Check Out These Awesome Miles Davis At The Fillmore Posters

1-Up_On_The_Wall We’re happy to feature one of six concert posters Louise Massol designed for a new contest to commemorate the release of Miles Davis’ Miles At The Fillmore.

For this particular poster Louise says she was ‘inspired by the idea of a simple stencil ad on a New York City wall in the 1970s.’

Great work!

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Jorge Armando

(Artist Series II, Volume 3)

Part two of the Artist Series is moving right along with the latest installment – illustrator Jorge Armando. Anyone who blends 3D technology with an illustration of Miles Davis is going to get my attention. And the talented Armando did just that. The original – and quite awesome – design is above. The 3D version, below, requires those fun glasses!

Currently in the process of getting his Master’s in Art and design at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in Mexico City, Armando features a ton of great designs and illustrations on his official blog. The Frank Zappa and James Brown are also personal favorites.

I recently had a chance to speak with Jorge about his artwork and Miles Davis. Also, his choice for Favorite Miles Davis Album is a first for the Artist Series, and a nice change of pace!

Miles Davis Online: Your “Miles Davis” digital artwork is fantastic! What exactly is the creative process behind this type of digital artwork? How long does it take you to complete?
Jorge Armando: In this kind of illustration the process consists of the fusion of traditional technical concepts employing digital tools. I made this image in particularly for my own pleasure, using a good prototype, a photo with the expression of energy characteristic of Miles Davis performances.

The original image was made in one day, and the 3-D remake in one afternoon.

Miles Davis Online: Why Miles Davis? What was the reason you decided to create a design of the jazz legend?
Jorge Armando: It’s really simple, I think Miles Davis is the most important musician in the history of jazz, and accompany with John Coltrane, Frank Zappa, Robert Fripp – especially in his work with King Crimson -, Herbert Von Karajan, Silvestre Revueltas, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Igor Stravisky are the most important musicians of the 20th century.

Miles Davis Online: I see that the design is now in 3D! How does that work? Do we need special glasses?
Jorge Armando: This technique is named anaglyph 3-d, and yes, you need the conventional 3-D glasses.

Miles Davis Online: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Jorge Armando: Don’t think of myself like like an artist -yet-, though I studied design and define my self as illustrator…, a specialist between philosophy, science and art.

I’m still in the process of constructing my style, to consist in the fusion of canon and shapeless; when my work arrives to that goal my images could be seen in an artistic way, not just aesthetic or communicative objects.

Miles Davis Online: Are you working on anything special at the moment?
Jorge Armando: Actually I’m doing my Master in Arts and Design in Academia de San Carlos at UNAM’s — for that reason most of my images and texts that I produce since a year is directed to use for my Master’s final work or thesis, that is about politics, cartoons and the creator problem’s in the present.

You can see this here.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Jorge Armando: Dark Magus

© Jorge Armando. All artwork, and images of artwork are property of Jorge Armando. All rights reserved.

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Tobias Hall

(Artist Series II, Volume 1)

We begin the second collection of the Artist Series with the wonderfully talented Tobias Hall, an illustrator/designer/muralist based in London.

Among his exciting collection of artwork is a fantastic Miles Davis illustration (above). You can also view an absolutely gorgeous mural here featuring Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson and Max Roach. Other murals created by Hall include a superb Nina Simone located in a South London bedroom, and an outstanding Winston Churchill created for a Zizzi restaurant in South Woodford.

Speaking of Zizzi Ristorante, Hall has been working closely with the popular eatery as part of the design team, lending a creative hand with everything from photography to graphic design and art direction.

Besides the Miles Davis, other personal favorites in Hall’s collection includes the Roger Federer, the Lionel Messi, and his David Bowie-inspired murals and painted tables completed for Zizzi in David Bowie’s home town of Beckenham. Hall’s art prints are also available for purchase. Click here to have a look.

As a new fan of Hall’s work, I was determined to track down the artist and ask him as few questions about Miles Davis, his creative process, and what’s next.

Miles Davis Online: You feature such a wonderful variety of designs and illustrations. And in the middle of it all – Miles Davis. What led you to creating the artwork Miles Davis – Kind of Blue?
Tobias Hall: I’ve got a pretty big passion for music of all sorts, and it’s a real ambition of mine to create art to go alongside it, be that in the form of gig posters, album art, whatever. I started getting into Jazz and Blues in a big way towards the end of university, so the first Miles Davis piece was really just a natural response to that.

