New Orleans Jazz Fest or Bust (Seven Paintings and One for Free)

David Byrne for Mark Brush

David Byrne for Mark Brush

The first portrait from this contest has been finished and delivered! Thank you, Mark Brush for the inspiration. Next up: Nina Simone for Kelsey McCune of Portland, Oregon.

"Dr. Nina Simone: The High Priestess of Soul"

Thanks again to everyone who provided thoughtful comments and posts.

–John

The Inspiration

Talking about New Orleans Jazz Festival with friends last weekend, I couldn’t help but get all worked up and want to go. Dammit, I’m like a chocoholic but for Jazz Fest (to paraphrase my favorite “Onion” editorial ever). I gotta go back. Have you been there? You know what I’m talking about? It’s the music, man. Okay, and the food and the voodoo and the booze. But mostly the music.

The Contest

Write a comment on this post (or email it to me at john@tebeau.com) and tell me about why you dig your favorite musician. ANY musician, not just the ones shown below. Even Mozart or Tom Jones. Is it a certain moment that inspired you? A song? Is it what they “stand for?” What is it about them that moves you? Tell me. On March 24 I’ll announce the winner, based on the responses, at my opening reception at Verlaine (110 Rivington St. in NYC). The prize is a free 11″ by 14″ portrait of the winner’s favorite musician. Judging will be based on content, heart, wit and spelling.

The Goal

The idea here is also to sell some paintings to justify the trip back to New Orleans. Not just any old paintings, but paintings I’ve done of musicians. Musicians make the magic. These people represent contact with the divine to many of us. Music is what makes us want to go to New Orleans Jazz Festival (and the food and the etc.), and hopefully these representations will make it happen for me this year. Need a gift for someone? Maybe you can get it right here. Maybe they can get their own  if they win the contest.

Please pass this on to anyone you know who loves music, New Orleans, or art. It’s an opportunity for a free painting, and who knows? If I sell a few of these babies, maybe I’ll see you at Jazz Fest.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin

"Bob Marley" oil on canvas

"Bob Marley" oil on canvas

"Miles Davis"

"Miles Davis"

"Jimi Hendrix"

"Jimi Hendrix"

"Billie Holiday"

"Billie Holiday"

"Duke Ellington"

"Duke Ellington"

"La Paix et L'Amour" (John and Yoko)

"La Paix et L'Amour" (John and Yoko)

And of course, I have tons of prints and other paintings for sale, too. Feel free to buy 25 dozen.

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31 Comments

Filed under original art, portraits

31 responses to “New Orleans Jazz Fest or Bust (Seven Paintings and One for Free)

  1. I am not certain if you want comments on the above artists. My favorite is Pink Floyd. I love their trippy, dream like music. It makes me feel like dreams or other world music. In my opinion it is still way ahead of its time and other artists even now. They soothe my soul, tame my beast and make me want to float into oblivion.

    Nice work by the way.

