Few art forms felt as thoroughly modern at mid-century as jazz. And the graphics that accompanied and adorned those classic albums were often just as experimental and exuberant. Illustrator David Stone Martin was one of those innovators, and on the occasion of his centennial JAZZARTZ Gallery in Laguna Beach, California, has released scores of his cover designs for Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Stan Getz, and others as art prints. They range in size from 14 to 44-inch squares and will give an immediately retro vibe to the wall of your choosing. Martin's work is in the Met, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian. Could your living room be next?
Here is the cover for Jazz at the Philharmonic Vol. 5 from Mercury Records in 1951. Dizzy Gillespie in his trademark beret is pretty hard to miss.
The blue and red halves of tenor saxophonist Stan Getz seem to suggest both his "cool" and "hot" sides. This album is cover is for Stan Getz at the Shrine from Norgran Records, 1955.
The bold graphic strokes and big colorblocks make this cover for Lester Young's album Lester Young Trio from 1946 about as perfect an evocation of mid-century record design as you'll get.
Bebop's most dynamic pair, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker get the David Stone Martin treatment here on the album Bird and Diz from Clef Records, 1950.
This saxophone abstraction is for Illinois Jacquet's Illinois Jacquet Collates #2 from 1953 for Clef Records.
This cover is for Jazz at the Philharmonic Vol. IV from Clef Records, 1946.