Miles Davis Online: And what exactly is the creative process behind this type of illustration?
Tobias Hall: It all starts with the music itself really, it’s always playing whenever I work. Once I have a general idea of composition/concept it’s just a case of drawing out the separate elements by hand, then layering, colouring and texturing them in Photoshop.

Miles Davis Online: As for the wonderful Jazz Legends mural: was Miles Davis always in your vision to be part of the mural design? Also, how long did the process take to complete?
Tobias Hall: The mural was created for a restaurant in sunny Croydon, London. They often hold nights of live jazz music, so I thought it would be cool to depict some of Jazz’s most famous faces. A Jazz ‘super band’ if you like. Naturally, Miles had to be a part of it. The mural took around a day and a half to paint.

Miles Davis Online: Who are some artists of the past and present that have inspired you?
Tobias Hall: The two main artists to have influenced my work are Keith Haring and David Foldvari. It’s a funny one, because stylistically the two are very different, but both have inspired me in equal measure.

Miles Davis Online: Are you working on anything special at the moment?
Tobias Hall: I have just finished some album artwork for Canadian folk musician Del Barber, who’s album is released on the 1st May, and there is talk of a huge music-themed mural project for a hotel in the pipeline, but that hasn’t been confirmed as of yet. I spend most of my days as an in-house illustrator/designer for a restaurant chain here in the UK, working on everything from menus to photography or art direction. It’s good fun.

Miles Davis Online: Might you revisit Miles Davis in your work?
Tobias Hall: No doubt. Jazz music as a whole continues to influence my practice, and with Miles being such an enigmatic fellow, I’m sure I’m bound to explore him and his music a bit more in the future.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Tobias Hall: Round About Midnight.

© Tobias Hall. All artwork, and images of artwork are property of Tobias Hall. All rights reserved.

Miles Davis Part Of Showcase Of Illustrated Portraits

Not really ‘new’, but still worth mentioning considering the terrific illustrations – especially Jorge Arevalo’s Miles Davis artwork.

via Brain Pickings / Maria Popova

Illustration Now! Portraits is a stunning new showcase of illustrated portraits by over 80 of the world’s most exciting artists, culled from Taschen‘s previously published Illustration Now! volumes, in addition to exclusive and unpublished work.

The lavish 400-page tome spans a remarkable range of media, from ink and watercolor to collage to digital illustration, and covers a wide spectrum of styles, from the minimalist to the hyper-realistic to the grotesque and beyond.

© Jorge Arevalo

The Miles Davis Movie: A New Unofficial Teaser Poster To Enjoy

Our friend Michael Stadtlender has designed seven really outstanding unofficial teaser poster designs for Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis Biopic. It’s a pleasure for me to publish the work on Miles Davis Online.

If I’m the person down the road charged with marketing the film, I would absolutely seek out talents like Stadtlender, along with Julien Trédan-Turini and Heath Killen, who each contributed awesome teaser poster designs, and devise some kind of design contest/workshop/whatever that utilizes the skill of artists who clearly have a love for design and Miles Davis.

But that is a discussion for another time.

Here we have Stadtlender’s latest – and it rocks! We wish the movie was opening summer 2012!! What I like is how Stadtlender plays with all sorts of visual styles from one design to another; a touch of modern here, a tip of the cap to the legendary Saul Bass there – a nice variety of color, design and concept.

I added a gallery below of all eight teaser poster designs. But here is the latest.

© Michael Stadtlender

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Jose Mardi

(Artist Series Volume 18)

I cannot say I know much about collage art. But after viewing the delightful work of Jose Mardi, I definitely want to know more, see more. And there is no better place to start enjoying sensational collage artwork than on Mardi’s Flickr page, which features dozens and dozens of brilliant, jazz and soul inspired collage art.

The three Miles Davis collages, one above and one below, are excellent, which is an obvious declaration. But to explore Mardi’s unique artistry is quite exciting, like a visual jolt to the eyes and mind. Each collage is a cool assemblage of colors and photos, words and designs.

The many collage designs are downright inspiring. After awhile I get the impulse to start experimenting with this technique of visual art. But for now I will leave the collage art to talented professionals like Jose Mardi. Based in Valencia, Spain, the artist was so kind recently to chat with me about his craft, inspiration, and Miles Davis.

