Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jamel Shabazz is dope!

i'm taking an advanced jazz composition course right now taught by the amazing Prof James Newton (http://www.jamesnewtonmusic.com) and he advised us to follow a certain visual artist throughout the course of the class. I chose Jamel Shabazz, an awesome photographer. I ran across his book Back In The Days whilst hanging out with some friends at "vintage" (overpriced) clothing stores in Venice about a year ago. We were at this shop called Animal House and after checking out all their rad skateboards (original crazy designs from the 50's with built-in brakes! it would be so helpful to have skateboard brakes nowadays!) i sat in the back and found Back In The Days. I really wanted to buy it but having spent my money on a tight Yamaha PortaKeys keyboard at the UCLA Thrift Store earlier that day, I decided to hold out until a later day. That day turned out to be last Wednesday (BOOOM!) and on Friday Back In The Days and its follow-up A Time Before Crack arrived at my apartment! really stoked to see how Shabazz's work influences my compositions. The one thing I see right off the bat is that Shabazz strives to focus on bringing out the beauty that lies in everyday life- life's substance and realness. I want to strive for that in my music. Here's to Jamel!

PS- check out http://www.jamelshabazz.com

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