Mosaik med musikere

Mosaik med musikere


Ukendte musikere fra et vandrende løb

En bemærkelsesværdig koncert genindfører tre jødiske komponister, der flygtede fra det fascistiske Europa til Amerika, hvor to af dem var banebrydende i en ny kunstform - den symfoniske filmmusik.


ARC Ensemble, der optrådte i Pro Musica Hebraica ’s “Before The Night: Jewish Classical Masterpieces of Pre-1933 Europe ” i Kennedy Center i maj 2015. ARC Ensemble via Facebook.

Edward Rothstein er Critic at Large at the Wall Street Journal. Hans essays i Mosaik omfatte "Problemet med jødiske museer" og "Jerusalems syndrom ved vejret".

I sine programnoter til Pro Musica Hebraica-koncerten i Kennedy Center i Washington tidligere på måneden påpeger historikeren James Loeffler, at i 1927-lige før den periode, hvor musikken på programmet blev skrevet-en russisk-født musiker af navnet på Gdal Saleski udgav et "klassisk, biografisk leksikon" under titlen Berømte musikere fra et vandrende løb.

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Velkommen til Mosaik

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Velkommen til Mosaik

Opret en gratis konto for at fortsætte med at læse, og du får to måneders ubegrænset adgang til det bedste inden for jødisk tanke, kultur og politik


Den komplette Atlantic Studio -indspilning af den moderne jazzkvartet (Mosaic 249)

I 1946 spillede Dizzy Gillespies storband brændende bop -klassikere som "Things to Come", "Our Delight", "Emanon" og "One Bass Hit" på deres natlige koncerter. Det tog ikke lang tid, før Gillespie indså, at hans trompetister havde brug for mere end de sædvanlige 15 minutters pauser for at komme sig, så han bad sin stjernesolist og sin rytmesektion om at spille korte pausesæt for at forlænge hornspillerens tid fra standen. Kvartetten - Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Ray Brown og Kenny Clarke - blev populær alene og skabte deres eget repertoire til deres natlige steder. I 1951, da de optog deres eneste session med det originale personale, blev de faktureret under Jacksons navn, men i slutningen af ​​det næste år - med Percy Heath som erstatning for den allerede overbookede Brown - var de en kooperativ enhed kaldet Modern Jazz Quartet. Clarke forlod gruppen i 1955, erstattet af den bemærkelsesværdige perkussionist Connie Kay, og med den ændring forblev MJQ -personalet intakt indtil Kays død i 1994. Et par måneder efter, at Kay sluttede sig til gruppen, ændrede MJQ pladeselskaber fra Prestige til Atlantic, og under vejledning af Atlantics medstifter Nesuhi Ertegun lavede MJQ nogle af deres fineste optagelser. Mosaics 7-CD bokssæt, "The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings" samler 14 album fra MJQs første ni år med etiketten, som uden tvivl var gruppens mest indflydelsesrige periode.

Mosaic -sættet indeholder et forbløffende udvalg af musik og repertoire. Der er MJQs berømte eksperimenter med Third Stream -musik, Lewis 'første (og muligvis bedste) filmpartitur, samarbejde med Jimmy Giuffre, Sonny Rollins og Laurindo Almeida, udforskninger af musik af George Gershwin, Ornette Coleman og Gary McFarland, to udvidede Lewis -kompositioner baseret på Commedia dell'arte og endegyldige versioner af MJQ -klassikere som “Django”, “Vendome”, “The Golden Striker” og “Bags 'Groove”. Mange lyttere kan dog blive overraskede over at se, at sættet kun indeholder en enkelt Bach -fuga og kun to album med musik helt og holdent komponeret af Lewis. Der er en overflod af standarder på sættet, og de smukt udformede arrangementer får disse stykker til at skille sig ud fra resten af ​​markeringerne. Mens jeg beundrer Lewis '11-minutters suite "Fontessa", er mit yndlingsnummer på det album "Over the Rainbow", der i det meste af sin længde er en øm og diskret duet af Lewis og Jackson. Det andet album indspillet på Music Inn har en vidunderlig kanonisk behandling af "Yardbird Suite", og "Porgy and Bess" -albummet har en stærkt følelsesmæssig indstilling af "My Man's Gone Now" og kæbefaldende temposkift på "It Ain't Nødvendigt Så ”. På LP'erne "Sheriffen" og "Collaboration" undersøger MJQ brasiliansk musik. Selvom ingen nogensinde ville tage fejl af MJQ's gengivelser for autentiske sambas, gør Kay et troværdigt stykke arbejde med at spille subtile variationer på clave-beatet, og på det andet album finder de et tæt medium mellem deres bluesmættede swing-riller og Almeidas ret ufleksible rytmiske opfattelse .

Den samme rytmiske inkompatibilitet plager den tredje strøm fungerer. Gunther Schüllers originale teori var, at Third Stream -musik, der ville kombinere elementer fra klassisk og jazz. Desværre virkede datidens orkestre ude af stand til at udføre jazzrytmer, og det forhindrede komponister og artister i Third Stream i at skabe en ægte musikalsk fusion. I stedet var der endeløse kompositioner, der stod i kontrast til klassisk musiks ottennote-puls med de frisvingende lyde fra jazzrytmen. For at være retfærdig er det tvivlsomt, at et orkester på 100 jazzmusikere kunne skabe overbevisende swing, endsige klassisk uddannede musikere, og stykker som André Hodeirs “Around the Blues”, Werner Heiders “Divertimento” (både på “MJQ og Orchestra”) og Lewis '"Sketch" (fra "Third Stream Music") gør, hvad de kan for at bygge bro over det uundgåelige rytmiske hul. Schullers stykker, "Samtale" og "Concertino for jazzkvartet" fungerer bedre i denne henseende ved ikke at understrege de rytmiske forskelle. Ved gentagelse af Lewis '"Exposure" er jeg enig i Martin Williams' oprindelige vurdering af, at hovedtemaet var svagt i det lys, det er næppe overraskende, at Lewis mest elskede arbejde for MJQ og orkester var "Englands Carol", et stykke baseret ikke på et originalt tema, men julesangen, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". Af alle Third Stream -eksperimenterne holder samarbejdet med Giuffre det bedste, både i hans optrædener som solist med MJQ ("Fun" og "A Fugue for Music Inn" fra den første Music Inn LP) og med de kombinerede kræfter af Jimmy Giuffre 3 og MJQ ("Da Capo" og "Fine" fra "Third Stream Music"). På disse stykker skifter musikerne let mellem lige tid og swing, og musikken har en lettere vej til at nærme sig Schullers originale model.

