Posts in Artwork

Pineapple Larry's inspired tree carving creation "Jack Ass"

How the term “jazz” originated

February 9th, 2016 Posted by Artwork 0 thoughts on “How the term “jazz” originated”

Recently my friend Lovano gave me a book that traces the history of jazz from its earliest New Orleans beginnings through today, chronicling the contributions of Italian Americans to this great music. “Bebop, Swing, and Bella Musica”, written by Bill Dal Cerro and David Anthony Witter is not only a fascinating read, but a strong reference for lovers of jazz history.

Filled with interesting facts and stories, this is a must have book for those who study or teach jazz history. I will relate one of those stories now. Jazz pioneer coronetist Nick La Rocca (New Orleans, 1889-1961), was one of the members of the group the Original Dixieland Jazz Band founded by drummer “Papa” Jack Laine around 1915. The ODJB was the first band to export the sounds of New Orleans around the country and help popularize the music eventually known as jazz. It was also the first band to record a jazz record in 1917.

My connection to this story is very coincidental. According to legend, the ODJB arrived in Chicago in 1916. Someone in the audience heckled the band saying “Here comes another jack ass band from New Orleans”. LaRocca thought the idea was funny, so he called the band the Original Dixieland Jack-Ass band from that point forward, which later became shortened to “jass”. Later jass became “jazz”.

  • Pineapple Larry's inspired tree carving creation "Jack Ass"

So what, you say, where’s your connection? Well, several years ago I carved this funny bunny and called him jack-ass. After reading the jazz story about Nick LaRocca and the ODJB I have discovered new meaning and a new purpose for my jack-ass. I now refer to him as “father jazz”.

Pick up the book, you won’t be disappointed.
All the best-
Dr. Papi

Whitey the deer

Whitey, carvings, and other sculpted stuff

February 14th, 2014 Posted by Artwork 0 thoughts on “Whitey, carvings, and other sculpted stuff”

Favorite Photos
So we’ll start with the white deer. I called him Whitey. He actually scared the crap out of me the first time I saw him. He appeared for photographs about once every three weeks in the fall of 2011. One December day I found him dead in the woods, left by a hunter who either lost track of him–or shot him illegally on my posted property. I’ll never know which. Anyway, I found him freshly killed and had him mounted. He now brings good fortune to our neighborhood. RIP Whitey!

Whitey- the Piebald Mascot

Whitey- the Piebald Mascot

Carvings
I’ve been hacking away at trees with my chainsaw for about 20 years now. Some of the creatures come out of nowhere, while others are inspired by odd shaped pieces of wood that I find. The Gator was a piece of driftwood that I found beached on the bank of the Hudson River in Marlboro, NY. I know Gators can’t survive in this climate, but the gator is one of my favorite creatures. We used to call my daughter Alli-Gator when she was little.

My Gator carving

My Gator carving

Lieutenant Dan

Lieutenant Dan

Then there’s always the whimsical creations that remind me more of cartoons than anything else. The man with the big head is called Lieutenant Dan because he has no legs, and the Cyote-Rabbit-Donkey was something inspired by my good friend Pineapple Larry. I affectionately call him JackAss.

Pineapple Larry's inspired creation

Pineapple Larry’s inspired creation

Sculptures
When wood rots due to exposure to the elements, a carver sometimes replaces the carving with a more durable sculpture. My wood dolphin carving became a victim of decay, so I replaced it with this more durable metal sculpture that I call “The Horn Section”.

The Horn Section pool shower

The Horn Section pool shower

Alternate view of The Horn Section

Alternate view of The Horn Section

There are always rocks to be lifted.

Rock man overlooking pumpkin patch 2013

Rock man overlooking pumpkin patch 2013