A Night at Birdland Vol. 1 is a 1954 release by jazz artist Art Blakey, and a quintet which featured Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson, Horace Silver and Curly Russell. It was first released by Blue Note Records
History Of Birdland
It was the bebop era, when jazz was at the height of its powers and New York City was its spiritual home. Birdland, the club named in honor of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, had opened on Dec. 15, 1949, a block west of the 52nd St. scene and for the next fifteen years, the club’s survival formula was built upon memorable double and triple bills, commencing at 9 p.m. and sometimes lasting ’til dawn.
Birdland established itself as the one place that every jazz musician had to play, as did Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane, Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Lester Young, George Shearing, Billie Holiday, Milt Jackson, Oscar Peterson, and Sonny Rollins to name a few, in front of audiences that might have included Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Within the first 5 years of it’s existence, the club entertained almost one and half million jazz listeners at $1.50 a person admission charge.
Birdland was a rather small club, which seated around 400 people. After descending down the stairs the room opened up with the bandstand right in front and a long bar along the left wall. On the opposite side from the bar – as well as just in front of it – there were rows of chairs reserved for listeners only – sometimes refered to as The Peanut Gallery or Bullpen – and in the middle there were 10 to 15 tables with red and white checkered table cloths where food and drinks were served. On the far right wall there were booths.
Hailed as The Jazz Corner of the World, Birdland was the closest thing to a pure jazz club at the time. A place where new bands were born, new alliances formed, and modern musicians felt at home. Brothers, Irving and Morris Levy were the owners of Birdland, though it was operated by Oscar Goodstein, who took tickets and tended bar.
Birdland had a master of ceremonies named Pee Wee Marquette who was under four feet tall and was notorious for mispronouncing musicians names that didn’t tip him. One night Horace Silver refused to tip Pee Wee, so he introduced him as Hore Ass Silber. His voice can be heard making the introductions on Art Blakey’s 1954 recording “A Night At Birdland.”
Many live recordings were made at Birdland over the years by such artists as Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Lester Young, Lennie Tristano, Count Basie, Art Blakey, John Coltrane to name a few. Count Basie and his Orchestra recorded Live from Birdland in the 1950s, and even recorded the famous Lullaby of Birdland there. The disc jockey Symphony Sid broadcast live from Birdland on WJZ early in the club’s existence as did the Voice of America radio show.
For sixteen years the greatest music in the world was generated nightly within its walls until it succumbed to the high cost of rent that doomed many of the clubs in the area.
Crate and Barrel has partnered with Ugallery to offer their clients original art! Even more exciting is that one of the selected artists is ME!
This collaboration between the three has turned out to be even more successful than any of us thought….at least me.
In the spring of 2017 they asked for a beginning portfolio of 12 paintings and then asked for more as our collection was depleted. I was just asked to provide another six painting just a few ago and now I just received this message:
I hope this email finds you well. Crate and Barrel has requested more art from you! They have asked for seven more paintings.
Of course there was more in the email but receiving this kind of email is the best. No, I take that back…receiving a message that says “your art has been sold” is the best.
All artwork in stored in the artist’s studio. Ugallery has sent a variety of professional padded art shipping boxes to keep on hand, plus marketing material, thank you materials, etc. When an email arrives that X painting has sold, you have 48 hours to get it out to the FedEx office for shipping. Easy Peasy. Next, you get a check in the mail.
Now you know why I love this arrangement. I get to paint and they do all the selling. I just create and get paid. What a wonderful world I live in.
More and more corporations, hospitals, professional offices and others have discovered the benefit of having original art in their space. It speaks volumes. It says that their organization is original, high end, the best.
The more business(s) that have displayed my work, the more work comes my way.
Abstract work is especially popular because it is non-political, does not insult any religious views or ethnicity. Large pieces are the most impactful. Small pieces seem to get lost in a space and frankly do not make the statement they are hoping for. Thinking of updating your space? Think abstract. Think large.
This was such fun creating this painting.
Sometimes creating a commissioned painting can be very frustrating. The client has one idea of what they want and I need the freedom to create organically. When we both agree to work together without stringent expectations we both are exited with the end product.
Luckily this client was a joy to work with and when she picked up her pieces she was overjoyed. This is an image of the paintings hung in her space. Actually the colors are more vivid in real life.
I’ve been in the studio today and this is one of my finished paintings to take to Chicago. While painting this I was listening to a fantastic jazz singer, Rene Olstead. I far I can see she only has released two albums. I NEED more. She is fantastic. However she is best known as an actress, often on T.V. sitcoms.
This recent work remains untitled. Any suggestions?
Another painting created while listening to Rene Olstead. It was a rainy day and time for a full day in the studio. My habit is to play my favorite (or recently discovered) musicians with headphones to get the full effect, have a bottle of water near by and begin to paint with no idea where it will go or what the end results will be. This particular painting was created while listening to her album “Skylark” and this song in particular, “Nothing but the blame”.
I’ve been in the studio quite a bit. With Crate and Barrel requesting more work, more commission work than ever, Ugallery asking for more…plus getting ready for the Chicago One of a Kind Show, December 7-10. I will posting some of my newest work throughout the next few weeks. This painting is titled “Chills and Fever” first published in 1964 and sung by Tom Jones. A recent song titled “Chills and Fever” has been released by Samantha Fish. A DEFINITE check it out. S
This fall the oddest things happened. For a few weeks I noticed very unusual things were happening that were new to me…and very odd.
For instance suddenly I couldn’t spell. I’ve always been considered a great speller but now I struggled. Not with difficult or obscure words but with fairly common words. Continue reading “Wowie…I lost my mojo”
It’s been a busy summer in the studio. I was notified in May that I was selected as one of twenty-eight artists to begin selling original art through Crate and Barrel. Yay! But…they wanted 12 paintings by June 1st. Wow. Well I got busy painting. But painting the work is only a small part of the project. I then had to photograph each painting in high resolution and five shots of each painting…one main and four quadrants. This is not an easy task. Once you get the details correct in each photo you then have to upload to the site and answer about 10 questions for each painting. This was done for each of the twelve paintings. Whew!
Then in June they asked for another twelve. Repeat the process.
Now they have asked for another six by today’s date. Mission accomplished.
The best part is…my work is selling regularly. Pleased. Humb
Press Release: UGallery (http://www.ugallery.com), the premier curated online art marketplace, and Crate and Barrel, the industry-leading home furnishings retailer, today announced a partnership to exhibit and sell UGallery original artwork at crateandbarrel.com. The exclusive collection presents one-of-a-kind artworks by 28 top emerging artists from around the country.
“Our goal is to elevate home life for our customers into an emotional and aesthetic experience,” said Crate and Barrel President and Chief Merchant Steve “Woody” Woodward. “We are excited to add the energy of original art to our assortment for customers, and we are proud to support emerging artists across the country through our new partnership with UGallery and this exclusively curated collection.”