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Jazz Graphic Design Heaven Times Two

– Geoff Winston, who unearthed the video above on a graphics networking site, writes:

“This is a 3-minute video produced in Italy by Filmatindustriali in 2009 to promote the Bella Vista Social Bar in Siena.

It’s an ‘hommage’ to classic jazz album covers, which are given an extra filmic dimension with total love and respect. Many of the selected albums are designs for Blue Note by Reid Miles. Miles, who later moved on to photography was a classical music enthusiast, not a jazz man, but that didn’t stop him from being a great jazz album designer.

The other featured designers such as the groundbreaking John Hermansader, to whom Reid Miles was originally assistant, would have loved these. Francis Wolff, the amazing photographer and Blue Note partner, would have smiled at the way actor Moussa Kaba has taken on the role of the jazz heroes who appear on his original covers.

His take on Grachan Moncur III on the Some Other Stuff album cover is a particular delight, not to mention the scene-stealing cameos of the Jack Russell dog, Ultimo in Jimmy Smith’s Back at the Chicken Shack and the Elmo Hope Blue Note 10-inch cover animation. Blues and the Abstract Truth, designed by Robert Flynn/Viceroy, fleetingly gets the lightest of touches from director Bante (aka Stefano Tinti) and Kaba, too.

There are also some great detail touches such as turning the appearance of ringwear to visual advantage (the scuffed outline of the enclosed record on the outer surface of a well-worn LP cover).

The mis-spellings – Blakey as Blackey, on Introducing Kenny Drew, and Grachan as Grachsn really don’t matter!”

-And while on the subject of graphic design heaven…if you want to buy a magazine to go on reading and enjoying from now until the cows come…. at least till Christmas….Eye Magazine’s Music Design Special Issue, the current issue, No. 76 is essential.

-And another thing. There’s a graphic designer encouraging LondonJazz to go down the road of Strange Frutiger, Baltimore Arial, Bodoni Soul (Do we really have to?)

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9 replies »

  1. Smashing clip – thank you for sharing! One of those “why did noone think of it before?” moments

  2. That's a wonderful clip, those album covers really are classics and the music is pretty darn special as well!
    Thanks Geoff.

  3. Hi Geoff,

    It's 'So Tired', off the 60's Blakey & Messengers record 'Night in Tunisia'…

    Lovely early Wayne!

  4. Fantastic! Thank you. It had been nagging for ages and … well, I (and friends) hadn't got there – and hadn't got the album, either – to be rectified! Was it Lee Morgan … ? Yeah, it was! And, thanks for drawing attention to the great early sighting of Wayne Shorter (a bit like the Messengers album I got recently with Keith Jarrett's first recording – Buttercorn Lady). Brilliant. Most grateful.

    Geoff

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