Prestige Records Celebrated Release of "Basquiat Salutes Jazz" :: eJazzNews.com : The Number One Jazz News Resource On The Net :: Jazz News Daily Prestige Records Celebrated Release of "Basquiat Salutes Jazz"
Posted by: editoron Sunday, August 28, 2005 - 04:13 PM
Jazz News Brooklyn-born graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was one of the most talked about painters of the 1980s. His canvases portrayed a vibrant merging of African-American culture and hip-hop with wry social commentary. An exhibit of the wunderkind's work opened to rave reviews at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Downtown Los Angeles in July. Basquiat found deep inspiration from music, in particular bebop pioneers like Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. Breaking from tradition, these music innovators forged a daring new style of jazz that offered greater freedom of expression, much like Basquiat did to reinvent modern painting with his unbridled and anarchic art. Today, "Horn Player, " "Charles The First, " "Trumpet, " Discography One, " and "Discography Two, " all paintings which pay homage to the jazzmen to whom Basquiat felt most connected, are considered among his most compelling works.
To celebrate the release of "Basquiat Salutes Jazz, " a collection of twelve bebop-era tracks that feature many of the artist's heroes and creative muses, Prestige Records hosted a party at MOCA on Saturday, August 27. DJ Viktor Duplaix performed, playing a selection of classic tracks from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Charlie Byrd, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Max Roach, and Sonny Rollins, all of which are featured on the new CD.
When Basquiat passed from a heroin overdose at the age of 27, in 1988, his father Gerard found over 3, 000 mostly jazz LPs in his son's loft. "Basquiat Salutes Jazz" was created with the help of the painter's father, and the package include many of his most popular, jazz-inspired works, making it easier for the listener to draw parallels between the canvasses and the music.
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