Miles Davis Online: How would you describe the ‘style’ of your artwork?
Jose Mardi: I work with the technique of collage, freestyle. I use paper, scissors, cutter and glue. No computer, no scan, or anything that has to do with digital manipulation. Jazz images from the 20s to 60s inspire me, photography and album covers and teachers who created an iconography for life. My collages can be understood as a tribute to them. With all the respect I have for their work.

Miles Davis Online: Why Miles Davis?
Jose Mardi: I use lots of different artists. But with Miles it’s impossible not to admit his image is iconic, his work is the work of life surrounding jazz. It is for any jazz lover a starting point, a continuity or change, a lot different things that inspire us and make us better people.

For my work, any of his classic photos could make me sit for hours composing new images, new perspectives that are often nonsensical – and new ways of understanding music.

Miles Davis Online: You feature so many wonderful musicians – and plenty of jazz artists. Would you say there is something unique about jazz musicians that make them such compelling subjects for your artwork?
Jose Mardi: Although what I said about Miles Davis is special, it could be about other musicians. Images taken by William Claxton and Herman Leonard, the designs of Reid Miles, or Steinweiss, among many others, are so faithful to what the music represents, sometimes I’m scared to manipulate their work. But my love of jazz helps and motivates me.

I like the spontaneity of the work. Not everything has to be perfect.

Miles Davis Online: Are you working on anything special at the moment?
Jose Mardi: Every day I think of joining pieces of paper to create some new jazz collage that someone might like. I am currently working on a series of collages around the blues.

Miles Davis Online: Obviously music plays a large role in your work. Can you talk about your musical influences and how they have impacted your work as an artist?
Jose Mardi: I’m a big music fan. Mainly, during the last two decades, Afro-American roots music. Blues, jazz and soul and their younger siblings. The music has inspired me to live and grow. Last year I closed my record store where I worked for eleven years – but I am still part of the business of music.

For my collage work I decided to start with the images of jazz because it is the most likely offered to me. In my daily life, including my work on collages, a lot of big names and much less known musicians helped build my work. Lee Morgan, Coltrane, Eddie Jefferson, Art Blakey, Tyrone Washington, Carmell Jones, Lorez Alexandria… it’s impossible to name only a few. Not too mention soul music, of which I have real passion.

Miles Davis Online: Will you revisit Miles Davis again?
Jose Mardi: Definitely, yes. I have only to find good images to use.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Jose Mardi: Difficult question. I like his Blue Note, Columbia or Prestige records, but one reference still to me is “Birth of the Cool” on Capitol.

* You can see more of Jose Mardi’s artwork on Flickr.

Artwork is © Jose Mardi

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Jesse Watson

(Artist Series, Volume 17)

Stumbling across the Internet and discovering a talented artist and author like Jesse Watson really makes my day. Sure, he features outstanding Miles Davis paintings, which is what led me to his official website in the first place, but all of his artwork – which includes wonderful collections like Jazz & Blues, Jamaica, Faces of Reggae and NW Surf Art – should definitely definitely definitely be enjoyed.

I see a painting of Miles Davis dressed in a spacesuit, I am immediatley going to need to know what all that’s about. So I dropped Jesse a line and he was kind enough to chat with me about what Miles is doing in space and other creative matters.

Miles Davis Online: Is there anything specific that sparked your interest to paint Miles?
Jesse Watson: I’ve been mystified by Miles’ music for a long time. The power and gentleness, clarity and chaos. There is no more confusing and intriguing a subject as he. In all these portraits of musicians, it is my goal to represent not only their likeness but the vibes of the music they share with us. So for my portraits of Miles, I set out to show different sides of the man and his music.

Miles Davis Online: I can’t believe I waited until the second question to ask, but let’s talk about the painting Miles Away. Miles Davis dressed like an astronaut is equally terrific and curious. Where did you get the idea to paint Miles in space?
Jesse Watson: Miles Away. How could Miles not be from outer space, or from the future, or from another dimension? He seemed so distant and unique and I couldn’t help but picture him showing up for a gig and then as soon as it was over, hopping back into his space shuttle and leaving Earth again.

It was as if he had a very clear view of humanity from his perch seven thousand miles up, and when he visited us with his music he gave us exactly what we needed. But he was not at home here. He was just visiting.