De bedste øjeblikke i denne 9-timers kollektion opstår, når MJQ starter i en dybt svingende jazz-groove. Heldigvis er disse øjeblikke hyppige, og de er ikke begrænset til, når gruppen spiller standarder eller jazzoriginaler. Lewis 'albumlængde-suite "The Comedy" blev i sin tid kritiseret på grund af forbindelsen til Commedia del'arte, men det er svært at forene disse tanker, når man lytter til albummets mange passager med levende swing og de strålende soloer af Jackson og Lewis . De afsluttende minutter af Schuller "Concertino" tilbyder et spændende eksempel på MJQ i fuld gang, ligesom den funklende version af "The Golden Striker" fra "One Never Knows". Og mens Jackson tilsyneladende hadede praksis, lød vibraharpisten aldrig mere inspireret, end da Lewis akkompagnerede ham med kontrapunktiske linjer og riffmønstre i stedet for ortodoks komposition (Jackson var heller ikke den eneste modtager af Lewis 'akkompagnement - lyt til Sonny Rollins fascinerende solo på “Bags 'Groove” på det andet Music Inn-album, hvor Rollins og Lewis spiller et udførligt spil kat-og-mus med Jacksons tema).

Mosaics præsentation af dette materiale lever op til deres sædvanlige høje standarder. Ingeniør Ron McMaster har finjusteret lyden fra de originale masterbånd, hvilket får dem til at lyde bedre end nogensinde før. Mens alle albumene oprindeligt blev udgivet i mono- og stereoudgaver, brugte Mosaic monomasterne til de to første album i sættet, "Fontessa" og "Music Inn, bind 1". Visdommen i dette valg bliver klar, når man lytter til stereotyperne af "Bluesology", "Woody'n You" og "Sun Dance": det er svært at tro, at disse mudrede, udefinerede optagelser kom fra de samme sessioner som deres klare levende mono modparter (De fleste af de alternative og afviste optagelser fra MJQ -sessionerne gik tabt i en lagerbrand i slutningen af ​​1970'erne. De seks suppleanter i Mosaic -sættet repræsenterer tilfælde, hvor mono- og stereoversionerne af LP'erne havde forskellige optagelser). Doug Ramseys noter er blæsende og informative, men lyttere, der ønsker mere detaljerede diskussioner om musikken, vil måske finde eller beholde kopier af de originale Atlantic liner noter.

Selvom det nuværende sæt er en fantastisk samling af klassiske MJQ -optagelser, fortæller det kun en del af historien. Modern Jazz Quartet var fantastisk, da de optrådte live, og jeg tror, ​​at nogen - helst Mosaic - skulle producere en ledsagerboks med MJQs bedste live -optagelser. Det er måske bedst at et sådant sæt går ud over de atlantiske optagelser, så det inkluderer gruppens Newport Jazz Festival -sæt (især 1956 -sættet), 1957 -forestillingerne i Chicago Opera House og Donaueschingen Music Festival (begge i øjeblikket ejet af Universal), plus atlantiske livealbum, "European Concert" (i øjeblikket kun tilgængelig på cd med omvendte stereokanaler og minus Lewis 'talte introduktioner), "Dedikeret til Connie", "Blues at Carnegie Hall" og "Live at the Lighthouse" . Vi hører muligvis aldrig en anden gruppe, der fanger MJQ's unikke balance mellem suverænt udførte ensemblepassager og medrivende soloer. Hvis optagelserne giver vores eneste levedygtige forbindelse til disse mestre, skal de være tilgængelige i mange år fremover.


“THE COMPLETE LOUIS ARMSTRONG COLUMBIA & RCA VICTOR STUDIO SESSIONS, 1946-1966” (Mosaic 270)

Meget forventet og stærkt forsinket er Mosaics nye samling "The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & amp RCA Victor Studio Sessions, 1946-1966" endelig kommet, og viser tre bemærkelsesværdige album, "Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy ”,“ Satch Plays Fats ”[Waller] og“ The Real Ambassadors ”sammen med singler og samarbejder. Musikken er tematisk fordelt på de 7 diske, hvor singler og samarbejder vises på diske 1 og 2, "Handy" fordelt på diske 3 og 4, hvor "Fats" og "Ambassadors" deler diske 5-7. Det medfølgende hæfte er massivt, og meget af dets 44 sider rummer Ricky Riccardis udtømmende essay på 30.000 ord og en imponerende detaljeret diskografi, som begge guider os gennem oprettelsen og redigeringen af ​​hver forestilling (sidstnævnte funktion er især nyttig til de sessioner, der oprindeligt blev produceret af George Avakian, som vil blive diskuteret fuldstændigt nedenfor).

