Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Tympani Five

We've come to a belated acceptance, and in some cases respect, for Flora's late-life work. We still prefer the bizarre jaggedness of his 1940s and 1950s illustrations and paintings, but occasionally the old Jim peeks through the new. The Tympani Five (referring to Louis Jordan's fun-loving jump band of the 1940s) isn't a top-tier work, but the spirit of Jordan synergizes with the spirit of Flora in this 1988 pen & ink with tempera on paper (owned by a private collector).

What's wrong with this picture? For one, Jordan spelled his group's name "Tympany." For another, the band was usually marqueed as "Louis Jordan & The Tympany Five," implying six members; Flora depicts a quintet. Moreover, "Five" was a name, not a number, because Jordan's outfit often included as many as nine players. But besides sharing a love of music, Flora and Jordan had mischievous natures, so we'll let facts take a holiday.

Although the 1980s were a tremendously productive period for Flora, this is only the second work from the decade we've posted. We're actually more fond of Flora's 1990s mojo.

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