09 June, 2013

The River Revisited

The Lazy River
19" x 25"
Casey Klahn

I didn't like the color on the earlier photo, so we re-shot The Lazy River last week.  This one is more accurate.

Why not add Satchmo?

Why are these people having so much fun?  I think concerts are fun, but these peeps are swingin'.  It's 1958, which is a good vintage.  I was born in 1958.  

The Newport Jazz Festival (Rhode Island) was started only four years prior to this performance by Louis Armstrong.  I looked at their website.  It looks like a faded simile of it's once fantastic self.  Like a bag with all the gas let out.  I don't know how you top The Satch, anyway. I think they rate his performance as their high water mark.  

Maybe I'm waxing too nostalgic about it.   Although I avoid, like the plague, the subject of sympathy in my art, I do like it in music.  I'm not much of a music person, to be sure.  I don't know which end of the horn the sound comes out.  This guy: Sippican Cottage, knows a lot about music, and he comments on it all the time.  If you aren't reading his blog, you are missing out on the best prose in the interweb-osphere. 

About second number 23 in the video, you see this Caucasian lady (we used to call women ladies back then, but for a host of reasons that has fallen out of favor) start to mouth his lyrics.  That moment in the song, and it is early-on, you see the audience has totally boughten into his performance.   They are wrapped around his little finger, and that finger will be pushing valves on his blare like no other performer we remember.  He was called, "Pops" by his friends, and we all felt like his friends.  But, his music was anything but "pop."  It was Jazz, in all its glory: the music we listened to before that rolly type came ashore from a foreign land.  It was American, and it was crazy, free and wild.  

Don't get me started on the Fifties, either.  Those were salad days for American art.  Mark Tobey, Jackson Pollock  and Willem de Kooning were putting their expressionist versions of the same ideas as Louise on canvas.  Abstractionist notes and marks were colluding to turn our culture on its ear.

Are you still on your ear?  Just wondering.  Maybe your art, or your music, needs a little goose in the posterior.  Mr. Armstrong would approve of that.


Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Live music can create an incredible synergy between the musicians and the audience. It takes the right people on both sides. A lot like art, right? How the artist communicates depends a lot on the openness of the viewer. Today's bigger venues for music allow for a frenzy, but not the intimate connection. Jazz festivals are great, but a trio in a small club can be magic!

Casey Klahn said...

Well said, from someone who knows her music! Thanks, Katherine!

Ruth Andre said...

When I first found your work, you were painting the river waters and I was amazed. I am till amazed. Beautiful work.

Casey Klahn said...

Awww, you are really kind, Ruth. I am smiling from ear to ear.

Sara Mathewson said...

This river painting is really wonderful. you are the master with color, lights and darks.

And Louis, what can I say? Friday nights, mom and dad in a dark living room having their date night. listening to Louis and Ella and we would sometimes be allowed to lay on the floor and close our eyes and listen. my family still listens to jazz, in particular these two. So many warm, wonderful memories. thanks for the memories:)

Casey Klahn said...

Your parents were very hip in their day. You are too.

Thanks kindly, Sara!

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