Random Prompt #298: What is your favorite work of art?
Looking up and to the right from my desk chair, near the door frame, I have a painting of the iconic 1949 Herman Leonard photograph of Ella Fitzgerald at Club Downbeat in New York City with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman looking on from a front row table. I had been trying to buy a print of this photo for a long time, but everywhere I looked it was temporarily out of stock, which prompted my fabulous, multi-talented daughter, Madeline to do this painting for me and it’s my favorite...for several reasons.
I grew up in a quasi-jazz house in the 60's and 70's, That is to say the background noise in our house was the jazz my parents listened to on the local public radio station WBFO 88.7 or the long defunct WADV 106.5. Today, 88.7 is public affairs NPR and 106.5 is new country and plays endless sagas about faux cowboys drinking beer on the back of pickup trucks. While WBFO played it pretty straight, WADV had personality with Buffalo Broadcast Hall of Famer, Fred Klestine spinning a unique jazz blend and wishing everyone a salubrious day. Or you could hear Bernie Sandler’s Big Band program playing Count Basie and Bennie Goodman. As great as they were, Basie and Goodman, didn't excite the imagination of my generation and in no way could compete with the coolness of The Beatles and Bowie. But, by osmosis I must have gotten them because by the late 70’s my attitudes toward jazz started to change when I heard stuff by Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue. through my friend the Doctor, who was and is, always a step ahead of everyone else.