Miles Davis Online: Would you say there is something inherently unique about jazz musicians that make them such compelling subjects to paint?
Jesse Watson: Absolutely! All of these players that I painted had the ability to transcend time and space with their improvisation and problem solving. They left indelible marks on our culture with their recordings but it was not the notes, it was the interaction, the timing, the nuance, the magic. And that magic can’t be canned or called on by anybody who wants to record an album.

I intended my process in painting these images to mirror the sessions these guys had. I laid down an unrestricted ink line, doing my best to capture the likeness but also let my body respond to the music I was listening to while I inked. Then with acrylic paint, I would paint into the ink and define the rest of the painting in an improvisation right then and there. The days or weeks following when I would “finish up” would be a task of further building up the oddities of that initial improv of ink and paint.

And so the problem solving that happens right on the spot can take closer to my finished piece or create a host of problems I will need to solve before getting there. I have to make a decision, good or bad, and then turn that decision into something that works with the whole painting. Like an ensemble, each player must both bravely step out into the silence, and conform their own utterances to the benefit of the song itself.

Miles Davis Online: Who are some of the past or contemporary artists who influence you?
Jesse Watson: Matisse, Coltrane, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Sargent, Miles, N.C. Wyeth, Marley, Tosh, De La, Rakim, Hockney, my dad – and the list goes on.

Miles Davis Online: Are you working on anything special at the moment?
Jesse Watson: I am always working on concepts for fine art exhibits. I tend to work in big bodies of work with common themes. I have an idea for a show dealing with punk rock that I might get to someday. Not sure about that one. Hmm.

I am also working on children’s books, which is the other half of my work. Always writing and sketching for the next possible project. So, just like the soloist on stage, I have to make a sound and go with it.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Jesse Watson: It feels so standard to say, but Kind of Blue really does get so much play that I have had to replace the CD more than a few times in my life, but I also love In a Silent Way an awful lot, too.

* You can see more of Jesse Watson’s artwork at his official website.

Artwork is © Jesse Watson

Miles Davis, Sketched

(pt. 2)

I was fortunate recently to make the acquaintance of talented actor and artist Chris R. Wright. The London-based Wright features a terrific collection of sketches on his website, each produced with a ballpoint pen on watercolour paper. Biro is the word commonly known to describe this type of artistic sketching.

Among the collection of nicely-detailed, clever and unique sketches, we have a delightful Miles Davis sketch (above), which Wright was kind enough to send our way, along with a few minutes to chat about the story behind the artwork.

Miles Davis Online: What is the story behind this fantastic sketch of Miles Davis?
Chris R. Wright: I was made aware of something called The Miles Davis Fan Project, which involved Miles Davis fans compiling a kind of ‘favourites’ album, dictated by how many ‘likes’ various tracks received on facebook.

It is to be a legitimate release through Sony and part of the project is to vote on the album’s title and artwork, which are open to anyone (or so I thought) to design and name. Once work was completed on my offering, I was a little crestfallen to hear that non U.S. residents were actually not eligable to submit their work!

Miles Davis Online: Have you sketched Miles in the past, or any other jazz artists?
Chris R. Wright: I had never drawn Miles Davis before, but occasionally sketch quasi-caricatures of Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and a few others. I wanted to draw him for some time, among others, but never quite had the courage. For the most part what I doodle are imagined characters not based directly on anything real, so I hesitate before attempting portraits because they require that bit of extra care and attention (especially with a ballpoint pen). However, the fan project gave me the excuse I was looking for and I enjoyed drawing Miles a great deal.

Miles Davis Online: How did you decide on this particular image/design of Miles Davis to sketch?
Chris R. Wright: I wanted him to look really rock ‘n’ roll, coz I think he is up there with the Elvis/Dylan sort of figures, so I opted for the not-too-short not-too-long hairstyle, with a hint of quiff, and those great shades he wore. The cigarette had to be there too for added cool and I wanted to get the electric side across, so the smoke turning into a jack etc.

Basically, I think he looked like crap in the eighties so knew I’d avoid that era, but didn’t want to do yet another ‘safe’ “Kind of Blue” Miles Davis which we all see too often. The detail on the waving paper behind him is roughly lifted from the artwork on Live Evil. His albums always looked great!

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Chris R. Wright: I’m by no means an aficionado and haven’t heard a great deal of his work, but I do own maybe half a dozen of his records, crossing both the early and later releases. I think out of them it would have to be “In a Silent Way” right now which was a present from a friend who is a long-time Miles Davis fan (and certainly more appreciative of his work than I am). I am amazed by this record, not least how how enduring it is and it has quickly become a firm favourite.

