December 5, 2012

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.

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