The Jazz Record Mart

John Coltrane
[John Coltrane, 2011]

When I lived in Chicago in my early twenties, I used to blow an amazingly large proportion of my paycheck over at the Jazz Record Mart, back when it was still on Grand & State.

While all my peers were listening to REM, Counting Crows and the Grateful Dead, I was becoming a Jazz nut.

And I wasn’t just sticking to the classic moderns- Miles Davis, Coltrane, Thelonious etc.- I was listening to a lot of 30’s and 40’s stuff as well, particularly Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker and Lester Young. I must’ve bought three hundred CD’s in less than two years.

It was during this phase that I started drawing abstract my “squiggly” style, as it were.

And yes, this had everything to do with jazz.

I wanted to draw pictures that hit people on a visceral, transcendent level, the same way those jazz records were hitting me hard.

Though I’ll never be to pen and ink what Coltrane was to sax, hey, at least I tried, at least I tried to pray to the same god.

On a good day, at least…