* The Miles Davis sketch is available to purchase as a print here.

© Chris R. Wright

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Michael Stadtlender

(Artist Series, Volume 7)

Before I delve into my introduction of Michael Stadtlender, I just want to say that if I were running the show on the Miles Davis Movie, I would absolutely run a contest to have people design the movie poster. Maybe the winner gets his or her design published in a magazine, have the poster appear in various locations for marketing or whatever. But I would do that. Moving on…

Our talented friend Julien Trédan-Turini designed an awesome teaser poster for the Miles Davis Biopic. And then the accomplished graphic designer Heath Killen joined the party and delivered a kick-ass design of his own for a teaser poster. His uncomplicated, yet wonderfully compelling design showed up all over the web, many believing this was, indeed, the first teaser poster for the film.

But let’s talk about the supremely talented Michael Stadtlender. We have previously published seven – SEVEN! – of Stadtlender’s movie poster designs inspired by the forthcoming (we hope!) Miles Davis Biopic from Don Cheadle. Each of the seven posters are wonderful, unique, and I highly recommend checking them out here and here.

Whichever distributor eventually nabs the rights for Cheadle’s film will have a marketing team to design promo materials, posters and whatnot. No reason in the world not to give Stadtlender and the other designers I have spotlighted a call to discuss all the ways to promote the film with a variety of exciting design concepts. And goodness let’s utilize the ‘Net as much as possible.

In the meantime, Stadtlender has returned with yet another entry into his terrific collection of movie posters for the Miles Davis Biopic. This time he forgoes any images of Davis for just a simple, yet poignant shot of a trumpet. We have no idea what the name of the film will be, but I like Stadtlender’s choice of copy. Stadtlender also worked up a design in the first trio of Miles Davis Movie posters of just a trumpet as the focal point, but the new design has a more delicate feel to it. What I like about Stadtlender’s work that shows up in the now eight posters is his ability to zigzag between design styles; his excellent nod to the legendary Saul Bass (see: below left) just might be my favorite of the bunch.

Stadtlender was kind enough recently to step away from his design work to answer a few of my questions for our latest installment in the Miles Davis Online Artist Series. He has some interesting things to say about his creative process and offers a few helpful suggestions for those who might one day have the enviable task of designing movie posters for the Miles Davis Biopic.

Miles Davis Online: Your teaser posters for the Miles Davis Biopic are terrific. Was their a specific inspiration for the designs, or did you just jump in and let your creativity take you where it wanted?
Michael Stadtlender: I would say both. Miles and his music were so complex that there can be many styles of design. They have led me to creating styles from mellow and soothing to bold and mind-bending. For instance, I love the art of Saul Bass so I was inspired to design a teaser poster that has all the elements of his unique style of art while another poster was inspired solely by the power of Miles’ instrument, which I colored blue as an homage to his brilliant masterpiece, “Kind of Blue.”

I will have thoughts and ideas on what I want to include in the design but never really know where it will take me so the final design has been, for the most part, not what I envisioned in the beginning but always satisfying in the end.

MDO: What’s the creative process behind designing those types of posters? How do you arrive at a final product?
Michael Stadtlender: My love of Miles and his music is the initial step. Even if you don’t love the subject you are designing, you must understand it in order to convey it properly. I begin with a theme, or style, I have in my mind and choose photos and colors that would compliment the theme(s). With that, typography plays a big role in my designs so I want the titles to stand out not only with the lettering but placement as well.

I experiment with all these elements until something grabs a hold of me and I continue with it, adding more elements if need be until I feel the work is completed. Being that I am very meticulous, I look over and study my work for a good amount of time to see if it needs reworking or has been completed.

MDO: Who are some artists/designers that inspire you?
Michael Stadtlender: There are so many but my main sources of inspiration are Dave Mckean, Wassily Kandinsky and Saul Bass. All three have extremely different styles of art yet each is equally powerful.

MDO: If you had any advice for the eventual team that will one day be asked to design the movie posters for the Miles Davis Biopic what would it be?
Michael Stadtlender: I would say, listen to the music and get to know what kind of man Miles was. A greater understanding will lead to better design that can communicate the passionate man and musician he was. Of course, this also depends on what story Don Cheadle wants to present to the public.

