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…

Page 111 (drawings from 2011)

We are all saviors now

Incredible times

If you're not happy

Art belongs in your head



Icarus = vanity

Greatest gift

Good news bad news


All hunger is the hunger

I like being alive



Follow your bliss


In nature


Jesus works



Urban landscape

All art is longing

Only you can decide


Acorn or oak

Internal monologue



I'm scared

Page 110 (drawings from 2011)

John Coltrane

Sunday walk

Holy space

Believe in me

All there is

Live happy die happy

Decide life is short

Don't tell me how to live

Page 109 (drawings from 2011)


The true cross

Every moment

Seeking out the holy

Being dead rocks


All we are

The real trouble

Bad karma