Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Burt Goldblatt (Giving Thanks for)

Can't trust the old Memory all the way to the wall these days the way I useta could, but umpteen years ago when eBay was really hoppin', with hot collector rarities and long lines of crazed bidders, I surely did get swept up too... paid way too much for a staggering number of rare Jazz albums. Oh, I gradually made most of that back reselling them over time, but the money difference I've always just chalked off to education--my tuition and fees, and texts, that is, for an advanced course (if not a degree) in Modern Jazz circa 1947 to 1967: Bebop to Hard Bop, Mainstream to Free, East Coast commercial to Left Coast Cool; K.C. cribs, L.A. clubs, N.Y.C. lofts, and a hundred basement dives across the U.S. of A., wonderfully pictured and described on the jackets of all those 10" and 12" LPs.

Among designer heroes still surprisingly unsung is a Renaissance Man of rather unpoetic name, master of all he chose to survey, the truly great Burt Goldblatt. Read all about him, complete with a measured albeit miniscule sampling of his mighty work, right about here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

William Claxton, Photographer

For the first year or three of this blog, I regularly tested the familiar mathematical formula regarding the respective worth of pictures and words--too few of the former, too many of the latter--so when BlogSpot.com made posting pics a snap for even us computerrors, I was what you might call "Jazzed" to be able to make the mini-essays more visually arresting. In particular I compiled sample galleries representing certain artist/photographer/designers, the best of whom had turned LongPlay album jackets into 12-inch-square artworks suitable for framing.

Francis Wolfe and David Stone Martin, Herman Leonard and Burt Goldblatt,
William Gottlieb and William Claxton and scores more, their names forgotten or revered, but creators nonetheless of whole record libraries, hundreds of memorable covers emblematic of the beauty or excitement etched in plastic within.

First up from said Archives... Mr. Claxton, whose elegant b&w photos (a selection here, with several more in this visual piece) pretty much designed the look of West Coast Jazz.