Readers have probably noticed that things look a little different around here. I’ve been getting my hands dirty in CSS in an attempt to make the site look like one of my posters. While it’s been a couple of weeks since it started to look different, I only just now made the final tweaks.
Since my post about E. Simms Campbell’s A Nightclub Map of Harlem, I’ve talked to many people about where the original might be, as well as other jazz maps that have been created over the years. The first one that popped into my head was a vague recollection of a jazz map of the United States, with cartoony drawings of all the old greats. For days I couldn’t remember where I had seen it, until I realized it was in a book that I own.
Drawn by Jim Flora, who is famous for his jazz album covers in the 40′s and 50′s, I found A Jazzman’s Map of the World in the accompanying book of one of Time-Life’s The Swing Era LP sets. These sets are actually pretty great for their books, if not for the music itself. This one comes from the 1938-1939 volume, titled “Where Swing Came From.” This drawing does a good job of showing just that: most of the bases are covered by Flora on jazz’s early influences. He did a pretty good job of reproportioning everything on his map of the world; it reminds me of the old drawing of a sensory homunculus, which represents a human with body parts resized according to how much space in the brain is concerned with its sensory perception. In our view of the world, we only perceive jazz, right?
The next two maps I came across are modern jazz maps, courtesy of Marc Miller at Ephemera Press. Marc was the curator of the Smithsonian’s Louis Armstrong: A Cultural Legacy exhibition that contained A Nightclub Map of Harlem in 1996, and was so inspired by it he had illustrator Tony Millionaire create two amazing maps centering on Manhattan and Queens, NY.
In Harlem Renaissance: One Hundred Years of History, Art, and Culture, Manhattan is represented in a map of Harlem with sidebars representing Broadway and downtown. This work is packed full of information, and while not as fanciful as Campbell’s drawing, it would definitely be more suitable for a walking tour of Harlem. In The Queens Jazz Trail, we see the homes of dozens of legendary jazz musicians with their exact addresses. It is similarly full of great information about the different neighborhoods in which they lived and looks appropriate for a driving tour of Queens. Both of these maps are posted with permission from Ephemera Press and can be ordered directly from their website.Posted in Music