Jazz Albums As Art Essay

6407 words - 26 pages

Jazz Albums as Art

In the Process of Completing Research for This Issue, I Realized That What I Want to Say May Be Divided into Two Sections. Part One Surveys the General Topic of Album Art; Part Two (Outlined in the Accompanying Sidebar) Considers the Conspicuous Absence of Black Artists from the Process of Designing Jazz Packages: Covers, Liner Notes Etc. This Second Part Will Be Published in an Upcoming Issue.--R.G.O'M.

The enclosed portfolio of album cover art springs from my ongoing concern with the emergence in the United States of a jazz culture that has affected not only virtually all other music, here and elsewhere, but other forms of expression as well. This influence has been exceedingly potent in the visual arts world where for nearly a century, painters, sculptors, photographers, and filmmakers have been inspired by jazz to create visual counterparts of the music. Working in varied media, artists have not only created likenesses of the musicians and their instruments, they have attempted to capture formal aspects of the music itself--its rhythms, call/response exchanges, and impulses to improvise--in the work that they do as visual artists who want their work to swing.

In the process of pursuing these various lines of influence,(1) it has occurred to me that the jazz record album itself comprises a unique and significant item of American material culture (above all the covers but also the entire package, including the shellac, vinyl, and metal disks, the liner notes, and the sleeves and boxes that hold them). What follows here is a set of brief notes reflecting on the jazz record package or album as a unique multimedia creation deserving a comprehensive scholarly study and perhaps a museum show of its own. The jazz record and its sometimes spectacularly beautiful grooves and sleeves prove again and again the truism that American art at its most original is where you find it. It is often produced in unexpected places by designers of things for sale in the marketplace of the moment which nonetheless have lasting aesthetic value: American vernacular art.

Of course the raison d'etre of the jazz album is to provide listeners with reproductions of jazz performances. But it is also true that at its best the jazz record--especially the 12-inch LP but occasionally the early cylinder and the heavy (at first one- sided) pancake platter of yesteryear and even the 7- or 10-inch recording, and the CD of our own era--can be such a perfect package that it looks and feels just as jazzy as the music itself. The truth is that sometimes the entire package (cover art, liner notes, disk, and label) actually outswings the music it is meant to complement. In some cases one keeps the record only for the sake of its beautiful wrappers and writings! But when all of a jazz album's artistic values are high, music and package alike, the listener/observer/holder/reader has access to an aesthetic experience that is deeply and uniquely...

Find Another Essay On Jazz Albums as Art

Creole Musicians in New Orleans and Jazz Music

894 words - 4 pages music was sophisticated, virtuosic, and emotionally expressive. As a soloist, he was able to test his creative instrumental abilities, well establishing his musical identity. Armstrong stands out from the rest of the Jazz musicians in that he has “superior choice of notes and shape of his lines, incomparable basic quality of tone, incomparable sense of swing, and the subtly varied repertory of vibratos and shakes he embellishes individual notes.” During its early days, jazz was seen as a “forward-looking art, incorporating new techniques, more expansive harmonies and melodies” ( Otherbook).

The preservation and repetition of musical sounds through recording technologies has changed the social significance of music for the better"

1799 words - 7 pages development of music. From the diversity of music categories that run from rock to easy listening to dance music to a more complex art music. It also includes a multitude of artists. On the complex side of the scale are the categories known as jazz and classical music. Some of the most accomplished musicians of our time have devoted themselves to a lifelong study of Jazz or Classical, and a few exceptional musicians have actually mastered both.A

Jazz Culture and Miles Davis

1242 words - 5 pages . Miles Davis has affected the genre stylistically as well as being a great contributor as far as jazz works are concerned. Through this research the aim is to gain people’s attention, primarily that of the current generation. This generation is widely consumed with social media. There is a severe lack of cultural diversity among the minds of our generation. They are placed in the box of social media that can be accessed from their phone

The Music Evolution and Jazz

1123 words - 5 pages broader definition of jazz whereby he said that, it is the art of music that includes swing as a major quality, improvisation, group interactions and development of an individual voice in the preparation process to the different musical possibilities in which the musician is looking up to. He actually sees jazz as the beginners of music style in the music industry. That is why he says that it shapes the voice of an individual who has the objective of

Growing the Local Art Community

2223 words - 9 pages different kind of Jazz musician (as compared to Ellington), Dizzy Gillespie and saxophonist Charlie Parker (both great horn artists) were an influence to young Davis. From the 1940’s he converged with early bop (style of Jazz characterized by fast tempo), cool Jazz (1950-60’s) and then finally rock-fusion. He also produced Bitches Brew, (1970) which went “gold’ and was different from any of his other albums. He was also a part of the “Civil