  2. Trying to pick a favorite would be a very difficult task for me. Most people would expect me to automatically go for the Beatles, or specifically John Lennon. But there is so much more that is meaningful to me.
    It is true that the Beatles got me started on my musical journey, and John’s solo work and philosophy made a significant impact. The Beatles are pretty much untouchable, and John’s body of work is legendary. However, I can’t discount George’s incredible songwriting, or his place as one of the original guitar heroes (yeah, that’s right, think about it). It was also through him that I first became interested in Eastern spirituality. I always appreciated Paul’s solo work, but never was a huge fan until lately. Have you heard what he has been doing the last few years? How about his latest? “Electric Arguments” is freakin’ brilliant, and vastly different than you would expect. And then there is Ringo. He may not have been Ginger Baker, but he was an excellent drummer (truly, take a closer listen). His solo work may not have been as impressive, but would have been viewed much more favorably had it not been in the shadow of his former associates.
    Okay, so the Beatles are my alpha and omega, but I am not that limited. What about Beethoven, Mozart, Segovia, Cassals, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Art Blakey, Dave Brubeck, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Hank Williams, or even Tom Jones? I love all of this music for different reasons, and for different moods.
    But with all of that, and anyone who knows me will agree, my passion is rock music. I am a big fan of 80’s music. Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, Bauhaus, and The Cure are all in constant rotation on my iPod. I love me some Aerosmith, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Steve Miller, Earth Wind and Fire, and Steely Dan. You may also hear me playing Nirvana, Ministry and Garbage.
    My forté is progressive rock. Coco mentioned Pink Floyd, and they are big in my world. “Dark Side of the Moon” was like nothing I had ever heard before, and I still consider it one of the few perfect albums in existence. My friends and I heard Kraftwerk’s “The Man Machine,” and made fun of it. I now revere the genius of their electronic subtlety, and see them as true innovators. But it was Genesis that hooked me. My bold buddy Shaw Walker played me “Foxtrot,” and I was hooked. They created symphonies in rock. They are my Beatles of prog, and Peter Gabriel is the John Lennon. From there I moved on to Rush, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and King Crimson. Later on I became immersed in the entire prog world, and even began writing about the artists. Some of my favorites don’t even have English lyrics.
    So which would I choose for a painting? In more recent times I have discovered many new artists. Some are current, and some I had just not known in the past. Most are obscure, but wonderful. However, there is one that I knew, but did not know well enough. The Kinks are more than the British invasion group who did “You Really Got Me,” and “Lola.” Yet “Lola” is a window into the broader scope of these underappreciated maestros. Albums like “The Village Green Preservation Society,” “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround,” and “Muswell Hillbillies” show a much deeper sensibility. Ray Davies’ ability to create a snapshot in words is astounding. The music is complex, yet very accessible, and the band is as tight as can be. They even did a rock opera called “Preservation.” No, it wasn’t even near the level of “Tommy,” but you have to appreciate the attempt (Ray’s strength was clearly the individual song). The Kinks should have been held up alongside The Who, The Stones, and maybe even The Beatles. Because of their refusal to succumb to pressure for hits from record executives, they didn’t get the support the other groups received. If you haven’t already, give them another look. They deserve much more attention and honor.
    If I were to pick a progressive group, it would be Detroit based Discipline. These guys combined the classic sensibility of original masters like Genesis, Yes, and especially Van Der Graaf Generator, and combined it with a more modern sound. Front man Matthew Parmenter even dressed up in costumes (ala Peter Gabriel), and is never on stage without his mime makeup, thus earning him the nickname “The Electric Acid Mime.” They released “Push and Profit,” and “Unfolded Like Staircase” in the mid ’90s, and then broke up. The albums moved on to achieve revered cult status, and deservedly so. The theatrical passion of the vocals, the complexity of the music, and the precision of the band are overwhelming. Last year they reformed, and I have seen all three of their subsequent live performances, and they were spectacular. I had to go to Pennsylvania for one of them (I was going to the festival anyway). Luckily, Ann Arbor isn’t too far from Detroit. Matthew doesn’t do the costumes anymore (yet), but he wears the makeup, and his face is a theater in itself.

    Okay, that was really long, but you asked. Ha!

  3. Anonymous

    Have you ever seen Bob Mould in concert? The leader of famed Husker Du, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, unfortunately did not cross my radar until the late Eighties, in Chicago, Illinois. Thanks to WXRT I heard a lot of solo Bob from his albums Workbook and Black Sheets of Rain. He has this thing in his voice. You can hear the passion, the sensitivity, tenderness, angst. I remember a friend asking me back there in Chicago who I would most like to see live in concert. My answer, really my gut reaction that day, was Bob Mould, without hesitation. I wasn’t even yet sure just why I had answered in that way. After moving to Portland, Oregon in 1991, I finally got the opportunity to see Bob performing solo at a medium sized venue here in town. I was blown away. I have never seen a musician work so hard and put so much into what he was doing as I saw on that night. I moved. I bobbed. I cried. I saw this man pour out his heart through his sweat, his guitar, his ballads. I was surprised and carried away that night, shaken, emptied and filled with my own painful reminders and new fearlessness: alert synapses firing and blood pumping. It’s courage music for me. Good music to reflect and delve into the painful, with no trepidation, and an ensuing calm. And good music to come home to, after the Brooklyn Bridge and Moma, live on WFMU, in your lovely Manhattan apartment.

