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SHAOLIN JAZZ – The 37th Chamber

For each of The Classics exhibitions I enlisted the services of DJ 2-Tone Jones who created a mixtape that features music from that genre.

For JAZZ, since its the last of my Album Cover Art Exhibitions, I wanted to do some different things and the mixtape was one of them – enter SHAOLIN JAZZ – The 37th Chamber.

The idea stemmed from my interview of graphic designer Logan Mills who created a series of jazz inspired Wu-Tang album covers, dubbed Wu-Note.  One of my questions references the Beatles x Wu-Tang mixtape, which he created the album cover art for, and my line of questioning sorta asks him about a jazz x Wu-Tang mix project, which he goes to say that he’d be down to create the cover art for if one exists.

After receiving that info I hit up 2-Tone – he’s down, then I go back to Logan – he’s down, and SHAOLIN JAZZ is born.

Check out the first track – Astral C.R.E.A.M. (The Pharoah Jarel Beatdown remix). Listen here and download here.  The full length album will be out shortly.

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JAZZ – Reid Miles – courtesy of Wayne Adams

Reid Miles and the work he’s done for Blue Note Records and (on another level) for the identity of jazz music is perhaps more than iconic, if there’s such a thing.   The album covers that he’s crafted are considered by many to be works of art and have inspired many graphic designers and creatives alike.

Unfortunately, Reid is no longer with us and through my research I was directed, via Michael Cuscuna (Mosaic Records), to Wayne Adams who worked closely with Reid as his Photo Assistant.  Thanks again to Wayne for his time and check the read below:

How did you meet Reid Miles?

In October 1977, I was called to work for Reid as a freelance Photographer’s Assistant.  Interestingly, his photographic style was quite different at that time than when he was designing covers and occasionally taking the photographs for Blue Note Records.  His photographic style when I went to work for him was most often compared to the art of Norman Rockwell. Read the rest of this entry

JAZZ – Michael Cuscuna (Mosaic Records)

Mosaic Records is a powerhouse in the record industry, specifically jazz, as they produce (and have been doing so since ’83) or more accurately – they craft the definitive box sets (Mosaic is considered the originator of the category) for a number of jazz greats.  The level of detail of these collectors sets can of course be only produced by true jazz/music scientists so I was extremely happy when Michael Cuscuna (one of the founders and owners of the label) took some time out of his schedule to be interviewed.

Enjoy the read:

When you were younger who or what first introduced you to jazz?  Was the music apart of your home life?

There wasn’t much music around my house. But I loved R&B and got a learner set of drums at 11. I started to buy Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Max Roach records just for the drum solos. Gradually the music around the drum solos grabbed me and I was hooked on jazz.

What was it about the music that led to your “light bulb” moment where you said, “This is what I want to being for the rest of my life?”

There were certain artists like Art Blakey and John Coltrane – the power and majesty of their sounds just made me feel twice as happy and alive as I’d ever been before. I was absolutely consumed by them (and others) and knew I wanted to be close to this music forever.

Click the link for more: Read the rest of this entry