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The story of the Off The Grid
CD Jacket Design

by Scott Chapek, bassist & designer

By the time we had finished our recording session on our debut CD, "Times Three", the CD artwork, "Tri-Fi" (a triple horned Victor style talking machine) had been completed. On our second CD release as a trio, "Off the Grid", ideas for the CD concept hadn't been conceived yet even after the recording sessions. We discussed many ideas along the way including, "triple" ideas for instance, but none seemed to take hold. Until one beautiful day in the bay area, my partner Roni and I took a day long excursion along the bay-trail, as we try to do on a weekly basis to stave off the insanity of every-day life. At the end of the day, I came upon a power pole that had the right character; it had 3 large ceramic disc-shaped insulators on it. That day, the atmosphere was such that the clouds were low and puffy, like cotton. Stratocumulus? With the puffy clouds in the background, I managed to take a fairly decent photo of the power pole.
Original Pole Photo
Times Three Jazz Trio
Times Three Jazz Trio

The trio loved the picture and ideas started flowing towards the completion of the CD package. The overhead photo by Geoffrey Gratz (that was not taken by a drone) but taken from an overhead balcony, fit right along the lines of the the power pole idea.

Times Three Jazz Trio
Times Three Jazz Trio

After some extensive photoshop tweaking, the cover photo "wrap around" appears faded and colors yellowed, as if the picture was taken back in the '70's with a 110 pocket instamatic. It was Paul's idea to choose a bright "safety" yellow disc color to compliment the turquoise blue of the cover. What might fill the space under the disc tray? I remembered my dad's collection of old power line insulators, but specifically ones that were glass. I wanted the element to work with the CD, but also try to create an optical illusion or something interesting. I did some browsing for images on line and eventually saw this blue-green glass insulator image, photographer Melissa M. Hartley's, "Looking Through the Bottom of a Brookfield Glass Insulator CD164." The colors and perspective seemed to work beautifully. She has graciously allowed us to use her image on the CD:

Looking Through The Bottom Of A Brookfield Glass Insulator CD164, by Melissa M. Hartley

You can peruse many of Melissa Hartley's photo catalogs here or send her an email by clicking .

We came up with some clever titles for the CD, but in the end, we ended up choosing an often-used contemporary phrase: "Off The Grid."

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