  4. cat

    Umm, that was me up there, going on about Bob Mould, and thanking you for the opportunity to say something! Good question!!

  5. Barry

    First off, I must compliment the nod to Bob Mould in a previous post. He’s a great artist, no doubt and his “Workbook” album is a classic (it was one of the first “alternative” albums I turned my wife onto to lure her away from country, Top 40, etc.)

    As for me, I’ve had lots of favorites over the years — there was a period where I seemed to follow the Smithereens like they were the Dead or something like that — but I guess I always come back to Peter Murphy, the former lead singer from Bauhaus. His solo work over the last 25 years has been amazing. Every release goes in a slightly new direction, but it almost always works. It’s music that will suit any mood I’m in. He’s also very engaging live, where his shows tend to be intimate affairs with dedicated fans who know every lyric.

    My runner up artist/band would have to be Black Sabbath.

  6. chris keeling

    My favorite musician would have to be Feist. The first time I herd her was when she performed on the Connan Obrian show. At first sight I was in love. Not only was it a sound that was new to me, but it was just so mesmerizing and beautiful. The whole next week I had to listen to that song on the internet every night before I went to bed. Of course I eventually bought the cd and every cd after that. Every time I see her I can’t take my eyes off her. She embodies everything that music is. Arty, creative, beautiful, but still a little rugged and non apologetic. She is a bad bad women and I would love to have her hanging on my wall.

  7. Linda G

    My favorites are Lou Rawls, Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, and the fantastic Marvin Gaye, these gentlemen brought so much joy to the “Baby Boomer” generation, and the smooth and thoughtful music is continuing, in new artist, such as John Legend,

    Ask any woman who grew up during the Motown music days, and I am sure these guys will be mentioned over and over. How can you miss with Whats going on?? and Sexual healing, much sadness that Marvin Gaye’s life ended early, thank goodness we can still enjoy hearing them on the radio, and they can still make us smile,

  8. mike

    So many great artists – I’d have to say Sun Ra is pretty amazingly creative and more than a bit insane, which makes for a great combination in a musician.

  9. TZ

    There are times I’m listening to Louis Armstrong and he hits one of those impossible high notes (you know which ones I’m talkin’ about) and all I can think is that he was angel who graced us with his presence on this earth for just a little while. No one ever before or since has been able to achieve the kind of clarity, beauty and power contained in a single note like that. Beyond the music, his soul was so beautiful, positive and open – I have never heard a single negative thing said about the man. Despite his humble beginnings and the racism he faced nearly all his life, he was always smiling, always giving. Truly an American legend.

  10. galen

    the first time i heard coltrane’s version of “my favorite things” i was at once in love with jazz sax and drums. jazz has been a springboard to some great conversations with some interesting folks i would probably have not talked to otherwise. ps if you dont own giant steps -get it.

  11. Pingback: We Must REALLY Love Games « John Tebeau

  12. The moment in music I love the most is when Lloyd Dobler lifts his boom box outside Diane Court’s window in Say Anything. I know it’s overplayed and overdone and over-referenced, but it still makes me shivery. We’re not sure at that point in the movie if Diane even deserves Lloyd. But I think that’s part of the point — when it’s really love, we get it even when we don’t deserve it. [Ding] The fasten seatbelt sign just turned off in my life, and everything’s going to be okay.

  13. cakemouth

    I love David Byrne because his voice isn’t one you’d pick out of a crowd and say, “that boy needs to record some records!” But… it doesn’t matter. It’s in his heart. And he lays it out there for us. I pick it up and I love it. I’ve always loved his music. It transports me.

