The Art of Jazz

These are the most interesting jazz images i’ve seen! The exhibition in Quai Branly museum in Paris was amazingly rich with visual complements to my favorite genre of music. Catch it if you can but if you don’t, here’s my report:

Birth of the cool Miles Davis 1949 michele roohani

Miles Davis remains one of my favorites—the following are mostly LP covers from the mid 20th century:

Bud Freeman,

Bud Freeman michele roohani

To go through all of my images and get inspired to prepare them for this post, I’ve been  listening to Mingus’ “better get it in your soul”.

Just look at this super cool Count Basie cover by Andy Warhol:

Count Basie michele roohani

Benny Carter plays pretty:

benny carter michele roohani

Sidney Bechet in Paris in 1952:

Sidney Bechet paris 1952 michele roohani

Dizzy Gillespie’s sextet,

Dizzy Gillespie michele roohani

Daddy plays the horn,

daddy plays the horn michele roohani

The beautiful music of Charlie (the Bird) Parker,

Charlie Parker michele roohani Bird

I like these very 50’s percussion disc covers,

persuasive percussion michele roohani

I am listening to Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane’s “Nutty”,

Thelonious Monk San francisco michele roohani

Now some posters from the 1920’s forward—Cary Hauser’s Jonny Mene La Danse from 1928:

Jonny Mene 1928 michele roohani

Look at the musicians here:

victoria attraction poster michele roohani

Grand Bal de Nuit,

Grand Bal de Nuit poster michele roohani

Jan Mara’s Mezze Mezzrow is soooo not “Kenny (my middle name is boring) G”!

Jan Mara Mezz Mezzrow michele roohani

A relatively more recent poster from the Lincoln Center:

jazz Lincoln center poster michele roohani

Now some paintings—Harlem Jazz by Winold Reiss, 1925:

harlem Jazz Winold Reiss 1925 michele roohani

The Lindy Hop by Miguel Covarrubias, 1936:

the Lindy hop Miguel Covarrubias 1936 michele roohani

James WeeksTwo Musicians;

two musicians james weeks 1960 michele roohani

Nicolas de Stael‘s Musicians:

musicians Nicolas de Stael michele roohani

Blues by Archibald J. Motley Jr, 1929

Blues Archibald J. Motley Jr 1929 michele roohani

Bernard Buffet‘s light drawings:

Buffet jazz drawings michele roohani

This Coltrane image is haunting:

sound of Coltrane michele roohani

and a very politically incorrect piece here called “cake-walk”—can’t imagine an American museum showing this:

le cake walk michele roohani

Last but not least was this fabulous Fred Astair’s homage to Mr Bojangles on a huge screen that I manipulated of course!

fred astair shadow  Bojangles michele roohani

to see him dance watch this absolutely great clip here.

century of jazz quai branly michele roohani

It was very hard to take these pictures (some were on very fast slide shows!) and to clean and edit them later but it was a labor of love; I’ve been wanting to do a post about Jazz for the longest time but where to start? Where to end? Who to cover? This was the shortest way I could record my visit to the Land of Jazz. Thank you Daniel Soutif!

jazz exhitbition quai branly ticket michele roohani

Voilà! Now you know…I have not even started talking about some of my other favorites: Louis Armstrong, Bill Evans, Fats Waller, Keith Jarrett, Ahmad Jamal, Lionel Hampton, etc…

To see some cool clips from the coolest of them all, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, go here

for a taste of the great Monk, go here

to hear the Bird,  click here

to see the genius of Fred Astaire here.

9 thoughts on “The Art of Jazz

  1. This looks a great exhibition – thanks for all the trouble you took to bring it to us.

    Did you happen to notice if there was an exhibition catalogue?

    Best wishes.

    An old jazzer.

  2. That Count Basie ink drawing album cover is by Andy Warhol.
    Lots of good art and good artists on all these covers!
    Thanks for your thoughts and ruminations!

  3. Work of Art .. !! Surreal

    “Music washes away the dust of every day life.” Art Blakey

    “Men have died for this music. You can’t get more serious than that.” Dizzy Gillespie

  4. Great images Michele . Thanks for sharing . I love the print art of the sixties . I have the music of some of them on my i-pod . You are a fabulous blogger and I love your topics and the material in your posted stuff . Keep on keeping on ….

  5. I find jazz to be man kind’s reflection of humanity. What the artist feels and is willing to express based on finding their inspiration……Symptoms of past, present and future.
    Miles shared the best he had with the audience, as well as he did with other artists, and so have the other greats, past and present.
    Your selection of record covers took me to an era when Paris was the magnet for not only Jazz musicians, but also a good number of prodigies such as Stravinsky, Debussy, T.S. Eliot and Piccaso to name a few.
    I enjoyed your labor of love, between listening to Wayne Shorter’s “Children of the night solo” (who is still alive, whom after Coltrane decides to leave Miles, proposes Wayne, and later Miles persuades him to play in his quintet along a young Herbie Hancock!), and Brad Mehldau’s “Exit music” among the new generation of my long time favorites;

  6. I am now planning on going to Paris for the sake of visiting the expo. perhaps could I loan them a couple of my LP collectibles. It is amazing to notice the amount of creativity which surrounded the world of Jazz, mostly in the late 50s and 60s. The photographers were all extremely renowned, as well as the LP covers painters and graphists. I have 4 original photos of William Claxton which are truly beautiful. Claxton is a genius. look him up. listen to Clicking with Clax with the Marty Paich Big Band,,,(maybe hard to find at WalMart 🙂 ) a star BB of the West Coast era….

  7. Dordaneh jan, what a collection , “all that Jazz”. I enjoyed it so much. made me forget about my back pain and stayed in the chair by the computer for at least one hour to review some of your posts again and again. Thank you for sharing all these beauties with us.

  8. Dear Michele!
    I love these album covers! Could you please tell me, what album is that orange one next to the Miles Davis album? I’m searching for saxophon pictures in that mid-century style, because I’d love to get a tattoo of this kind. (I’m a young female Jazz saxophonist).
    I would be glad, if you could tell me, what’s the name of this cover!
    Yours sincerely

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