Website for Joe McPhee

Joe McPhee is known to be an inspiration for Werner X. Uehlinger, who founded an avant-garde jazz label Hat Art back in the mid 70s to record his music. He is also at the very beginning of the new Lithuanian label NoBusiness Records.
Yet at least one more brave start-up has a direct connection with Mr. McPhee and his music. An initiative “design to support music” (later design4music.org) was born in March 2006, when Joe McPhee, Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen (TRIO X) gave a tremendous performance at Vilniaus Congress Hall.
The event was organized by the music store “Thelonious” and NoBusiness Records. Me too was involved. Joe McPhee accepted my proposal to design a new website for him and Trio X.

Joe McPhee - the official website created by design4music

The project represented a number of challenges

  • Joe McPhee is a very busy musician. He travelled a lot during the period of working on his website. Our communication was often interrupted.
  • His long career documented in huge discography. Collecting basic information about each of his many recordings was a daunting task.
  • Also I didn’t have any experience in designing particularly for music industry. It was like a guessing game.
  • But the main challenge was that overwhelming respect I felt to my client. I just couldn’t “do things wrong”. And let me tell you something: sometimes you've got to do wrong if you want it better.

All the above resulted in a situation when the project stretched in time for many months. At some point I was afraid that we aren’t going ever launch the website. But Joe’s trustful friend in music and beyond, bassist Dominic Duval stepped in to provide invaluable help. With his assistance I finally managed to complete www.joemcphee.com and www.triox.org. Naturally Dominic Duval became my next client.

Visit Joe McPhee on the web - created by design4music.org

Visit Joe McPhee on the web - www.joemcphee.com

Some technical details

Website for Joe McPhee is based on a self made content management system that allows updating news section, discography and pages such as “Biography”. Design theme was developed on a contrast between shades of blue and pale yellow. There is a lot of “air”. I tried to create a feel of “freedom”. There is a flash photo gallery with superb shots by downtown photographer Peter Gannushkin.

The resource is not being updated regularly. However an extensive, probably most complete online discography might represent value to a visitor.

... and finally

Joe McPhee and Max Micheliov at the doorsteps of Thelonious, Vilnius 2007

In 2007 Joe McPhee visited us for the second time, when he performed at Vinius Mama Jazz festival with Peter Brötzmann, Kent Kessler and Michael Zerang. “Pieces of human flesh will fly in the air when we start”, - he told me right before going on stage... It was a fantastic everything - the concert and seeing dear Mr. Joe McPhee again!

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