    “I Zimbra” plays and I’m suddenly driving my VW Bus down McMillan Avenue in Cincinnati again. My friends piled in the back in a happy post-party haze. We listen to the music, think about the girls we met, and the laughs we’ve shared, and where we’re going next in our lives. The moment in time is marked.

    “This Must Be the Place” plays and I’m sharing my first dance with Andrea. Friends and family encircle us.

    “Life is Long” plays and it’s seven years later and I’m again in my wife’s arms dancing in our little kitchen. The dishes encircle us.

    I’ve locked eyes with David Byrne before. It was during his “Feelings” concert and I’m dancing my ass off despite my best efforts to just bob my head. And it’s not just the music that moves. He wraps some performance art into the whole thing. A big pink fuzzy suit, dance pips with his back-up singers, and later, a plaid skirt to match his back-up singers. I’m about twenty feet away and David Byrne looks down from the stage at me. He sees how much fuckin’ fun I’m having. He sees what his music is doing, and we exchange a laugh together.

    It’s five years later, and there he is again. Up on stage in Detroit singing “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston. This comes after several sets with the string players from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra backing him up. You’d think it would be a cheesy song to sing, but he puts his heart into it – out it comes – and it’s beautiful. Yep, I want to dance with somebody too.

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/220272/march-02-2009/david-byrne-pt–2

    “I love America, but boy can she be cruel. I know how tall she is without her platform shoes.”

  14. Billie Holiday…intense & melancholic, yet warmly soothing. Her music never fails to move me.

  15. jtebeau

    This entry came via email from Harley Alexander of New York. — JT

    Hi John,

    Here is my submission for your Favorite Musician contest (great idea, by the way)

    The band is called ‘Shihad‘ and they’ve been together for almost 21 years.

    They have recorded about eight albums, and dozens of singles.

    Whilst worldwide fame has so far eluded them, they are huge in New Zealand, pretty big in Australia, and – had 9/11 not highlighted a possible misinterpretation of their band name by US audiences – they were on track to become massive in the US.

    For a while they dropped the name ‘Shihad’ and called themselves ‘Pacifier’ to avoid potential confrontation with US immigration officials.
    But fans rejected that decision, so they went back to being ‘Shihad’.

    They are without question the best LIVE rock act I have seen (and I’ve seen the big ones – Pearl Jam, U2, Pink Floyd etc.)
    They have played well over a thousand shows in their time – in Australasia as well as the US, Europe and the UK.
    I have seen them perform about 15-20 times.

    Fronted by a hyperactive, charismatic rock god called Jonny Toogood (his real name), the four members of the band create an immense, pummeling energy every time they play.
    And without fail the crowd goes nuts, and experiences the most inspiring, adrenaline-fuelled night out that 25 bucks at the door will get you.

    They make rock gigs fun and exciting, and unpredictable – something that I think is missing with many modern acts.

    The songs themselves are also pretty damn good.
    Here are a couple from a few years back:

    This ones called ‘Run’:

    And this one’s called ‘Bullitproof’:

    Hopefully you’ll get a sense of their passion for big riffs, killer tunes, and getting the crowd going.

    Also attached are some photos of the band and lead singer in action.
    Despite charging around the stage and through the crowd like a maniac, he and the rest of the band still manage to remain musically incredibly tight, and pride themselves on never dropping a note when playing live.

    For me, the art of rock music is all about channeling energy into a shared musical experience, with magnificent tunes, a great thumping beat, and a big idea to give away.
    Shihad do that every time they walk onto a stage, or enter a recording studio.

    They get my vote for the greatest band on the planet.

    Cheers,
    Harley Alexander
    New York, NY

  16. Ruben Avilio

    When Billie Holiday sings.. her soul mourns and rejoices simultaneously.
    Her voice surrounds you in exquisite sadness..
    .. Then , catching your breath… and against your better judgment, you jump right back into the arms of love…
    and do it all over again.. …
    … laughing all the way there.

