MILES BY BICYCLE now on INPRNT. I was very proud of this drawing, originally for a friend undergoing surgery as a get-well present. And then I colored it up and monetized it into a print, and now I’m doing it again via Inprnt—so a snazzier, giclee-ier print. Get in there, jazz lovers and bike lovers; get in there and battle for supremacy.
JIM GUTHRIE's new album Takes Time premieres today, and it's fantastic. You can order it (and/or stream it free) on Bandcamp (which presumably nets him more moola) and iTunes. I was able to get an advance copy and have worn electronic grooves in the mp3’s for the last few months: it’s really something. I discovered Jim’s music through the incredible Sworcery soundtrack, and then immediately started working back through his catalog. Now More Than Ever is an especial favorite, and his last solo studio album, nearly ten years old. I can’t recommend Jim as a person or as an artist highly enough—his music has become a really really important part of my life, and I’m the better for it.
The above comic is from a future series of diary comics, which I thought I’d have done by now, but no. But I couldn’t help sticking it out there to celebrate Jim’s new album, and hopefully drum up some new fans for him. Pass it along!
I’ve spent all day inking 18 different drawings for a big history map illustration for a magazine, including this James Brown, who recorded Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag in Charlotte (where I live) in 1967.
MAYNARD FERGUSON, TRUMPETEST. One of the twenty dollar sketches I do; you can buy one here, and see all the ones to date here. Subject suggestion: “Maynard Ferguson”. This one was tough because I wasn’t familiar with Ferguson, a Canadian trumpeter and band leader. And then after familiarizing myself, it wasn’t my cup of tea really—to be honest, I just don’t like trumpet very much, especially in the wild upper registers that big band trumpeters like to squeak into. I struggled with what to draw until I decided to just get rid of the part I didn’t like. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how ideas work.
togetherinthisdream asked: Your jazz illustrations are to die for! I abso-fucking-lutely love them, and I love that you're doing them. Really glad someone is doing jazz that beautiful service, I think you've inspired me to, as well. :)<3
Thank you very much! Although I wouldn’t think of it as doing jazz a “service” so much. Especially since I’m selling prints :$
Speaking of jazz, here are five amazing jazz albums, whether you’re new to jazz or old to jazz:
1) John Coltrane, A Love Supreme. This is the daddy; there’s a reason you’ve heard about it a million times. Listen to it on headphones, late at night, while driving. If I had to answer the question “why is humanity here,” I couldn’t, but “John Coltrane” comes close.
2) Charles Mingus, Blues And Roots. Charles Mingus is second only to Duke Ellington in terms of composition, but he adds a wild energy to things that Duke never had.
3) Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. This was the first jazz album I ever owned. I’m not the biggest Miles Davis fan in the world, and this is one of the most overplayed pieces of music in the world if you hang out in bookstores, but good lord it still delivers. How can I not be tired of this yet? But I’m not.
4) John Handy, Live At The Monterrey Jazz Festival. This is another head-exploder. It starts quiet, ear-strainingly quiet, then builds to this enormous crescendo at the end. I can’t even imagine seeing this live. This has been one of my most treasured musical touchstones since I first heard it almost 20 years ago.
5) I can’t decide on a fifth one. Really it should be Miles Davis/Gil Evan’s Sketches of Spain, but I want to include something by Ellington. But there’s not really a definitive Duke Ellington album—he made big band music in an age before things were composed as albums, and by the time he was in that mode, his stuff was either less accessible or just rerecordings of older stuff. But of those later pieces, his collaboration with Charles Mingus and Max Roach, Money Jungle, is a favorite, as well as his collaboration with John Coltrane.
Side note: I like getting questions in my little Ask box, although I usually answer them privately. But for when I answer one publicly like this, I’d prefer there not be any swearing in there. Not that I don’t swear myself, I just don’t like to do it broadband like that. I like to pretend I am a gentleman.
MILES BY BICYCLE (alternate version) — a friendly reminder of my new print, in this case the alternate version, printed in a color/black-and-white scheme, essentially the lineart printed over a scanned textured background, rich black on cream and white. Posh! I’m about to go inspect the proofs of these at the printer, and then orders should start going out over the weekend. All of this is potentially a part of my holiday sale, where orders of $50 or more can get 35% off with discount code DHARBMAS in my store.
MILES BY BICYCLE.
A new print, available in my store, printed in an indigo digital process at 11” x 14”, as well as a creamy black version, which you can see closer here. And because my holiday sale is still going, all of these qualify for the sale terms, which are any order $50 or more gets 35% off with discount code DHARBMAS. Happy shopping, beatniks!
I HEAR DYLAN CRASHED HIS MOTORCYCLE. What really happened with that whole thing? I have my theories. One of the twenty dollar sketches I do; you can buy one here, and see all the ones to date here. Subject suggestion: “Bob Dylan.”
My love/disdain of Charles Bukowski is pretty fluid, but this album’s place in my heart is permanent. Listen to the whole thing and watch how he slides into slurring, surly drunkeness by the end, which seems very much built into the progression of poems, most of which are just funny, and a couple of which are brilliant.
10 Great Books from 2013
1. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller, by Joe Lambert. This was published last year but I read it for...