By John A. Barry And Bill Carmel
Jazz and AbstractionUploaded: Jan 10, 2018
The jazz program at Peace Lutheran Church is one of the best deals in the area. On the first Sunday of seven months out of the year, you can catch, in the Peace sanctuary, some of the best acts in the business. No ticket price…just a donation for the musicians. The 2018 calendar is here: http://peacejourney.org/free-jazzmusic-2/jazz-calendar/
The group performing on January 7 was the Erik Jekabson Quintet, with Jekabson on trumpet and flugelhorn, Kasey Knudsen on alto sax, a sub for regular Matt Clark on piano, John Wiitala on bass, and Jeff Mars on drums. Thanks to my coauthor, Bill Carmel, and Peace Lutheran, some of my artworks were hanging on the wall. Bill organizes and helps install exhibits in the church throughout the year.
My work owes a debt to the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Jackson Pollock, avatar of the Action Painting component of AE. As an homage to Pollock’s influence, I named my paint-deposition creation method trAction Painting. My “brushes” are skates, scooters, bikes, a baby stroller, a wheelchair…. The resulting works are large, so I was doubly fortunate to have the sanctuary as my exhibit space.
"Obfuskate." Concept by Bill Carmel; execution by the author.
Pollock listened to jazz while he hovered and ran over huge canvases, dripping and splattering his way to immortality. Fellow Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning compared his own painting approach to that of Miles Davis’s approach to trumpet playing. As de Kooning put it: “Miles Davis bends the notes. He doesn’t play them, he bends them. I bend the paint.”
Jazz is my favorite musical genre, so I was happy and honored to have my exhibit open to the strains of that most American of music.
In a later post, I will examine the roots of Jazz at Peace.