“Painting, I think it’s like jazz”
– Brian Eno
Uncle Godfrey loves jazz. I love jazz. He loved jazz first but not best and shared that love with me. In 1990, he made me a cassette tape of ‘Kind of Blue’ with a state of the art dual cassette recorder. This tape has travelled the world. When I lived in London, and inspired by Kind of Blue, I named one my jazz groups α- blue (alpha blue). We did vocalese (putting words onto instrumental jazz solos and then singing them note for note). α- blue also fused two disparate genres of improvised musics: early music and jazz music.
In honour of Victoria’s Annual Jazz Festival, here is one of my favourite paintings by Godfrey. A few years back this painting was turned into a poster for the Victoria Jazz Fest.
The lines and colors scat, harmonize and improvise over the bass. Godfrey’s art is always born in and of loud blasting music, from the rhythms of Cuba, the chanting of First Nations or Turkish vocalists. If you haven’t seen this short video, do click on it. It shows Godfrey, the creative genius madly at work: