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One for Daddy-O

June 8, 2012

Attention everyone, Father’s Day’s a-coming and this time I have come up with the ultimate present to give to your old papa.

Forget the Dad’s Army socks and the Best-of-English-Cricket/Rugby/Football DVDs. You’ll get a thank you but you can be sure the lot will end up in the local charity shop within 2 weeks.

Aiming for the latest Miles-Trane-Monk-Duke-Frank box-set or more books about Jazz paraphernalia will just add more clutter to the already filled-beyond-capacity shelf in the living room. And you’ll even get your mum whining about it in the process.

Technology’s the key perhaps? In case your old man’s a muso, then the invaluable app iReal will save the day with it’s massive collection of 1200+ Jazz charts and build-in player – one of 3 apps to get along with the metronome and tuner by the way! Chances are he’s got all that already.

So what then? 

Well, I am the proud owner of the 2 volumes of “The Cover Art of Blue Note Records” and also of the 400 pages thick “Jazz covers”, all available at eBayzon. The 1st Blue Note volume retails cheaply at about £10 so grab yourself a bargain. The other 2 seem to be discontinued but fear not, there’s also a similar offering based on the cover art for Riverside, Prestige and al called “Coast to coast” on offer at the same price.

What I like with these lovely books is that they are the nearest thing to actually own the original vinyl sleeves.  They are 22cm square, printed on thick paper with some annotations as to who the designers and photographers were. If Daddy’s a true Jazz fan, this is bound to hit the spot. Personally I’m a sucker for the work of Reid Miles for Blue Note, whose pictures and designs are a brilliant graphic arts translation of Jazz music. Without him, it wouldn’t have been the same.

Here’s a few of my favourites:

Donald Byrd’s “A New Perspective”. Not just a great cover. The album itself is very profound and spiritual, all bible-related with the addition of voices to the usual Jazz combo.

Joe Henderson’s “In ‘n Out”. I would love to have such an amazing design like this on my next CD. It speaks for itself.

Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” – the sleeve sets the mood. Probably where it all started for me, as a Jazz musician. The title tune and “Dolphin Dance” are all-time classics. So lyrical and beautiful. Great stuff to play too.


Pianist Andrew Hill’s “Black Fire” – Blue Note art at its peak.

To finish, Lee Morgan “The Rumproller”. The album was orderd as a  follow-up to the hit “The Sidewinder” but apart from this incredible piece of artwork, the rest of the music fell into oblivion…

I could go on like that all night.

Do you have a sleeve cover you absolutely adore? Let me know…

Oh, and if you’ve already got the Dad’s Army socks, you can always visit this fan site on June 17th for more eye-candy with Captain Mainwaring !

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From → Ah Hum

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