Art by Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Elsewhere Art . . . the Beatles

6 Jun 2021  |  1 min read

Because there is a finite number of studio recordings by the Beatles, just for my amusement I sometimes make up my own and write about them under the Absurd Elsewhere page. Given the title of that page and the uttery improbable albums I invent (not all by the Beatles as you may see if you look: Taylor Swift, Lorde and Jimi Hendrix are not immune) it always surprises me how many people take... > Read more

Elsewhere Art. . . . Jay McShann

31 May 2021  |  <1 min read

The thing you learn about jazz is that if you write about it most people aren't interested. Aside from jazz aficionados who will be quick to point out how wrong you are, which album is better, why you should have written about someone else instead . . . So when I was writing about jazz (and very Elsewhere music) for certain magazines directed at a more "rock" audience I'd try... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Joe Meek

24 May 2021  |  <1 min read

The temptation when thinking about the collage for an article on Joe Meek's sci-fi pop album I Hear a New World would be to go the whole spaced-out look. After all, that was the theme of the album, and of course he had recorded the exceptional instrumental Telstar for the Tornados which evoked the space-race of the early Sixties. But the tragedy of Meek's life meant that such an image... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Lola Falana

21 May 2021  |  1 min read

I'll be honest, I'd never heard of Lola Falana until was flicking the pages of coffee-table book of photographs by Sammy Davis Jr. And I learned two things: Sammy was a more than decent photographer-cum-documentarian who, of course, had "access" to his scene with Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack; and that Lola Falana -- who was his partner for a while -- was an astonishing... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Lester Bowie

10 May 2021  |  <1 min read  |  1

The late Lester Bowie was not just a great musician but a funny guy. Hence Donald Duck in this collage. One of Bowie's pieces was Miles Davis Meets Donald Duck for which he blew through a straw in water to create an effect which sounded exactly like that encounter. With his Brass Fantasy ensemble he covered Michael Jackson's Thriller and he moved beyond jazz to play on David Bowie's... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Miles Davis #3

3 May 2021  |  <1 min read

Given his interest in what we once called "the fight game", it was inevitable that Miles Davis would be drawn to the outsized character of boxer Jack Johnson who caroused, openly went out (and home) with white women, enjoyed life living it large . . . and took out contenders and pretenders along the way. The collage positions images of Davis and Johnson around one version of the... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Richard X Bennett

22 Apr 2021  |  1 min read

This image may be confusing for many, given New York pianist/composer Richard X Bennett hasn't crossed into too many Elsewhere and otherwise lives . . . . despite my best efforts. Bennett came our way back in 2013 with the album New York City Swara on which he played Indian raga pieces on piano. Which is odd, difficult and – when you think about microtones and drone -- all... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Chet Baker

21 Apr 2021  |  1 min read

Chet Baker was -- like Dean Martin -- a man whose gifts came so easily he took them for granted and was casually dismissive of them. Dean would walk into a recording studio or onto a film set, do what was required with the minimum of effort and then head for the golf course or, later in life, to the same restaurant. The gift was just there to to be rolled out when required and then he could... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Louis Armstrong

18 Apr 2021  |  <1 min read

Absolutely obvious I know. But what else are you going to for the great Louis Armstrong other than cast him as some holy man radiating light out of New Orleans? This was created to accompany an article on various Dixieland compilations, a genre of jazz I have always had some aversion to because of the cliches of men in bowler hats sitting on the back of a flat bed in some smalltown... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . the Modern Jazz Quartet

14 Apr 2021  |  <1 min read

This art was just absurd . . . as absurd in a way as the fact the buttoned-down, besuited and ineffably cool Modern Jazz Quartet would briefly appear on the Beatles' Apple label for two albums in the late Sixties. The American group seemed incongruous on a label launched the wake of Sgt Pepper and which was scooping up oddballs or releasing Lennon and Harrison's vanity projects. But... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Pilot

9 Apr 2021  |  <1 min read

Too easy really. When deciding to write about the British pop group PIlot for the We Need to Talk About pages, the idea just came immediately. Pilot from Scotland were inspired by the Beatles and in the mid Seventies started having popular, Beatlesque-MOR hits like Magic. They were a decent enough Beatle-style pop band and in the absence of the actual Beatles who'd broken up a few years... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Dave Brubeck

4 Apr 2021  |  1 min read

When I first thought of doing a collage to accompany a piece on Dave Brubeck this idea was almost too obvious: in his younger days he had been on the cover of Time, and his most popular album was Time Out which included the memorable Take Five. It was that Time Out album (the original of which I still have) which attuned me to jazz in the years before the Beatles. I have told some of that... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . two jazz guitarists

29 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

When considering a couple of albums by jazz guitarists Ralph Towner and John Abercrombie in 2017, I was struck by just how old they were: these were men now in their Seventies and yet I still thought of them as being maybe late Thirties or early Fourties. For some reason the idea of visual homage to older artists -- be they painters or musicians -- came to mind and Picasso's Three Musicians... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Frank Zappa

24 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

I have done a few collages of Frank Zappa (soon I will post Frank as the Mona Lisa) because his distinctive appearance lent itself to a kind of cut-up and refracted image . . . which I felt also reflected his very diverse music. As with the albums where you listen to one and think you've figured him out then another one is so different it changes your persective, I hoped this kind of image... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Japanese ambient artists

24 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

When the very beautiful collection Kankyo Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental and New Age Music 1980-1990 arrived in 2019 it was so seductive and engrossing that it was quite transporting. Not to the busy Japan of streets and markets or the oppressive highrises that are so familiar, but the quieter interior spaces in offices and homes and temples. This collage was an attempt to... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Charles Lloyd

21 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

Given that the Charles Lloyd album this was created for is a quiet affair, some explanation is needed of this chaotic looking collage. The album was Lift Every Voice and it has been a longtime Essential Elsewhere Album. But the art refers to the time of its creation, not the resulting music. The great saxophonist -- who had been acclaimed by the hippie/Age of Aquarius generation for... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Janis Joplin

21 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

I can't remember why this was created, or where or who used it, but I wrote a major piece about the great Janis Joplin, noting that of all the dead rock star legends of the Sixties she has been the least revived and repackaged and revered. She just seemed too unmanageable, too assertive and probably even too rock'n'roll for current tastes.  I also noted that she would scare the... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . John Coltrane

19 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

Any album by John Coltrane is worth taking the time to respond to, and not just in an aural way. The truest response to any work of art is to create another. Is it not? And even if your response is weak in the comparison at least you responded in kind. This is weak. But what visual work could ever convey the emotional depth, technical proficiency and thoughtful dimensions of... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . Miles Davis #2

19 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

Needless to say there is quite a lot about Miles Davis at Elsewhere, including my 1988 interview with him, hence the tagline at the bottom. I can't remember exactly what this piece was illustrating but it wasn't a consideration of Sketches of Spian (despite the imagery) because I did another piece for that. Maybe for something I wrote about the Milestones album given the year at... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . . studio boffins

17 Mar 2021  |  <1 min read

Sometime in the very late Eighties I spent a day in an Auckland studio with a very well known dance-pop band. It was one of the dullest days imaginable. They had recorded their instrumental parts previously and this day was set aside to watch sine waves on a screen, shift them around, repeat them, and so construct their songs from the invisible (and sometimes even inaudible) parts.... > Read more