Herbie Mann & Bill Evans Trio
Inspiration: The day Herbie Mann’s album “Nivana” was recorded (December 8, 1961).
While Herbie Mann was a consistent winner of Downbeat Magazine’s critics’ polls for jazz flute his popularity made him a charlatan in the eyes of jazz purists (much like Kenny G). This obscure album illustrates that consummate musicianship and wide appeal can indeed go hand in hand.
Tranquil pool of water and reflection
Framed 34″x24″ Oil $2,750 SOLD
Isn’t It A Pity
"Isn't It A Pity (demo)"
Inspiration: Release of George Harrison’s album “All Things Must Pass (November 27, 1970).
Must have been tough playing second fiddle to the song-writing giants Lennon and McCartney! “Isn’t It a Pity” was penned by George Harrison during the Beatles’ heyday (1966) but didn’t see the light of day until the release of Harrison’s epic (three record) album “All Things Must Pass.”
Disappearing Monarch butterflies
Framed 26″x19″ Oil $3,200
Guns N' Roses
Inspiration: Release of the album “Guns N’ Lies” by Guns N’ Roses (November 30, 1988).
Branded “The Most Dangerous Band in the World” Guns N’ Roses fiercely fused heavy metal with a punk spirit. But they had a softer side – as exemplified by “Patience,” a simple song of aching beauty.
Waiting out the bad times and knowing you’re not alone
Framed 26″x50″ Oil $4,800
Inspiration: Release of Sun Ra’s Album “Supersonic Jazz” (July 12, 1956).
Some people and things are so far ahead of their time that it takes years, even decades, for their genius to be acknowledged. When it is, their influence can be monumental. Sun Ra and this (aptly titled) album was like that.
Improvising on the music
Framed 26″x26″ Oil $2,650
"Redemption/Moon and a Bridge/Bird on a Wire"
Inspiration: Johnny Cash’s birthday (February 26, 1932).
Johnny Cash was a misfit – an unconventional musician who wouldn’t be placed in a box. He led a hardscrabble life and chose material that resonated (no matter what the style), making each song uniquely his own. The stark album “American Recordings” is his crowning achievement.
Symbol painting of the lyrics
Framed 26″x32″ Oil $3,500
It’s Only Life
"It's Only Life"
Inspiration: Release of the album “Port of Morrow” by The Shins (March 20, 2012).
The album is named after the port authority, Port of Morrow, in Oregon. According to (Shins singer and guitarist) James Mercer, “There’s a sign by the side of the road that says “Port of Morrow” and I always just wondered about it. When writing that song it popped into my head and I was thinking of it as death, like what’s beyond the exit point, the “port of morrow”, the port into tomorrow? Everyone’s future is death. That’s a very dark way to look at it, but in the song it just happened to fit in with that thing. Like the ace of spades, port of morrow, life is death, death is life.”
Weirdness in what I saw
Framed 36.5″x30.5″ Oil Not available for sale
Life Calls to Life
"Life Calls to Life"
Inspiration: Release of the album “In Lands I Never Saw” by Double Image (January 1, 1986).
This is an unusual duo album pairing two virtuoso mallet percussionists (David Friedman and Dave Samuels playing vibes and marimba) who call themselves Double Image. The music encompasses an amazing array of textures and styles, often featuring dazzling improvisational flourishes – remarkable given the unconventional instrumental combination.
Happy people are infectious
Framed 13″x16″ Oil $1,500
Hot House Flower/Billie Holiday
Inspiration: The day Billie Holiday died (July 17, 1959).
Some artists live lives of abandon that come to a screeching stop. Others, like Billie Holiday, live lives of anguish whose early end seems inevitable.
Framed 32″x26″ $3,500
"Glass Symphony No. 9"
Inspiration: First Performance of Symphony No. 9 by Philip Glass (January 1, 2012).
Mahler attempted to trick fate by not calling his ninth symphony a symphony at all (Beethoven, among others, died after penning his ninth symphony). Fate was not moved – Mahler composed his “ninth symphony” and succumbed to his inevitable fate. No such trickery for the very much alive Philip Glass.
Fire water and glass flowers
Framed 12″x15″ Oil $1,450 SOLD
Tango Cycle/Summertime in Buenos Aires
"Tango Cycle/Summertime in Buenos Aires"
Inspiration: Astor Piazzolla’s birthday (March 11, 1921).
Astor Piazzolla is the most important figure in the history of tango, a towering giant whose shadow looms large over everything that preceded and followed him. With Piazzolla, tango was no longer strictly a dance music; his compositions borrowed from jazz and classical music, creating a new entity (“nuevo tango”) more suited to the concert hall than the ballroom.
Passionate tango dancing meets electric four seasons
Framed 26″x50″ Oil $4,800 SOLD
Out To Lunch
"Straight Up and Down"
Inspiration: Release of Eric Dolphy’s album “Out To Lunch” (February 25, 1964).
In February 1964 a volcanic event happened when Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to America. At the same time, a temblor was about to upend the jazz world with the release (shortly before Dolphy’s death) of this other worldly album.
Two martini lunch
Framed 26″x32.5″ Oil $3,000
Ode To Freedom
"Ode To Joy"
Beethoven (Symphony No. 9)
Inspiration: Fall of the Berlin Wall (November, 9, 1989).
On December 25, 1989, Leonard Bernstein gave a concert in Berlin celebrating the demise of the Wall, including Beethoven’s 9th symphony (Ode to Joy) with the word “Joy” (Freude) changed to “Freedom” (Freiheit). The orchestra and choir were drawn from both East and West Germany, as well as the United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union and United States.
Freedom and (un)freedom
Framed 50″x26″ Oil $4,800 SOLD
Poppies for Lily
"Symphony No. 1"
Beethoven (Symphony No. 1)
Inspiration: First Performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 (April 2, 1800).
This symphony is a homage to Beethoven’s teachers Haydn and Mozart as well as a bridge to a new musical landscape that would come to be (much as “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was for the Beatles).
Wildflower field on a hillside
Framed 26″x50″ Oil $4,800 SOLD
Between Two Lungs
"Between Two Lungs"
Florence + the Machine
Inspiration: Release of the album “Lungs” by Florence + the Machine (October 20,2009).
Sometimes a musician’s force is so strong that the music can hardly contain it.
Fighting HIV and Aids
Framed 42″x26″ Oil $5,000
Cabbage Rose Wallpaper
"On The Run"
Inspiration: Release of Pink Floyd’s album “Dark Side of the Moon” (March 24, 1973).
Pink Floyd’s magnum opus, Dark Side of the Moon pushed sonic boundaries and recording techniques to the limit (staying on Billboard’s top 200 album chart for 15 years!).
Framed 16″x13″ Oil $1,350