Allerede fra begyndelsen af ​​disk 1 er det let tydeligt, at Armstrong er i topform, både som trompetist og sanger, og at lydkvaliteten af ​​sættet overstiger Mosaics sædvanlige høje standarder. Åbningssessionen er Esquire All-Star Band fra 1946. Duke Ellington introducerer verbalt “Long Long Journey” og derefter overtager Armstrong med smukke instrumental- og vokallinjer. Der er ingen hørbar overfladestøj eller forvrængning for at flytte vores opmærksomhed fra musikken - og det forbliver sandt i det meste af sættet. Armstrongs storband vises på den følgende session, og selvom arrangementerne virker lidt for moderne for Armstrong, fremfører både lederen og bandet hitlisterne med betydelig entusiasme. RCA ledte tydeligvis efter hitplader med Armstrong, men de leverede ikke inspirerende sange for ham at indspille. Det, der inspirerede Armstrong, var at lege med en lille gruppe. Efter at han blev underskrevet for at spille en hovedrolle i filmen "New Orleans", samlede Armstrong bandet, der ville dele skærmen med ham til en session for Charles Delaunays Swing -label. Delaunay var ikke i stand til at deltage i sessionen personligt, og han tog den uheldige beslutning at bede Leonard Feather om at føre tilsyn. Feather, en født medler, erstattede to medlemmer af bandet og begrænsede tilsyneladende gruppens improviseret kontrapunkt. Feather bragte også to af sine egne kompositioner til datoen og erstattede Charlie Beal ved klaveret for disse numre (Feather hævdede, at Zutty Singleton opmuntrede ham til at sidde i). Delaunay var rasende over Feather's upassende handlinger, og det var næsten 40 år, før de to kritikere reparerede hegn. På den efterfølgende session - med især Feather fraværende - indspillede Armstrong fire sange fra partituret til "New Orleans", to med sit bigband og de to andre med den rekonstituerede kombination fra filmen. Der var tid til, at den lille gruppe spillede endnu en melodi, så Armstrong kaldte "Mahogany Hall Stomp", hvilket bestemt var et højdepunkt i sessionen. Efter endnu en session med storbandet springer vi videre tre måneder til juni 1947, hvor Armstrong ledede den første udgave af hans All-Stars, den lille kombo, han ville front for resten af ​​sit liv. Heldigvis er Jack Teagarden til stede på denne session, og de to soulmates samarbejder om en dynamisk "Jack-Armstrong Blues" og en god-hvis man skynder sig-forestilling af "Rockin 'Chair". Et reduceret bigband-arrangement ledsager Armstrongs debutindspilning af "Someday You're Be Sorry", og disken slutter med endnu et kedeligt Feather-opus, "Fifty-Fifty Blues."

Disk 2 starter godt nok med endnu en All-Stars-date til Victor, med yderligere to udsøgte Armstrong/Teagarden-duetter om "A Song Was Born" og "Please Stop Playing These Blues, Boy". Energiniveauet falder betydeligt på sessionens to resterende numre, "Before Long" (komponeret af All-Stars 'trommeslager, Sid Catlett) og "Lovely Weather We Have" (skrevet af pianisten Joe Bushkin). Vi springer derefter videre til 1954, og den sidste session for Columbia's W.C. Praktisk album. Nummeret var Trummy Youngs indslag i "'Tain't What You Do", som Armstrong og Avakian kalder en "audition". Et andet fremadspring tager til 1955 og en særlig enkelt session for Columbia, som gav endnu en "Back O'Town" og tre forskellige versioner af "Mack the Knife" (Vi vender tilbage til disse sange et øjeblik). De næste tre emner er flygtige, men mærkeligt oplysende. En enkelt session fra 1956 for RCA indeholder to helt glemmelige sange fra et fjernsynsspil. "Music to Shave By" fra 1959 featured Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney og Hi-Lo's hawking en elektronisk barbermaskine. Den blev udstedt som en fleksibel plade inde i bladet Look, og den skal høres for at blive troet. Dernæst kommer en uinspireret Columbia -single fra 1966 fra "Canal Street Blues" og "Cabaret". Hvis trætheden hos Armstrong og hans band ikke umiddelbart er tydelig, skal du bare vente, indtil nummeret ændrer sig efter afslutningen af ​​"Cabaret", når vi spring 12 år tilbage for at fange den alternative optagelse af Trumys "'Tain't What You Do". I starten af ​​nummeret spiller Armstrong et par toner på sin trompet bare for at holde hornet og læberne varme. I og for sig er det ikke noget særligt, men denne uskyldige noodling har mere passion end noget på datoen fra 1966. Efter en lidt godmodig sløjfe mellem Armstrong, Young og Avakian lancerer de en optagelse, der er næsten mere energisk end "mesteren". Resten af ​​disk 2 er et fascinerende kig på All-Stars på arbejde i studiet. Det er "Back O 'Town"/"Mack the Knife" -sessionen, og efter en 6-minutters repetition på bluesen vender bandet sig til Kurt Weill-temaet. Konfronteret med et arrangement fyldt med bizarre moduleringer, parerer gruppen sig ned på diagrammet. Mosaic indeholder omkring 20 minutters øvingsoptagelser og skiftevis, så vi kan høre, hvordan den sidste All-Stars-version blev samlet. Weills enke, Lotte Lenya, der dengang spillede Polly Peachum i en Broadway -produktion af "The Three Penny Opera", kom til studiet på Avakians invitation. Duetten af ​​Lenya og Armstrong kom ikke alt for godt på grund af Lenyas bankende vibrato og mangel på sving. Armstrong coachede Lenya forsigtigt, og til sidst fastslog hun et besværligt sted i arrangementet. Duet -optagelsen forblev imidlertid i hvælving indtil CD -æraen. Efter alt det arbejde (og All-Stars kun to dage væk fra en månedslang europaturné) bad Avakian om en instrumental version af "Mack", bare hvis radiostationer stod for de voldelige tekster (Det skal huskes, at Armstrongs version var den første amerikanske popoptagelse af sangen med engelske tekster). Instrumentet - med endnu mindre energi end 1966 -kabaretsessionen - forblev uudgivet indtil 1982.