Personally, I would go for a more subtle approach that will spark curiosity as well as please the eye. Most Hollywood posters I see these days focus on photos of the actors/actresses for selling purposes (which is understandable) but I would either use an photo that depicts a sublime Miles or his trumpet alone. Both would be intriguing and profound.

MDO: Are you working on anything special at the moment?
Michael Stadtlender: As a matter of fact, I just finished another Miles Davis poster teaser especially for your blog (see: above). I hope you and your audience enjoy it. Hopefully, Mr. Don Cheadle will see it and want to hire me for the design team!! Aside from that, I have just begun working on a gig poster for a band called, Olivia Tremor Control.

MDO: Favorite Miles Davis album?
Michael Stadtlender: Tough question!! I would say “In a Silent Way” is my all-time favorite. I have gone back and forth on favorite Miles albums for years. “Bitches Brew” was a favorite for a long time, along with “Kind of Blue” & “Tribute to Jack Johnson” which are still in my top 5 but “In a Silent Way” is definitely my number 1.

Artwork is © Michael Stadtlender
To contact Michael about his work please email him here.

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Yuriy Shevchuk



(We have featured 16 amazing artists so far in the Artist Series. Here is a re-post of the first one – featuring the talented Yuriy Shevchuk)

Yuriy Shevchuk’s artwork is wonderful; modern art so full of charm, sophistication and style blended with a delightful harmony of color.

Among his excellent gallery of oil, watercolor and pastel artwork are numerous Miles Davis paintings (two posted above). There’s actually a large number of lovely, jazz-inspired paintings to enjoy, but for our All Things Miles Davis purposes we’ll just focus on the Prince of Darkness. I recently caught up with Yuriy, currently living in Prague (how nice!), to chat about his work and painting Miles Davis.

Miles Davis Online: Why Miles Davis? What about the jazz legend makes you want to feature him as a subject for your artwork?

Yuriy Shevchuk: His detailed ways of expressing his music, by making a very strong tension out of every note played, are very similar to the ways I paint. His melodies come into my head as colors and shapes, which I illustrate with my water colors and oil. To me his smooth jazzy sound is an inspiration itself.

Only a few seconds of listening to “Time after Time” gets me to ecstasy, it jumps up my heart, and I just feel I have to express these feelings. So I take my brush and I draw something I feel the song represents. I imagine what the musician is probably thinking while singing something that makes people like me feel so filled up with life.

Miles Davis Online: Do you think jazz artists make great subjects to paint?

Yuriy Shevchuk: Jazz music is very smooth and full of happiness and life. A good painting must be full of life. It doesn’t necessarily have to be optimistic but it definitely has to make me feel as a person so I can paint something that another person would like. The great level of some jazz musicians’ feeling of the music also makes it easier for other artists to work with their piece… and something in a quite different direction as for me is painting.

Miles Davis Online: What are you working on now? Anymore Miles Davis paintings in the future?

Yuriy Shevchuk: Yes, I will continuously be adding more art with jazz & rock stars into my collection, including Miles Davis, but I’ve been busy from drawing jazz with other commissioned artworks.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?

Yuriy Shevchuk: “Time after Time” and “Human Nature” from 1989 in Paris, featuring Kenny Garret.

Artwork is © Yuriy Shevchuk

Artwork available for purchase at, imagekind, fine art america and redbubble.

Miles Davis, Sketched

Here is a wonderful sketch I found of Miles Davis at Ruth Mowry’s artistically excellent Synch-ro-ni-zing blog. Her sketch design of the jazz legend is clean and decisive; it’s a strong visual.

© Ruth Mowry

The Miles Davis Online Interview: Jamie Parslow



I had an instant reaction to Jamie Parslow’s photography: the work is honest and immediate.

In my search for Miles Davis art and photography, I found Parslow, and with him not only three, marvelous photographs of the jazz legend, but a lovely assortment of photographs taken throughout a long, exciting career; presently residing in Norway, Parslow’s work covers many decades, the photographs a reflection of his life from one adventure to another.

In the ‘70s Parslow spent time at Rolling Stone, so no doubt you will find a lot of great concert photos and shots of famous folks. From Hendrix to B.B. King, Jack Nicholson to Janis Joplin it is a collection well worth your time to peruse.

Each of Parslow’s collections, located on his website, are a delight to view, and I recommend highly doing so.

Parslow was kind enough to take a few minutes and chat with me about his work – especially the three, Miles Davis photographs I love so much.

