Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chick Corea ""From Miles" band at the Blue Note

There was a moment this week while attending a concert at the Blue Note Jazz Club with the brilliant jazz chameleon Chick Corea and his sturdy From Miles band - Wallace Roney on trumpet, Eddie Gomez, sax, Jack Dejohnette, drums, and Gary Bartz bass,  when the walls of the esteemed club seemed to fade and the sounds of the streets outside grew silent. All that mattered was the direct communication between the musicians and the listener, and every sound - the light crash of a cymbal, the blast from a horn, the touch of a piano key, - took one out of everyday existence.

We felt transported to another time and place, maybe where Davis' band played in some small club -- The Keystone Korner in San Francisco, maybe - with many of the original musicians present.

The bright, serpentine horn of Roney, flawlessly channeling Miles' unmistakable sound, was like an organic time machine. When I closed my eyes for a moment, I was sure I was as close to experiencing the 1974 era Miles Davis band as I would ever be.

Thanks, Chick, for bringing us back Miles, even for a moment.

The ones that get away

(Click to enlarge)

One of the hazards of the illustration business is when a project doesn't come into fruition. Case in point: The Leopard was commissioned to do illustrations for the excellent jazz saxophonist Steve Lehman's latest CD package. We had a few inspiring conversations and a lively repartee. I really felt we were on the same page.

In a timely manner, Lehman dutifully sent me photos that I would use as references, and after a couple of false starts, I began to work on drawings.   I was having fun. I happily sent the art off to Steve and awaited his response.

Lo and behold, Steve sent an email back that he liked what I did, but he had quite a few suggestions. Well, in fact, many suggestions. I couldn't believe how we could be on such different pages conceptually. After reading all his requests, I realized that my style and his style simply would not mesh. So we agreed to part ways. It's sad, and I had never had this happen before, but I really wanted him to be happy. His music is so good, he needed someone who could visualize it the way he saw it in his mind.