Ligesom en filmredaktør skabte George Avakian mestertages ved frit at samle dele af alle tilgængelige optagelser. Riccardi bemærker, at der var så mange splices i Armstrongs vokalkor på "Mack the Knife", at det samlede Mosaic -mandskab ikke kunne tælle dem alle! Tilsyneladende var All-Stars optagelse tilgængelig intakt i digital form, så Mosaic simpelthen kunne kopiere det eksisterende snit frem for at genskabe det fra bunden. Men i tilfælde af de avakisk producerede album "Louis Armstrong spiller W.C. Handy ”og” Satch Plays Fats ”, den uegnede tilstand af masterbåndene gjorde en total rekonstruktion af Avakians redigeringer til en absolut nødvendighed. Tilføjelse til det generelle puslespil var 1980'ernes genudgivelser af disse album, produceret af Michael Brooks. Fordi masterbåndene manglede på det tidspunkt, blev Brooks tvunget til at oprette nye versioner af disse optagelser ved hjælp af alternative optagelser. Produktionsteamet til Riccardi, Scott Wenzel, David Ostwald og Richie Noorigan gennemgik sammen med ingeniørerne Matt Cavaluzzo og Andreas Meyer, assisteret af restaurerings-/mastering ingeniører Noelle Byer, Nancy Conforti og Jenn Nulsen disse optagelser med omhyggelig omhu, med succes lokalisering og genskabe alle Avakians redigeringer gennem en kombination af studiehjul og kommercielle diske. Splejserne er stort set uhørlige, hvilket får musikken til at flyde lige som Avakian havde til hensigt. De fleste af Brooks -versionerne er også inkluderet her, men normalt som komplette alternative opgaver frem for de redigerede versioner. Riccardi havde Avakians originale sessionnoter at arbejde ud fra, med tilladelse fra jazzhistoriker Chris Albertson, men i en sørgelig ironi døde Avakian, Albertson og Brooks alle, mens dette sæt var i planlægning og produktion. Riccardi forklarer redigeringspuslespillerne i hæftet notater, men det er meget sjovere at se hans videoer her, her og her. (En af videoerne fortæller også om den håndfuld tidligere udstedte genstande, der ikke er inkluderet i Mosaic-sættet. Det bedste forslag er at dobbelttjekke Mosaic mod de tidligere diske og beslutte, om du har brug for de rester, der er tilbage.)

På tidspunktet for Armstrongs optagelser af "A Song Was Born" fra 1947 og "Please Stop Playing These Blues, Boy", besluttede både Armstrong og hans manager Joe Glaser at få trompetisten til at skifte etiketter igen. Decca havde været et godt hjem for Armstrong, og derfor-efter indspilningsforbuddet i 1948-underskrev han en femårig kontrakt med dem. Da kontrakten løb ud i 1954, var Avakian ivrig efter at have sit yndlingsjazzikon på Columbia-oversigten, så han kastede en dobbeltløbet strategi mod Armstrong og Glaser: royalties betalt på de klassiske Armstrong-optagelser, som Avakian genudgav på Columbia, og en storslået idé til et konceptalbum: “Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Praktisk". Den ekstra indkomst appellerede til Glaser, og Armstrong sprang på chancen for at lave det Handy -album og tilbød at skabe og øve arrangementer, mens han var på turné. Albummet var en gylden mulighed for at fejre Handy, der var blind og havde dårligt helbred. Armstrong var let den mest berømte musiker inden for jazz, og den eneste person, der kunne få de indre kvaliteter frem i Handys musik. Armstrong og Avakian virkede begge ret sikre på, at Handy-albummet kunne føre til en langsigtet Columbia-kontrakt.

De fleste af All-Stars fra 1954-Young, Barney Bigard, Billy Kyle, Arvell Shaw og Velma Middleton-havde været sammen med Armstrong i flere år. Sættelisterne forblev de samme i de fleste af Armstrongs live -optrædener, og for det meste spillede bandmedlemmerne faste soloer. Handy -repertoiret tilbød en velkommen frigivelse fra rutinen ved at tillade All-Stars til at spille musik, der på én gang var ny og velkendt. De kunne frit improvisere og prøve nye ideer. Kyle skitserede indstillinger for melodierne og glemte aldrig, at han lavede et album. Således tilføjede han bevidst variation til hitlisterne, forskellige nøgler, tempoer og tilgange, så den resulterende LP - inklusive 8 af 11 sange med ordet "blues" i titlen - ville bevare interessen i hele sin spilletid. For at øge bandets spænding til et højere niveau hyrede Armstrong en ny trommeslager til All-Stars, Chicago-veteranen Barrett Deems. Deems var langt fra subtil, men han kunne udløse et bands inspiration med et kraftigt tilbageslag eller et svingende bækkenmønster. Handy -optagelsen blev optaget i Windy City, hvilket gjorde det muligt for Deems at debutere på sin hjemmebane. Alle disse elementer kombinerede, da bandet genopdagede den fint udformede kemi mellem sine medlemmer og dets medfødte musikskab.

