O.D.J.Band Box

(Spargo has that Sinking Feeling)

1997 - 2002

O.D.J.Band Box    (Spargo has that Sinking Feeling)                    1997 - 2002


When the Original Dixieland Jass Band, formed in 1916, recorded 'Darktown Strutters' Ball' and 'Indiana' in New York in January 1917, they created what is held to be the first recording by a 'Jazz' band.

AMA has been captivated by jazz music since he first discovered it in the late 1950's . This image of the five members of the ODJB in striking and synchronised pose, recorded in an old photograph, impinged on his memory. The musicians are (from L to R) Tony Sparbaro – Drums, Eddie Edwards – Trombone, Nick LaRocca – Cornet, Larry Shields – Clarinet, Henry Ragas – Piano.

When the band were invited to play a season in London in 1919, by all accounts Tony Sparbaro, known as 'Spargo' was very disinclined to make the journey across the Atlantic through a fear of drowning. This alleged and almost inconsequential fact lodged in the artist's brain and on coming across this photographic image again in 1997, Spargo's disposition came to mind and wanting to react to this photographic image, ideas were developed for a work to be entitled ‘O.D.J.Band Box’.

The thought that the members of a successful and renowned musical ensemble would not always play together concerned young AMA. That something so seminal might not adhere to its component parts seemed impossible. Being conceived during a difficult period of the artist's life, this work attempts to expurgate this concern.

The division of an entity into 4 and or 5 parts is a recurring element within the composition, with the sublimated numeric value of 9 hovering in the background. At the time of producing this work, AMA, in his fifty fifth year, felt the number 9 to be something of a nemesis.


Mixed media :
Inkjet prints on paper, acrylic sheet, wood, and applied objects attached to

MDF panel with various paints and varnishes.


111 x 111 x 17.6 cms.

For Sale