separate water fountains & lots of other hill-William devices to keep “the coloreds” down), but listening to the music with the black soldiers there lent a whole lot of weight to just how intent “the man” was on keeping them (and their families) in their place. (It wasn’t until a few years later that I came to believe that “the man” is really intent on keeping us all in our place… folks with $$$, meaning “stature”, don’t want to be replaced by anyone who is “uppity” (no matter what color they are)… while that’s a political view, I believe it ultimately had a LOT TO DO with how the music of the mid-60’s to the early ‘70’s was created and evolved into such a powerful force… ”

PURCHASE

Zzaj Elements of Suspense CD

 

  ZP-37 – Elements Of Suspense: PA-based              guitarist Mark Kissinger laid down the initial (prepared) guitar tracks for this… after I listened to his mixes, decided I wanted to bring in Ernesto Diaz-Infante (Ernesto and I had just finished several other tape/CD releases together)…    I did my keyboards after getting Ernesto’s mix-downs; the songs had sort of “made themselves”, and it was very easy to improvise against them. I believe this was the first time I had ever done a collaboration with two guitarists at separate locations, but we were all quite happy with the results!  As to cover art, I think I cobbled this together, then named the tunes based on the cover art piece I had chosen – something like that, anyway.  This is one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever been involved in! You can purchase the individual tracks (by clicking on them), or if you’d like the entire CD, click on that link, please!
 

 

 

 

 

 

Full album:  ZP-37 Elements of Suspense  ($11.25)

Individual tracks:

Track 1:    Antimony Aria – ($1.25)     Sample

Track 2:   At The Edge of Out ($1.25)     Sample

Track 3:   Well Done Magnesium Waffle 
($1.25)  Sample

Track 4:   Imploded Indentations
– ($1.25)  Sample

Track 5:   Hydragyrum Wordsurf
– ($1.25)  Sample

Track 6:   Palladium Palace
– ($1.25)  Sample

Track 7:   Trace Metal Breakfast
– ($1.25)  Sample

Track 8:   Xeonic Excursions
– ($1.25)  Sample

Track 9:   Manganese Attraction
– ($1.25)  Sample