Da All-Stars var i studiet, lod Avakian musikerne udvikle og polere arrangementerne. Der var ingen panikfølelse, da han indså, at albumets åbningsspor, "St. Louis Blues, ”var næsten ni minutter lang - selvom et snit ville være nødvendigt for at frigive snittet på en 45 rpm EP. Arrangementet havde et organisk flow, og det byggede støt op gennem dets forlængede varighed. Efter den første optagelse begyndte Armstrong og Middleton at lede efter alternative tekster, da de var bange for, at de ord, de lige havde indspillet, kunne være stødende. En af disse strofer er virkelig besværlig - bestemt for moderne ører - men Avakian vinkede problemet ret hurtigt af. Da Avakian kom med forslag, kom de fra lytterens perspektiv, f.eks. At foreslå et længere ride-out-afsnit til et arrangement, tilføje et ad hoc-kor for at understrege titelsætningen "Long Gone" eller eliminere en stemme for at præcisere en vigtig tekst . Jeg er ikke sikker på, om hele bandet kendte til Avakians kreative redigeringsteknikker (bestemt Armstrong gjorde), men uanset hvad, producerede All-Stars nok musikguld i de 3 Handy-indspilningssessioner, så Avakian kunne sammensætte et mesterværk.

De enkelte højdepunkter i Handy LP er blevet noteret af mange: den majestætiske version af “St. Louis Blues ”med fremragende soloer af Bigard, Young, Middleton og Armstrong Youngs to hæsblæsende soloer på“ Long Gone ”Armstrongs sejrrige høje E-lejligheder i det sidste kor af“ Chantez Le Bas ”den sjælfulde ride-out på“ Yellow Dog Blues ” , den lette stemme fra Armstrong, Middleton og omkvædet på “Long Gone”, og Armstrongs forbløffende overdubbede trompet og vokale obbligatoer på “Atlanta Blues”. Mosaic-sættet tilføjer skatten med 100 minutter med alternative optagelser, opvarmninger, øvelser og studiechatter (Ca. 20 minutter af dette materiale blev udgivet på 1997-cd'en i Columbia af dette album stort set alle disse optagelser er på Mosaic, gem til Avakians interview med Handy). Riccardi peger på Avakians store redigeringer i sine noter, men det er stadig et chok, mens man lytter til den originale uredigerede optagelse, når musikken pludselig bevæger sig fra det velkendte til det nye! Mere lærerigt er de lange øvningssekvenser: arrangementerne samler sig foran vores ører, ideer foreslås og afprøves, beslutninger træffes og implementeres på stedet, fejl begås og rettes, og - som vi kan høre nu - var der noget fantastisk musik efterladt på skærerumsgulvet. For at være klar, inkluderede Mosaic ikke alle rester af uudgivet bånd fra disse sessioner, men jeg har tro nok på det musiske produktionsholds musikalske følelser til at tro, at vi hører alt det værdige materiale fra disse sessioner.

Opfølgningen på Handy-albummet, “Satch Plays Fats” havde potentiale til at matche eller toppe sin forgænger, men en række faktorer hindrede dens succes. Et nummer var repertoiret. Armstrong havde foreslået flere af Wallers store instrumentalstykker, herunder "Zonky", "Minor Træk "og" Stealin 'æbler ". Avakian skrev, at "vi besluttede at undlade at lave instrumenter og blev enige om, at de ville bryde den stemning, vi begge følte, at albummet skulle skabe." Det antages, at "vi" refererede til Avakian og Armstrong, men det lyder som en beslutning, der stammer fra over Avakians hoved (muligvis Mitch Miller?). Instrumentalerne brød næppe stemningen på Handy LP, og inklusive Waller -instrumenter kunne have mindet lytterne om, at Waller primært var en stor jazzpianist og komponist. Wallers vokalrekorder var strengt taget en kommerciel virksomhed, og tanken om at få Armstrongs Waller-hyldest til en alt-vokal affære lyder som et uforskammet trick for at presse så mange penge ud af projektet som muligt. Som det viste sig, var All-Stars udmattede, da de indspillede “Satch Plays Fats”, lige efter at have afsluttet en turné og skulle stå over for et andet engagement, som ville bryde rækken af ​​indspilningssessioner. All-Stars havde det samme personale som på Handy-albummet, men ændringer ville ske et par måneder efter "Satch Plays Fats". Problemet var Barney Bigard, hvis alkoholisme blev værre. Tilsyneladende gjorde alkohol ham mere en introvert, og i hele albummet kan vi høre, at Bigard stort set forsvinder inden for ensemblerne. På nogle af numrene holder rytmesektionen hørbart tilbage bag klarinetisten, og som solisten, der normalt fulgte Bigard, viste Young sin fleksibilitet ved at spille roligere. Til sidst besluttede nogen (måske Avakian?), At bandet ikke behøver at opretholde det lavere volumen efter Bigards soloer, så Deems kan øge dynamikken med kraftige backbeats. Ville et skub af nyt materiale have tilskyndet Bigard til at genvinde sin velkendte flydende? Sandsynligvis ikke, da de melodier, der blev indspillet, synes at have været al den udfordring, Bigard og bandet var villige til at møde.

Mosaics diskografi viser en overvægt af falske starter, sammenbrud og alternative tiltag for Waller -projektet (hvoraf de fleste blev i hvælvet). Kun albummet tættere på, "Ain't Misbehavin '", blev præsenteret på den originale LP i et uredigeret tag, og resten blev sammensat af Avakian i redigeringslokalet. Avakians studieteknikker havde Armstrong til at gøre alt fra det overmenneskelige (det umiddelbare skifte fra vokal til trompet på den storslåede "Blue Turning Grey Over You") til det helt umulige (Armstrongs overdubbed trompetobbligato på "Keepin 'Out of Mischief Now" og vokalen duet med ham selv!