Miles Davis Online: Let’s start with the two, ‘Peepshow’ photos titled ‘Miles Davis, 1969.’ What’s the story?

Jamie Parslow: These two were taken at the Monterey, California Jazz Festival. I talked my way to a backstage press pass and went from there.

Miles Davis Online: What about the 1970 photo of Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis?

Jamie Parslow: I had moved from San Francisco to New York, and with a nice recommendation from [photographer] Jim Marshall, I had met, and was doing some work for Bob Thiele, the Flying Dutchman.

These photos were taken at a combination 70th birthday celebration for Louis, and recording session for the Louis Armstrong and Friends What A Wonderful World album. Miles was one of many who came to wish Louis a happy birthday. Quite en event. But what did Miles say to Louis…?

Miles Davis Online: What was it like to photograph Miles Davis? Were you able to get a good sense of what kind of person he was?

Jamie Parslow: I can´t say I spent time with Miles, but I found him to be very congenial, cordial and patient with me, especially when I had my camera in his face! He never reprimanded me, never complained, on the contrary was very patient, would pause when he knew I was photographing him. I was in awe.

Miles Davis Online: How would you describe yourself as an artist? Does your work represent a specific ‘style?’

Jamie Parslow: A subjective documentary photographer. It´s a fine line between the personal and the private, a line I try and walk as often as possible.

Miles Davis Online: What will we be expecting to see in your future work?

Jamie Parslow: More personal work.

Miles Davis Online: Favorite Miles Davis album?

Jamie Parslow: I think I have to go with Bitches Brew. What a crew, what a gathering of some of the finest musicians at that time. A phenomenal album, innovative, brilliant!

Photographs are © Jamie Parslow

All of Parslow’s photos are for sale; prices available upon request

Miles Davis Sculpture Donated To Youngstown State University

Harry Meshel, a member of the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, former president of the Ohio State Senate and a long-time fan of jazz, has donated sculptures of three legendary musicians to the Jazz Studies program in the Dana School of Music.

The sculptures by artist Ed Dwight depict Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis and will be on display at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown.


Discover Jazz Festival Launches Contest To Re-Imagine Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew Album Art

Attention artists and/or Miles Davis fans! The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival (June 3 – June 12) is issuing a request for submissions from visual artists for artwork re-imagining the original album cover for Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.

The artwork will be displayed in conjunction with the Bitches Brew Revisited performance on June 3 and throughout the 2011 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.

Ten finalists (chosen by a public vote) each will receive a pair of tickets to the June 3 performance of Bitches Brew Revisited; the Discover Jazz Festival’s opening night show features musicians including Graham Haynes, Vernon Reid and Marco Benevento.

One of those ten finalists (chosen by a panel of judges) will receive a pair of tickets to the show and a grand prize of $500. All finalists’ and winner’s work will be displayed on stage prior to the performance and printed for display at the after-party.

Deadlines for submissions is May 13, 2011. Click here for more information.

“This is such a fun opportunity to think about how we approach art, and how art builds on art,” Geeda Searfoorce, associate director of the jazz festival, told the Burlington Free Press.

“The visual art on the album is so stunning and striking. There’s something really lovely — and with great potential — to say ‘re-imagine it.'”

Searfoorce added: “We thought about how we can engage audiences in a deeper way to really funny enjoy the show, and have the best experience possible.”

Mati Klarwein (1932 – 2002) was the creator of the original Bitches Brew album cover art, a visionary artist and painter inspired by psychedelic surrealism and best known for his works used on the covers of music albums.

Miles Davis: In Just Four Icons

Madison, WI-based designer Kyle Tezak has a great website. One of his ongoing projects is The Four Icon Challenge. The goal is to use just four icons at a time to represent some of his favorite films, books, etc.

It’s minimal, it’s cool and it’s awesome! I think ‘The Great Gatsby’ is my favorite of the bunch so far. But each one is really good.

So….. I thought it would be interesting to think what Tezak might incorporate if he were to ‘sum up’ Miles Davis using just four icons.

Here’s a quick rundown of icons I think could work. Feel free to add your thoughts if I’ve missed a few.

Trumpet (pretty obvious)
Expensive suit
The wrap-around shades from the Bitches Brew period
Boxing gloves (maybe?)
The pose from the Jack Johnson album cover
Sheet music for “All Blues” (or something from his Gil Evans collaborations)