Monday, November 16, 2009


There is a palpable nostalgia these days, shared by me, for those long-lost Lp covers of yore.  The art of the album cover flourished from the advent of the Lp in the mid-50's and died in the mid-80's, when the rise of the 5" by 5" CD reduced the canvas on which graphic designers plied their craft to a sub-postcard size.  Ever since I spent a sunny afternoon in May 1967 poring over the eye-popping cover for Sgt. Pepper, I have loved looking at album art.

Lately, I've found myself obsessing over old jazz albums.  The best of them capture a long lost era of Cool, and and crackle with the energy and optimism of the era.  The Blue Note covers of the the Fifties and Sixties, for instance, are legendary for their black and white photos and bold, often monochrome graphics.  Here are few examples:

Now, as for the bizarre title of this post. While recently adding some early 50's jazz discs to my collection, I came across three truly weird covers, all for famous jazzmen, all drawn by the same artist, extremely well known for his subsequent work but quite obscure at the time he did these. Let's see if you can guess who he is:

If you guessed Don Martin, your fabulous fortune is prizes is in the mail. That's right, Mad's maddest artist did the cover for a Miles Davis Lp back in 1955. Glorpf!

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