For hans vedkommende ankom Armstrong forberedt og inspireret. De tidligere uudgivne optagelser afslører Armstrong i førsteklasses form, og improviserer nye soloer på næsten hver optagelse, herunder nogle, der var lig med Avakians redigerede kreationer (Da den Brooks-producerede cd med “Satch Plays Fats” dukkede op i 1986-med alternative optagelser subbing til stadig manglende mestre-den britiske trompetist og jazzhistoriker Humphrey Lyttelton erklærede, at han foretrak suppleanter frem for mesteren). Hvis der nogensinde var et godt eksempel på, at sidste dag Armstrong genvinder de kunstneriske højder, han nåede i 1920'erne, er "Satch Plays Fats" det. Som i gamle dage er lytteren nittet til den rige tone i hans trompet og sin udtryksfulde stemme. For eksempler på sidstnævnte kan du lytte til hans vokal omkvæd på dette album. Armstrong går ud fra, at hans lyttere enten kender teksten eller kan forudsige rim ... så han udelader dem og indsætter en pause for en scat fill i stedet for blot at afslutte linjen. Og mens vi er om emnet vokal, fortjener den evigt undervurderede Velma Middleton æren for sin fine sang og musikalitet på dette album. Den første optagelse af "Squeeze Me" finder Middleton kæmper med versets melodi (Avakian synger den endda til hende på et tidspunkt!) Hun har stadig ikke helt det ned på den take, men hun rettede problemet mellem optagelser og spikrede den på skibsføreren. Middleton var ingen Ella Fitzgerald, men hun besad et lignende drive til musikalsk topkvalitet. Middleton døde i 1961, mens hun var på turné med Armstrong, så hun var også dedikeret.

Fra 1955-1959 var alle Armstrongs optagelser for Columbia (gem de sessioner, der er diskuteret ovenfor) liveoptrædener, som til sidst blev samlet på Mosaics nu udgåede live Armstrong-sæt. Avakian forblev Armstrongs producent, indtil han forlod Columbia i 1957. Da Armstrong vendte tilbage til Columbia-studierne i september 1961 for et spektakulært samarbejde med Dave Brubeck, havde han en næsten ny udgave af All-Stars (kun Young og Kyle var tilbage fra det tidligere Columbia studiosessioner) og en ny producent, Teo Macero. Med tiden ville Macero blive endnu mere behændig med redigeringsbladet end Avakian, men på Armstrong/Brubeck LP, "The Real Ambassadors", blev mange af numrene frigivet, da de gik ned i studiet, med mange færre indsatser og splejser end på et Avakian -projekt. Mosaics præsentation af dette album er en smule anderledes end de andre LP'er: I stedet for at præsentere komplette optagelser, som delvist blev brugt af Avakian, indeholder det supplerende afsnit for "Ambassadors" optagelser, der aldrig har været hørt før, endda delvist. Der er flere interessante afsnit i dette afsnit, herunder et par frække tags til "Good Reviews", ekstra trompetpletter til Armstrong på flere melodier og en vidunderlig 8-minutters komposit af Armstrongs hjerteskærende vokal på "Summer Song".

Dave og Iola Brubeck begyndte at skrive manuskriptet til "The Real Ambassadors" i 1957, kort efter at Armstrong irettesatte præsident Dwight Eisenhower for hans holdning til integrationskrisen i Little Rock. Armstrong var involveret i det amerikanske udenrigsministeriums Jazz Ambassadors -program, men han aflyste en rundvisning i Sovjetunionen i protest. "The Real Ambassadors" blev designet som et Broadway -show med Armstrong i hovedrollen, som stærkt ville støtte Armstrongs holdning til borgerrettigheder samt hans betydning som jazzikon og musikalsk ambassadør. Rollelisten inkluderede til sidst Carmen McRae som Armstrongs bandsanger og kærlighedsinteresse, Trummy Young som rådgiver og Lambert, Hendricks & Ross som et græsk omkvæd. Dave Brubeck Trio og Armstrong All-Stars leverede instrumental backup. Unfortunately, the show was never staged in Armstrong’s lifetime, and the sole concert performance at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival went unrecorded (Historians still argue whether Joe Glaser or Dave Brubeck was at fault for not hiring the video crew already in place at the festival). The only tangible remnant of the show was the Columbia LP and a vocal score published years later.

Columbia gave the album the deluxe treatment, but it did not include a synopsis or lyrics in the gatefold package. While Iola Brubeck’s witty lyrics give the basic plot points, many of the words go by so fast that they are lost to the casual listener (part of that problem is due to the tongue-twisting nature of the words, and the rest is the sloppy diction of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross). To guide the listeners, Riccardi provides a thumbnail synopsis (those looking for more plot details should refer to Philip Clark’s Brubeck bio, “A Life in Time”) and Mosaic’s engineers have made some improvements to the overall sound.

Armstrong and the Brubecks had corresponded with ideas and newly composed music since Dave’s initial meeting with Armstrong in 1959. There’s not a lot of Armstrong’s trumpet on the set, but what’s there is spectacular (specifically an upper-register rendition of “The Duke”—here re-titled “You Swing Baby”—and the series of high F’s in the finale). Apart from a few lyric fluffs here, Armstrong is in very good voice as he carries the weight of the show. Carmen McRae is also in fine form, and her duets with Armstrong demonstrate true chemistry, despite a considerable age difference. Trummy Young steps into a role probably designated for the late Velma Middleton, but years of watching the Armstrong/Middleton act prepared him for the role. The weak links are Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, which was always more of a collection of soloists rather than a true vocal group. As a trio, they showed no sense of ensemble (even for basic tasks, like starting and stopping together) and their intonation was dreadful. Down Beat had named LH&R the “hottest new group in jazz”, and Columbia used the quote as the title for the trio’s debut album, so I understand the desire to use them for this project. However, they just couldn’t sing this music (their attempt at singing religious chant on “They Say I Look Like God” is just painful) and Columbia could have easily hired any of the many professional vocal groups of the time to perform this music.

