Paul Morris is an avid Portland, Oregon collector who, in his words, will “share his enthusiasm for the artists who created album covers in the ‘40′s and ‘50′s.” In addition to being a collector of the art, he is a scholar of it.
In Volume 1 of “Cover Stories,” Paul shared his collection of covers by Alex Steinweiss, known as the father of the record album cover, and for many years in charge of Columbia Records’ art department. Volume 2 focuses on Columbia covers.
Alex Steinweiss, the subject of my last column, started his career as head of the art department at Columbia Records, one of the three largest companies at the time. (RCA and Decca were the others.) Columbia continued its success throughout the period I’m looking at. Their covers vary in style, but they usually shared a feel of quality, an uptown New York esthetic. In varying degrees they show the influence of the boss. The later Columbia look had a similarly classy look. […] Continue reading »
We recently introduced Cover Stories with Paul Morris, a feature devoted to record album art of the ’40′s and 50′s. In Volume 1, Paul presented some of the great art of Alex Steinweiss, known as the father of the record album cover. In Volume 2 (to be published soon), Paul shares a selection of his collection of covers from the Columbia label, home to one of the top art departments in the heyday of the LP, including “Dixie by Dorsey,” a cover by Jim Flora. […] Continue reading »
Album covers: to those who grew up in the vinyl era, the images printed on the sleeves of LPs were closely linked in our imaginations with the music they represented. The iconic covers of the ’60s – Sgt. Pepper, The Band at Big Pink, Cheap Thrills drawn by R. Crumb – put an enduring visual stamp on the pop culture of the time.
This art form has a relatively short history – only in the ’40s were 78 rpm album covers routinely decorated with art. […] Continue reading »
Fans of album cover art are in for a unique and entertaining experience — “Cover Story with Paul Morris” will debut on Jerry Jazz Musician on Tuesday, October 8. Morris is an avid Portland, Oregon collector who, in his words, will “share his enthusiasm for the artists who created album covers in the ‘40s and ‘50s.” […] Continue reading »
One of the most consistently popular pages on Jerry Jazz Musician over the years has been “The Art of Romare Bearden,” an exhibition devoted to the work of the famous Harlem Renaissance artist. I was originally drawn to his work because of the artistic continuity of his images and the sounds of the culture he portrays.
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In cooperation with Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix, authors of Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop — a look at the fascinating historyof Kansas City’s golden age through book excerpts, photos and music […] Continue reading »
Doug Ramsey’s biography of saxophonist Paul Desmond is a lavish, detailedwork of art, filled with photographs, letters, and memories of a complexand frequently inspiring life. “Paul Desmond: A Life Told in Pictures,Music and Memories,” a Jerry Jazz Musician production published in cooperation with Ramsey and Parkside Publications, features photographs and excerpts from the book, as well as sound samples of Desmond’s music. […] Continue reading »
Although it only encompasses about six square miles, the New York City neighborhood of Harlem has played a central role in the development of American culture. Originally rural farmland, then an affluent suburb, since 1911 Harlemhas been predominantly an African American community. Its residents havehad a disproportionately large impact on all aspects of American culture,leaving their mark on literature, art, comedy, dance, theater, music, sports, religion and politics. […] Continue reading »
A photo exhibit illustrating the essence of sports during the first third of the American century — featuring forty photos from the Harry E. Winkler Photographic Collection. […] Continue reading »
Romare Bearden (1911 – 1988) was one of America’s great artistic innovators,blazing his own trail in a time of turbulent cultural change. Whilehis work offers an invaluable view of mid-twentieth-century African-Americanexperience, it has also come to occupy a significant place in the wider historyof American art and speaks to the universal concerns of artists everywhere. […] Continue reading »