  17. Mary Jean

    I love Richard Thompson. I’ve seen him in concert about eight times, and each time has been different, and always delightful. He’s an incomparable songwriter, musician, raconteur, dry wit. Eric Clapton is supposed to have said that he wishes he could play guitar like Richard Thompson. And it’s true — when he’s alone on stage with his guitar, it sounds like three people.

    A shout out to David Byrne, too, mentioned above. His song “Miss America” is biting and fabulous.

  18. jtebeau

    This comment came via email from Peter Griffith of Sonoma:

    It’s Miles Davis.

    I listen to The Allman Brothers, Clapton, Tool, Hot Club of San Francisco and Django. I love them all but Miles has taught me something about soloing. I play the guitar, listen to all of the great blues players and rock and rollers. I grew up listening to Jimi Hendrix and to this day he is god. Miles is different. I was at a company Christmas party and it was a gift exchange. One of the gifts was Miles Davis “Tutu”. I didn’t get it but everyone made such a fuss about the CD I purchased it. I was hooked, my god was it good. I was listening to NPR one day and the story was about Kind of Blue. I went out a purchased the CD. Ten years later it is still one of my top ten favorites.

    Listen to Miles play. He will hit a note that is off, the guy knew his scales so well he could back out of the note and blend it into the song for a unique feeling. In my guitar playing I study many scales. I take from Miles and add to my music. Don’t know what he was like as a person, I love his music.

    Cheers !

    Peter Griffith

  19. John,
    Miles has got to be high on anyone’s list who really thinks about listening to music as a source of pleasure, and as a form of art appreciation (I’m a ridiculous music snob, and unrepentant).
    I listened to so much jazz as a teenager and college student, and it was not until about half way through college that I began to be more open to other forms of music; 1984 or so was a great time to discover other forms of popular music, and so, yeah, Peter Murphy, New Order, George Clinton, Fab Five Freddy, Elvis Costello were all getting into my head big time.
    But, when I get too tired of everything, I can’t help but clear out all that melody with a little great old fashioned Ornette Coleman! Followed by a dip into the Eric Dolphy shallow end, and then I am musically cleased again.
    I absolutely love Ornette Coleman, especially the 80’s era bands; he is such a genius, and knows how to keep you on the edge between utterly pure music and random sound.
    My appreciation for electronica is an extension of what I learned from listening to Body Meta.

  20. jtebeau

    (This came via email from Joe Sperry of Seattle)

    I’ve Got a Fever

    I was 23 when I moved to San Francisco. I’d never been there before.

    I had graduated from college a year earlier and saved up some dough working as a paper shuffler for the county government in Seattle. I learned a bit about politics and government while I was there, but after six months I grew bored with the daily routine of putting on a tie and drafting press releases, so I planned my escape.

    In the spring I bought an old red Kawasaki KZ 550 motorcycle, cut my hair down to a buzz, and knew I was ready to see more of the world. So in June of ‘94 I packed up my stuff and motored south. I had heard San Francisco was a cool place, and a friend was able to offer me a cheap room there in the house where he was living.

    Four days later I spied the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time just before driving across it. Couldn’t believe it! Racing along with traffic, I could see the city and the bay to my left, and what seemed like the entire Pacific ocean to my right. I had never seen the Pacific like that before.

    I can remember the sky that day was a cool, clear blue, pocked with white clouds. The wind was blowing in from the west. I had no job, no responsibilities, a couple of thousand in my pocket, and no worries. Seemed like the world was my oyster.

    ***

    Six months later, I was slingin’ java at a café and living with my new friends in the city. I was one step ahead of broke, my furniture was composed of cardboard boxes, but I was open to anything. Life was good.

    That was about the time met Eddie Palmieri, now the elder statesman of latin jazz.

    The encounter sprang out of one of those random conversations with a friend-of-a-friend — we happened to be talking about travels and music. When I mentioned my time in living in Colombia and my love affair with salsa, this guy mentioned Eddie Palmieri.

