The Hearing Eye: Jazz & Blues Influences in African American Visual Art

By Graham Lock; David Murray | Go to book overview

EIGHT
“We Used to Say ‘Stashed’ ”:
Romare Bearden Paints the Blues

Robert G. O’Meally

I’ve illuminated the blackness of my invisibility—and vice versa. And so I play the
invisible music of my isolation. The last statement doesn’t seem just right, does it? But
it is; you hear this music simply because music is heard and seldom seen, except by
musicians. Could this compulsion to put invisibility down in black and white be thus
an urge to make music of invisibility?

—Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

You need to go out and see jazz musicians play. That way, you can see the beat.

—Leroy Williams, percussionist

Both in art history and in the new field of jazz studies, it has become something of a commonplace that jazz music has influenced visual art—and doubtless the other way around—and that of all the visual artists engaged in this musical exchange, Romare Bearden is the obvious, irrefutable one.1 Bearden literally wrote jazz music2 and his art routinely depicted figures in the shapes and characteristic stances of jazz musicians, some of them specifically identifiable players and singers presented in (formerly) well-known jazz spaces. Bearden’s Young Louis Armstrong (Listening to King Oliver), Lion Takes Off, Sitting in at Baron’s, The Blues (his homage to Billie Holiday), Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden, and Jamming at Minton’s are some of these. At times Bearden also would title a work after a specific jazz composition: Carolina Shout, named after James P. Johnson’s Eastern ragtime classic, may be the most famous example here (Figure 8.1),3 though Wrapping It Up at the Lafayette, named after an important Fletcher Henderson composition, is also a significant example. Bearden’s collages named for Duke Ellington’s compositions alone would include I’m Slapping Seventh Avenue with the Sole of My Shoe, Reminiscing in Tempo, Paris Blues, and The Blue Light.

Other Bearden titles present more oblique kinds of jazz references—often with a savvy insider’s sense of the jazz world’s special turns of phrase: Vamping Til Ready, Second Line, The Woodshed, Stomp Time, Kansas City 4/4, Tenor

-173-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Hearing Eye: Jazz & Blues Influences in African American Visual Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 366

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.