Gerry Mulligan

Jazz is the purest of all American art forms. Jazz musicians/composers are creative pioneers of the most inventive, subjective and complex form of music. As with true art, what one gleans from it is in direct proportion to what one brings to it. If one listens and attempts to unravel a minute particle of jazz’s complexity, rewards begin to abound. Revisits become filled with sheer pleasures.

My passion for jazz was ignited after hearing Lionel Hampton’s rendition of his masterpiece “Midnight Sun”. The resonant and mellow sound of the vibraphone was jazz! The mid 1950’s and early 60’s in the Bay Area was electric and alive: rhythm and blues out of the East Bay, the West Coast jazz scene up from L.A., and the East Coast groups congregating in North Beach jazz clubs with Beat poets. It was the Golden Decade of Jazz!

In 2004 I began painting portraits of my favorite musicians. The project became Faces of Jazz, a series of jazz portraits that has become a personal tribute to jazz.

The paintings are done in oil on double weight 100lb Bristol paper, double-matted, framed under glass. Frame sizes range from 22"X24" to 24"X27".