    Eddie who?

    Back in those days it was hard to find information about salsa. The internet hadn’t happened yet. International music seemed exotic and elusive, and I tried to grab anything I could get my hands on that sounded good. So about a week later I hoofed it over ‘Cisco’s hills to North Beach and poked around Tower Records, curious about this hot, new lead. And there he was.

    ***

    Eddie had a new album out called “Palmas.” It looked cool. It had a nice clean cover, and in typical latin fashion, he was on the front mugging, looking like he was having a good time. I figured, “What the hell”, I’ll check it out.

    After returning home and cracking open that little plastic treasure chest, I was sadly disappointed. Palmas was an entirely new sound for me – and I didn’t get it. The music seemed disjointed and frenetic. It wasn’t danceable. Where were the hooks? Where was the salsa?

    But I hung in there. I listened some more, and at some point I realized that I had stumbled into an amazing mix of North American jazz and latin percussion that was almost beyond comprehension. I ate it up.

    ***

    Reading the liner notes, Mr. Palmieri explained how on Palmas he sought to fuse the rhythmic elements and melodic components in perfect, structured, improvisational harmony. “One can’t be subordinate to the other. That’s the balance that must be explored.”

    He talked about how the rhythms he used were forged by the descendants of African slaves in the Caribbean over hundreds of years, and that their creations have been scientifically proven, in effect, through experience, to connect people to something sublime. Which is why he knows his music so powerful.

    “I don’t guess that it will excite you,” he says. “I know that it will.”

    ***

    He’s right.

    It probably sounds corny, but somehow Eddie Palmieri changed my understanding of music, and Palmas changed my life. It connected me to something that completes me. Makes me more ME.

    That does sound corny.

    Since then, I’ve tried to share this joy with friends, to explain it, to point them toward it — probably with limited success. We’ve joked about how the humble, little cowbell in one of his songs is like the driving, unifying force that holds the cosmos together. How the cowbell embodies the all-encompassing string theory for music. How it just rocks.

    Little did we know we were on to something. Only a few years later, Christopher Walken, playing a high-powered record producer, famously explained to Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live that he had a fever. And the prescription? More cowbell.

    Walken was talking about rock, not latin jazz, but it doesn’t matter. You get the idea.

    I guess I’ve got the fever.

    Thank you, Eddie!

  21. Kelsey McCune

    Music. Sometimes in the background lilting and subtle, coaxing conversation, helping me melt into the bath tub, or turn soil in my garden. Other times the all encompassing only thing that matters, driving rhythms dancing through my veins—moving my body, my mind. Solace, inspiration, motivation, even distraction…but always a constant.

    Music as a time and a place, people and conversations.

    I found an old Police cassette tape in my truck the other day. The heat and passing years had stretched Sting’s voice out into a mad warbling, but still I was whisked immediately back to the road trip through Arizona when I bought that tape, my first time driving in the snow, a lover of nearly a decade ago by my side, his hand on my thigh reassuring, and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” in time with the wipers.
    Cat Stevens “Wild World” when that same lover and I parted ways.
    Ravi Shankar and I’m a child breathing in the scent of my father’s pungent pipe tobacco, hearing the pages of his book turn, a clearing of the throat and sitar as I drift off to sleep.
    Right now I’m listening to Philip Glass and Kronos Quartet as I often do when I write.

    So much music in the world. More than any one of us will ever be able to discover. So many moments defined, made prismatic and eternal. How to choose just one?

    I have to go with my first thought when I read your blog.

    Dr. Nina Simone. “The High Priestess of Soul!”

    Her voice commands and leads me through a breadth of emotion that is unparalleled. From joyous to outraged, melancholy, contemplative, giddy laughter, tears. There are times when her lyrics can simply fall away; she could be singing about asparagus, but her voice and piano will lift you or crush you at will. That said, her lyrics are often of the utmost importance. Sometimes, as with “Mississippi Goddam” she juxtaposes her lyrics and music against one another to end up highlighting the poignancy of her position.