With its companion live set, Mosaic’s collection of Armstrong’s Victor and Columbia studio sessions offers undeniable proof of Ricky Riccardi’s theory that Louis Armstrong was a major creative force throughout his career. Riccardi’s unfettered enthusiasm for his subject has revived interest in Armstrong’s music from his later years. Now that Riccardi has been hired to complete a three-volume biography of Armstrong, he will continue to illuminate listeners of the many wonders of Armstrong’s discography. Armstrong has found his Boswell, even though they never met in person.


The history of San Pedro is being glued, tile by tile, onto a 200-foot wall on 25th Street

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Nickie Burrell gets her hands a little dirty volunteering her time on a mural in San Pedro on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is rich with historic and artistic detail. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

From left, Susan Vought, Sue and John Gleason, volunteer working on a mural in San Pedro on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is rich with historic and artistic detail. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. This tile work depicts the Point Fermin Lighthouse. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender gives instructions to a volunteer in San Pedro on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is rich with historic and artistic detail. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Hannah Burrell and her mom Nickie Burrell volunteer on a mural in San Pedro on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is rich with historic and artistic detail. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. This chefs tiles have the names of local restuarants in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

A skate boarder passes the whale portion of a mural in progress, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing by October. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

Artist Julie Bender is creating a 200-foot long tiled mural on the north side of 25th Street at Patton Avenue. The mosaic is such a sight that people honk as they drive by and shout out encouraging words. Every nook and cranny will be filled, with the goal of finishing in October, in San Pedro on Friday, July 20, 2018. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press Telegram/SCNG)

By Deborah Paul

Bidragende forfatter

The story of San Pedro’s history is being glued, tile by tile, onto a 200-foot-long wall on 25th Street.

This mosaic is a feast for the eyes whether you’re just driving by or taking the time to stop.

But, oh, what a treat, if you stop. There are whale barnacles and star fish painted with individual cute, little faces. There are cut-out houses labeled with family names. Every conceivable historical, or pertinent factoid about San Pedro is intricately covered in hand-painted clay tiles, decorative pins, buttons, medals, beads, mirrors, broken china — just about any noncorrosive item imaginable.

One passerby said muralist Julie Bender’s masterpiece is “the most complete history of San Pedro” she had ever seen.

And so goes the intricate, but fun-generating project that Bender, a mother, artist, visionary and former firefighter has created for the community. At least 300 people have participated in making clay tiles or gluing the cut-outs to the 10-foot high, 200-foot-long mural.

More tiles, grouting and baubles are still being added with the hope the project will be completed around October.

Bender said the motivation behind the 25th Street project, which started more than a year ago, was to have something to do as an empty nester. But as the work picked up momentum, it became a personal quest for historical preservation.

“The history of San Pedro is being lost,” Bender said. “The town is in a transition stage, and we’re losing some fabulous things that have happened and are happening.”

To begin the work, Bender had to jump though numerous bureaucratic hoops.

First, she visited homeowners living above the wall and was met with unanimous and enthusiastic approval for the project. She worked for months to satisfy requirements from Cultural Affairs, Building and Safety, the Los Angeles mayor’s office, and the Coastal Neighborhood Council. She also held six meetings with the public where eventually all participants agreed upon a final wall sketch.

Bender and her squad of volunteers has managed to capture the essence of life in San Pedro.

Subjects like mermaids, angels and pelicans include lots of symbolism with themes such as the military, oceanography, medical fields, fishing, restaurants, small and large businesses, historical buildings, surfing, boats, arts and entertainment and care facilities. Bender has included even odes to occupations such as teaching, science and journalism.

“The most fun is working with all the people,” said Bender, who’s married to a firefighter, has two sons in the Navy and two grown daughters. Her daughters modeled for her and are the inspiration for the mermaid and angel faces depicted in the wall.

Bender’s other mosaics can be seen at White Point School, Point Fermin, Peck Park and at the Cabrillo Beach Youth Waterfront Sports Center, where she and her Girl Scout troop once tiled five, 1,500-pound, blue butterfly-themed benches.

Volunteers and interested art lovers can still contribute small, personal or historical items they would like to see embedded in the wall. All workers have to do is follow directions, have a willingness to work and be creative, the muralist said.

“The first thing volunteers say is, ‘I’m not an artist,’ Bender said. “I tell them ‘you don’t have to be,’ but they end up being an artist by the end of the day. My husband Dave, pressure-washed — along with three other people — to get the paint that covered graffiti off the wall.”

In the past, Bender has funded many of her projects herself, but she said the community spirit behind the San Pedro mosaic wall has been contagious. Most of the tiles, clay, glue, and other artwork set into the wall sketch has been donated by art-loving individuals.

On Saturday, July 28, a Beer and Wine tasting fundraiser with music is being held at The Corner Store in San Pedro. The band, The Rumble, is not only volunteering for the event, but have generously offered to raffle themselves off for a party event to the highest bidder.

Bender will sell tiles for $10-$50 that can be personalized. Then she’ll take them home to bake in her kiln. Later, they’ll become part of the mosaic.

San Pedro resident Bonnie Keilbach recently stopped by the wall to buy a 25th Street Mosiac T-shirt from Bender and observe the mural’s progress.

“I’ve seen people of all ages working on the project,” said Keilbach, a photographer and quilter who works in the attendance office at Palos Verdes High School. “I think Julie has captured the true spirit of San Pedro.”


