Crocodiles Davis

Grizzly Gillespie (Dizzy Gillespie as a bear)We love design mashups as much as the next guy on the internet. There’s something about seeing something nostalgic reduced to a bold and clever design that brings a smile to the mind. But, somewhere between movie adverts redesigned as minimalist posters, video games redesigned as Penguin Classics, Penguin Classics redesigned as tattoos, and social media sites redesigned as sneakers (yes, really) things can get more tired than a sleepy panda redesigned as packaging for chamomile tea.

Over the last couple of years, the internet has flooded with [fill in the blank] designed as a minimalist graphic design project. True, sometimes less is more, but sometimes more is more. Thick sharpie squiggles, big blotchy watercolors, blurred colors, etc. — the kind of stuff you can’t fake if you’re just a wannabe design student with a cursory knowledge of Illustrator. Artist – and frequent collaborator – Abel Charrow has done a wonderful redesign project featuring jazz musicians as animals.

Abel’s Crocodiles Davis (named after this illustration) features beautiful watercolors of jazz musicians embracing their wild side. Some of our favorites? Thelonious Chipmonk, Elephants Gerald, Lynx Guaraldi, and Grizzly Gillespie.

The genesis for this project, according to Abel:

puns are clever, jazz is good, and making drawings of animals is fun

With more than a few dozen on the blog already, Abel is adding more each week, so visit often. Check out some of our favorites after the jump:

[Editor’s note: none of these are available as prints quite yet, but I bet if enough people tweeted at Abel, he’d put ’em up on his Etsy.]

Thelonious Chipmonk

Billie Goat Holiday

Vince Guaraldi as a Lynx

Lynx Guaraldi

Fats Waller as a Narwhal

Fats Narwhaller


Jellyfish Morton

Jellyfish Morton and his Red Hot Nematocysts

BB King as a Bee

B. Bee King

Oscar Petersloth Trio

The Oscar Petersloth Trio (featuring Ray Brown-throated Sloth & Herb Ellistodon)



  1. Lynx Guaraldi is still my favorite.

  2. I mean, they’re ALL great! I want to get a Thuglonious Chipmonk | B. Bee King | Jellyfish Morton triptych for my apartment. Come ON, Abel, make some prints already!

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