One of the first illustrators I became interested in - mainly due to the enthusiasm of my tutor at evening class back in the early 1960s – was David Stone Martin (1913 –1992).
His distinctive scratchy, blobby, inky line became synonymous with many jazz album covers of the 50’s and 60’s. Here is some of his work…
This lovely style, evocative of Ben Shan and Andy Warhol - when he was a commercial illustrator - influence many British artists in the late 50s like Peter Blake, Terrence Greer, Quentin Blake, John Sewell and many of the now forgotten illustrators commissioned by the Radio Times in the '60s.
But my appreciation of David Stone Martin was to become part of a wider appreciation of jazz album covers and the music itself. My older brother, Frank was a saxophonist and obsessed with modern jazz. This was the1950s and I, as a single-minded teenager, was only interested in the pop artists of the day – Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Conway Twitty, and The Drifters etc. But more often than not I would wake up to the complex musicality of Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davies, MJQ, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and a great many classical recordings also filtered their way to my room. It emanated from a Dansette record player in my brother’s bedroom…
It became the catalyst to a far wider musical appreciation and curiosity than I would otherwise have had. I began to realise that being open to all things was the way to have a far more enriching life. This openness became my private mantra. Even though I find much of what is going on today difficult and frustrating I still hold on to that openness and sense of curiosity that started back in the 50s.
Anyway enough about me. Here are some of the jazz, classical and other album covers of the pure graphic variety that I much appreciated when they were still a big blowsy 12 inches square. Many by the considerable talent on Rudolph de Harak (1924 –2002)
The next three are by Sam Suliman
I don't know who designed the next two but I love them.
For more on Sam Suliman , Rudolph de Harak and much more go to this great album cover site.