Jimi Hendrix Mosaic Made of Guitar Picks

Jimi Hendrix is often described as the greatest electric guitarist in history, and he’s certainly been an influential figure in the development of various genres of popular music. This mosaic made entirely out of guitar plectrums is a tribute to his musical achievements.

This piece of art was made from over 5000 Fender guitar picks, a brand commonly associated with Hendrix, as he often played their guitars at the peak of his career. Having died at the age of 27 from an accidental overdose, Hendrix is often viewed as a tragic figure in music history. This aspect of him is reflected in the fact that this art piece was actually made to be auctioned off for Cancer Research UK – in fact, it ended up selling for £23,000, surpassing its guide price of £12,000-16,000 by a considerable amount.

The mosaic captures the familiar look of the black and white glamour photographs that documented his early career. However, it goes beyond the typical black and white spectrum by using picks that come in a wide range of colours for an overall look that is subtly colourful and richly textured. For example, instead of just using black for the hair, the artist used a mix of navy blue, green and purple, with some vibrant magenta, cyan and even pink picks thrown in as highlights.

While evoking a distinctly modern look, this mosaic draws heavy inspiration from the pointillism movement of the late 1880s, where contrasting dots of colour are placed side by side to trick the mind of the viewer into seeing a full range of tones. When seen from up close, the guitar pick mosaic doesn’t look like much of anything, but from a distance, the figure of Jimi Hendrix clearly emerges.

For wannabe musicians, this collection of 23 incredible guitar mods is sure to inspire you to pick up an instrument and start playing, though playing Rock Band with the Fender guitar controller might be an easier way of easing yourself into the world of music. If playing doesn’t interest you at all, you might prefer to make your own papercraft model of an electric guitar instead.


Principles of design

Between mosaic and painting, the art with which it has most in common, there has been a reciprocal influence of varying intensity. In colour and style the earliest known Greek figurative mosaics with representational motifs, which date from the end of the 5th century bce , resemble contemporary vase painting, especially in their outline drawing and use of very dark backgrounds. The mosaics of the 4th century tended to copy the style of wall paintings, as is seen in the introduction of a strip of ground below the figures, of shading, and of other manifestations of a preoccupation with pictorial space. In late Hellenistic times there evolved a type of mosaic whose colour gradations and delicate shading techniques suggest an attempt at exact reproduction of qualities typical of the art of painting.

In Roman imperial times, however, an important change occurred when mosaic gradually developed its own aesthetic laws. Still basically a medium used for floors, its new rules of composition were governed by a conception of perspective and choice of viewpoint different from those of wall decoration. Equally important was a simplification of form brought about by the demand for more expeditious production methods. In the same period, the increasing use of more strongly coloured materials also stimulated the growing autonomy of mosaic from painting. As a means of covering walls and vaults, mosaic finally realized its full potentialities for striking and suggestive distance effects, which surpass those of painting.

The general trend towards stylization—that is, reduction to two-dimensionality—in late antique Roman painting (3rd and 4th centuries ce ) may have been stimulated by experimentation with colour in mosaic and particularly by the elimination of many middle tones for the sake of greater brilliance. The central role played at that time by mosaic in church decoration, for which it is particularly well suited, encourages the assumption that the roles had shifted and painting had come under its influence. The strong, sinuous outlines and the absence of shading that came to characterize painting during certain periods of Byzantine and western European art of the Middle Ages may have originated in mosaic technique and use of materials. It is notable, however, that from the Renaissance to the 20th century mosaic was again wholly dependent on painting and its particular forms of illusionism.

In modern mosaic practice, the main tendency is to build on the unique and inimitable qualities of the medium. Although not a few of the works created in the 20th century reveal the influence of painting, figurative or abstract, the art came a long way toward self-realization. By and large the modern mosaic makers share with their medieval predecessors the conviction that there are functions to which the materials of mosaic lend themselves with particular appropriateness.


4 Unknown General Mosaic

An ancient mosaic on the floor of a ruined Roman-era synagogue in Huqoq, Israel, is proving very mysterious. Dating to the fifth century AD, the work depicts a meeting between two high-ranking men&mdashboth of whom are unknown. It&rsquos rare not to have mosaic figure labeled. Most believe the bearded figure in white is Jerusalem&rsquos high priest. The identity of the other figure, a general, is more contentious.

The mysterious general may be Antiochus VII. Elephants in the scene evoke the Jewish Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the second century BC. Descendants of Alexander&rsquos generals, the Seleucids were famed for their battle elephants.

Others believe the general in the mosaic is none other than Alexander the Great. If so, this would be the first time a non-Biblical figure has been depicted in a synagogue mosaic. After Alexander&rsquos death in 323 BC, it became fashionable to associate with his &ldquogreatness.&rdquo


Teknik

There are three techniques used to make Greek mosaics. The byzantine technique involves sketching a design onto wood that has black clay on top of it. The artist arranges the stones, pastes a thin cloth over the mosaic and leaves it to dry. Once dry, the artist sets the wood side in cement and removes the cloth.

The direct technique is commonly used for floors and the ground, such as a path. The artist makes a wood or metal frame, then fills it with a cement mixture into which she places the tesserae. This technique can also be employed on a wood base affixed to the floor.

The indirect technique is used to make large tiles and artworks. The artist stretches paper over a piece of wood and glues the tesserae face-down onto the paper. He constructs a frame around the mosaic's edges, covers the tesserae with a grout mixture and fills the rest of the frame with cement, topped with chicken wire and plastic, for stability, and another piece of wood. The artist turns over the mosaic, peels off the paper and allows the mosaic to dry.


Mosaic with Musicians - History

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