    She was immensely talented, spectacularly versatile and hugely politically important, but to bring this back to my idea of crystallized moments in life I have to look specifically at “Lilac Wine.”
    http://www.last.fm/music/Nina+Simone/_/Lilac+Wine
    This is not an original song, but as far as I’m concerned, she owns it. Her voice is to my ears, dank and syrupy the way I imagine Lilac wine would be to my tongue.

    And when I hear this song I am with Nancy and Mary Anne—my cheeks are cool from drying tears and as the song says, “I drink much more than I ought to drink, because it brings me back you…” We are not drinking Lilac wine, far from it. Nancy drinks icy light beer, barely tinted yellow if she were to pour it into a glass, Mary Anne drinks bottles of cheap red wine that purple her lips, and I have my bourbon and soda (more or less soda depending, as the night progresses.) And the you we bring back is my mom, Nancy’s sister, Mary Anne’s friend.

    This song and Nina Simone’s grounding voice provide an opening to touch on things that are hard to access on our own. No matter what the conversation is before “Lilac Wine” comes on—afterward we always turn to remembrances and are always better for it.

    And when I’m away from Nancy and Mary Anne, Nina Simone brings them back to me too.

    So powerful this thing, this constant. Music.

    Thank you Dr. Nina Simone, and thank you John for the inspiration.

  22. Tebeau

    This via email from John “The Beard” Campione:

    Why I Dig Eddie Harris

    Eddie Harris has always been my favorite jazz musician. If William Shakespeare’s poetry could be transmuted into musical notes it would become the musical stylings of Eddie Harris. Shakespeare’s “music of the spheres” is EH’s legacy. It is all harmony and alignment. Not only did he develop and popularize the amplified sax, my favorite jazz instrument, his music helped bring naive young white folk into the exciting and inspirational world of jazz. I became a fan the moment I heard “Compared to What” with Les McCann played for me by my college buddy affectionately nicknamed Moonman at his record store Full Moon Records back in 1969. The reason I dig EH the most, however, is not just the way he makes love to his beloved sax and puts music out into the universe. It is mostly due to one memorable night in 1971. My wife (then girlfriend) and I had the rare opportunity to see Eddie and Les play at a now defunct jazz club just off Michigan State University’s campus called “The Stables.” As if the opportunity to see them live was not awesome enough, after the first set, Eddie walked by our table on his way to the dressing room, wiping off his chops with a silk handkerchief, made full eye contact with my wife and then turned to me with that devilish smile of his and a twinkle in his eye, nodded and said, “foxy lady, my man….” Now what can you ever “compare to that!”

  23. Pingback: Setting Up for Tonight’s Show « John Tebeau

  24. jtebeau

    In a WAY, you’re ALL winners.

    In another, MORE ACCURATE way….

    Well, I’ll announce it tonight at Verlaine.

  25. Pingback: Favorite Musician Contest Winner « John Tebeau

  26. jtebeau

    To all who responded to this contest, thank you. In the end, it was hard to narrow it down to five, let alone one. So I picked two: Mark Brush (he of the David Byrne camp) and Kelsey McCune, who chose Dr. Nina Simone.

    Mark and Kelsey, I’ll start those portraits next week, and will post the finished products on this blog before I mail them out to you.

  27. cat

    yeah Mark and Kelsey! I am excited to have Dr. Simone hanging near the Jerrys!! Hope your Show is attracting the financially sound!!! Love you! Cathy

  28. Anonymous

    No way! Dude – that’s awesome! Thank you! Two of my favorite people coming together on the canvas!! Hope the show was rockin’!

  29. Pingback: Portrait of a Magic Man: David Byrne « John Tebeau

  30. And do not forget about the Doors it would be great to see where they would have went if Jim had lost some weight, dropped the drugs and kept making music…but I guess the music may not be what it is if not for the drugs, some of those words are out there.

  31. I really like looking through a post that can make men and women think.

    Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

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