Impact of Music of the Harlem Renaissance Upon the Artists of Today

1598 words - 6 pages drummers that were best known were Art Blakey and Kenny Clarke. Pianists Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell were also influential. On the trombone, J.J. Johnson was the most famous. And lastly, “Dizzy” Gillespie made his contribution on the trumpet. Just as the blues was played through feeling and expression, bebop also was played with excitement. Each composition had a story. The jazz age was developing and flourishing into one of the most listened to

Bebop Jazz and its Influence

751 words - 3 pages improvisation. According to John Andrews (1998), "Bop marked the point at which both the musicians and their audience became widely conscious that jazz was an art form." Andrews also goes on to mention that bebop's main focus was for people to seriously listen, instead of dancing. After bebop other styles of jazz developed, such as progressive jazz, cool jazz, and hard bop. These three styles of jazz, in the opinion of many people, imparted a substantial

The Beginning of Jazz and The Effects Early Jazz Had in the 1920s

1203 words - 5 pages 126). However, it soon became popular in the North. As expected, Dixieland would combine with Blues Style and this took on the name “Hot Music”. Hot music, a term used in the late 1910s and early 1920s, was basically Early Jazz (Atkins 21). Throughout the late 1910s and early 1920s Hot Music was develop in many ways: Clarinets would be replaced with Saxophones, the literal style of the Early Jazz would develop with the help of African American

Charles Mingus in the 1950s

3740 words - 15 pages incorporated a wide range of styles, from Ellington's big band sound, to gospel music, to early New Orleans jazz bands. At the same time, he imbued modern sentiments and an avant-garde feeling into his music. In the 1950s, his music made several important aesthetic and technical advances, punctuated by the release of numerous influential albums. These productive years were crucial in shaping Mingus' sound, as he fully incorporated gospel elements into his

Biography of Chuck Mangione

854 words - 4 pages with Dizzy and referred to him as his “musical father”. Later on, Dizzy was so impressed with Chuck’s ability, that he gave him one of his own upswept trumpets. Later on, Chuck continued his musical career in Eastman School of Music. As he was in highschool, him and his brother, Gap, started to play professionally. Since Chuck preferred smaller jazz groups to large “big bands” he and his brother started a quintet in 1958 called the Jazz Brothers

Independent Music Vs Mainstream Pop

1781 words - 7 pages Independent Music Versus Mainstream Pop Music is an art form through which emotion, culture, ideas, and much more can be expressed. There are a wide range of genres of music, from jazz to gangster rap to rock, but each type is used, by the artist, to express feelings and thoughts through music. In addition to genres, music can be classified as popular music, which is regularly played on the radio and music television stations, and independent

Similar Essays

Miles Davis Research Paper

902 words - 4 pages York City in 1944 to advance his music at the Julliard School. Originally known as the Institute of Musical Art, Julliard was founded in 1905 by Dr. Frank Damrosch. Damrosch was convinced that American students should not have to go to Europe to further their musical education. However, as prestigious as Julliard was it did not attract Miles Davis. He soon found himself skipping out on school and participating in jam sessions. These were not just

Analysis Of Music In The 1970's And 1920's

920 words - 4 pages ,” The Village People released the “YMCA,” and “Macho Man,” plus many more. Other than disco, funk, jazz fusion, smooth jazz and soul continued to prominent throughout the decade. One major genre that played an important part in the Western music scene was Rock. Sub-genres of rock, in particular glam, hard rock, progressive, art rock, and heavy metal amounted a substantial amount of success during this decade. A number of other genres, throughout

Miles Davis Essay

4362 words - 17 pages abilities while on stage, Miles was quoted as saying "There are no wrong notes in jazz, and "What he obviously meant was that you could take one particular thing that might sound incorrect or jarring, and build something beautiful. "To me, it's all like a high-wire act." He said and moved his arms like a bird, just for a minute".Davis was also influential in raising the state of jazz to a highly respected art form. His recordings, along with the

Jazz Essay

1104 words - 4 pages its development. Most people do not know the facts on jazz, only some generalities and stereotypes. Often being called America’s only original art form, jazz began as an ethnic music, but there is much more to jazz than music. It is difficult to think of jazz without thinking of African-American people, but it was probably the first art to challenge European culture and the idea of the classes as time-honored and serious. Jazz was not only