A personal, curatorial & bilingual Blog about: Artistic Movements, my Art, Creativity, Innovation, Design, Leadership, Empowerment, Sustainability, Science, Jazz, Movies and other cool pursuits - Blog personal y curatorial bilingüe sobre: Movimentos Artísticos, mi Arte, Creatividad, Innovación, Diseño, Liderazgo, Empoderamiento, Sustentabilidad, Ciencia, Jazz, Películas y otros temas.
Originally released in early 1963, Monk’s Dream was the first Thelonious Monk album for Columbia Records.
Far from his late 40s early days of play, bop, and boomerang like throws of tempo and melody, by late 1962 his spirit had been broken.
Gone were also the days of his 50s Prestige Albums for which he felt he had had little recognition. Only in the period spanning 1958 to 1962 he was finally received as he felt he should. He was finally considered one of the preeminent figures in contemporary Jazz.
As a matter of fact, he also began recording this album in 1962, and it was released months later in 1963.
Columbia was then the home of Brubeck and Davis, and Monk filled the spot for this trio of sorts for a label building a mark around what was new with jazz.
Monk´s dream is also my panting.
50cmx50cm, acrylic, inks and oil based paints on canvas. Painted in 2015, it expresses the volatility of Monk´s playing, his hot a cold moments, his ups and downs like some cartoon mountain range, his almost mad cap presence, and the difficulty of those around him to keep up with his inventive as well as happy, almost exuberant, playing.
Monk´s Dream was the last of the great Monk, and it became also the best selling album of his career. He topped it only in 1964 when he was in the prestigious cover of Time Magazine with an article called “The loneliest Man”.
Even though he kept playing and releasing albums until 1971, he was no longer the same that had dazzled beatnicks and jazz lovers alike for almost two decades. His unclearly diagnosed mental illness was becoming more of an issue in his life, causing paying and anguish to everyone around him.
He sadly passed away in 1982, at the relatively young age of 64.
I recently published one of my new paintings (Joy Spring) which is, somehow, also a tribute to the great musician Clifford Brown, particularly in his pairing with drummer Max Roach in the album titled Clifford Brown & Max Roach.
This new painting coincidentally pays homage to another fantastic horn player and musician, and one which many consider one of the finest hard bop trumpeters of the post-Clifford Brown era.
Science Funktion (2014) is a 65cm x 60 cm painting, made in acrylic, printing & Chinese inks, and oil based paints on wood. As you know my art is influenced by music, particularly jazz. While the translation process of rythms and sounds gets a helping hand from my synesthesia. In this case, it is loosely based on the song of the same title, which was made famous by none other than Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II, or as everyone knew him, Donald Byrd.
Born in 1932, Donald Byrd was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter. A sideman and a band leader from the 1950´s until very late in his life (he sadly passed away in February 2013), he was regarded as an influential voice amongst jazz musicians. Not only did he manage to move effortlessly between bebop, hardbop, funk, soul, rhythm & blues and electronic fusion jazz (influenced by Miles Davis move in the late 60´s). He was also an important influence in the early career of such greats as keyboard player and composer Herbie Hancock.
Science Funktion is one of the best known tracks in his álbum Caricatures, which he recorded in 1976 for the Blue Note label. Jazz purists don´t particularly like this phase of Byrds career, as he moves into electronic and funk in a fusion with jazz. But Funk, Soul and R&B fans consider this period as magnificent, and his mastery of the instrument is maintained thoughout. His Jazz roots are always there to be heard and enjoyed, and his love for all musical languages cannot be denied.
So here are Science Funktion, the song and the painting (and a slide show with details of the same painting).
The Clifford Brown & Max Roach quintet was a top band of the 50´s with a line-up that included at different times, top session musicians like Sonny Stitt, Teddy Edwards, Carl Perkins, George Bledsoe, Harold Land, Richie Powell and Sonny Rollins.
In 1955 the band recorded a jazz album which would be recognized as one of the most influential of all time.
Clifford Brown & Max Roach, as the album was very unimaginatively called, had nevertheless more imagination and power within its tracks than most records up to that time.
Their quintet was described by The New York Times as “perhaps the definitive bop group until Mr. Brown’s fatal automobile accident in 1956”, which cut short the bands successful life (only two and a half years), while this album was finally inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
Even if the sound is very East Coast, only two of the tracks were recorded at Capitol Records New York studios, while the rest were recorded in California.
I recommend anyone interested in good music, and particularly great jazz, to get a copy of this album. It is pure joy.
As a homage I felt inspired to paint my latest work based particularly on one of the tracks, and another delight, “JOY SPRING”, which was written by Clifford Brown as a tribute to his wife Joy.
So here are both. Brown & Roach´s original rendition of the song of the same title, so you can discover or re-discover this little gem as well. And my latest painting, “JOY SPRING” (2014), 80cm x 90cm and obviously part of my “VISUAL JAZZ SERIES”. It is painted in acrylic, printing ink and oil based paints on canvas.
But wait, there is more. Below my painting, you will also find a second version of this wonderful song. This time played live many years later by the great Freddy Hubbard. As always, Hubbard´s playing is magnificent.