7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #662: Featuring Rudy Gutierrez

h1 November 3rd, 2019 by jules


Nic plays the double bass and, after a performance at his school (where he pulls off an “epic solo”), he heads to his grandfather’s, the giant instrument strapped to his body like an over-sized backpack. As he wields his way through the busy city streets — managing to carry the instrument as gracefully as possible; getting past a vicious dog; overcoming the rain and disparaging comments from other children (“nice tie, chump”) — he hears music in the city noises (the “whoosh, whoosh” of windshield wipers) and the rain (“plunk, plunk, plunk”) until he’s safe and warm at granddaddy’s. Granddaddy Nic is also a musician, and waiting with him are his friends — a drummer, a saxophonist, and a trumpet player. It’s time to make music.

This is the dynamic, kinetic Double Bass Blues (Knopf, October 2019), written by Andrea J. Loney and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez. Loney’s economical text captures the noises and dialogue of the city streets; Gutierrez’s illustrations — with their geometric designs, swooping lines, and vivid colors — are all movement and energy, as you can see in the spreads featured here today. It’s a story about resilience, family, community, and (best of all) music.


(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge spread)



(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click cover to enlarge)


DOUBLE BASS BLUES. Text copyright © 2019 by Andrea J. Loney. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Rudy Gutierrez and reproduced by permission of the publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) I always look forward to the announcements of the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books, and they announced the 2019 list on Friday.

2) My daughters dressed up as Pearl and Amethyst for Halloween. Steven Universe forever.

3) Their friends dressed up as Moomins.

4) Lucy Dacus covering “In the Air Tonight” for Halloween:



5) A beautiful new song from The Innocence Mission, as well as the announcement of an upcoming album.



6) The art projects that Jenny Odell describes in chapter one of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy. Plus, the way she writes about bird songs.

7) Managing to recover some playlists on iTunes that I had carefully curated last year but that had then disappeared into thin air. I don’t know how I managed to pluck them out of the ether once again, because iTunes makes me cry real tears. I think it was magic. I’m not going to talk about it anymore, should I jinx it and they disappear again. But it’s a kick.

7½) Finally watching A Simple Favor. That FABULOUS soundtrack. Case in point below. Anyone want to dance with me?



BONUS: In honor of Double Bass Blues, here’s upright bassist Adam Ben Ezra:



What are YOUR kicks this week?

4 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #662: Featuring Rudy Gutierrez”

  1. Ooh, what a book. I love the vividness of the illustrations and the journey of the young bass player.
    Jules, I might have to.look up Jennie Odell.
    My kicks:
    1. Feedback at writing class.
    2. Buster turned 9 on Griday.
    3. Swim meet watching oldest grand.
    4. Anticipating see younger grands in a couple weeks.
    5. Planning for next summer.
    6. Genealogy library.
    7. Finished Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes.

  2. Good morning, Imps! Hi Rudy! Rock that bass.

    Jules: Glad they had a good Halloween! I’m adding all of those songs to my queue and will listen to them later this week. Yay for recovering your playlists! That is awesome!

    Jone: Happy belated birthday to Buster!

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Plans working out
    2) Things going smoothly
    3) Here
    4) There
    5) Everywhere
    6) Laughter
    7) Appreciation

  3. Love this colorful, vibrant and energetic artwork today!

    Jules- love the creative Halloween costumes and the music this week. Have not seen A Simple Favor but love that song you shared. Thanks for the into to Jennie Odell – I’ve been checking out her website and the essay that started the book – very cool stuff.

    Jone – Happy birthday to Buster! Yay for swim meets, writing feedback and planning for the summer. Are you going to the Portland Book Festival next weekend?

    Little Willow – yay for kicks 1 and 2 and especially kick 6 – laughter is such a great kick.

    My kicks this week:
    1) Reading “All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir” by Nicole Chung.
    2) This fabulous essay from Katherine Rundell about why we love Lyra and His Dark Materials: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/01/how-philip-pullman-lyra-won-the-world
    3) Having my week unexpectedly free up.
    4) Hummingbird in the backyard.
    5) Trick or treaters for the first time ever (since I’ve lived in my neighborhood, so in 8 years!)
    6) Watching Little Shop of Horrors with friends who hadn’t seen it.
    7) Face-timing with my nephews.
    7.5) Having a slow-er weekend for the first time in a long while, and getting to sit in the sun with Daisy and enjoy it.
    BONUS: His Dark Materials premieres tomorrow night!

    Have a great week Imps!

  4. Jone, do you have big travel plans for next summer? Happy birthday to Buster!

    LW: I bet your playlists are a thing of wonder.

    Rachel: Hope you are enjoying the slow-er weekend, and thanks again for pointing me to that fab essay. Love your 3rd and 5th kicks, in particular.

    Thanks for visiting, you all. Have a good week!

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