Andrew Hill – Judgement! / Atmosphere – Overcast!

Atmosphere with a touch of Reid Miles. He was the man… I’ve already talked about him, though.

John McLaughlin – Devotion

An example of unnecessary design. I never saw the original cover (left) of John McLaughlin’s Devotion until today. I was never truly interested in this record because the cover of the reissue (right) always turned me off. If I had seen the original I think I would have been much more interested. Solid type, great visual. The reissue is just awkward and I’m not a fan of the type. It also looks like they cropped the image somehow and made it less interesting. A bit too 90’s… Why not just stick with the original? Fortunately, It’s still a good album if you want to hear where the Mahavishnu Orchestra came from.

Update: Walter Kolosky, writer of Power, Passion and Beauty, a book telling the story of The Mahavishnu Orchestra, stated that the reissue cover was cropped from an image on the inside of the fold-out LP cover.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III

The cover for Lil Wayne’s new album. Is it bad that I actually like it?

Update: The design is by the legendary (?) Pen & Pixel studio. Commenter Henry Lancaster linked me to a nice retrospective of their work which included the video I’ve provided below.

Pen & Pixel
Lil Wayne

Ghostly Swim

I love free things. I also love Adult Swim’s taste in music. Their new compilation comes from Ghostly International, home of one of my favorites, Dabrye, as well as Tycho (aka designer ISO50). Unexpectedly, Flyamsam (Flying Lotus & SamiYam) is included. I’m hoping that’s a sign of an album coming soon… But I thought they were on Plug Research?
ISO50 reported on this a few days ago. He isn’t yet sure who’s responsible for the cover, but I’d say they did a good job. According to a comment on ISO50’s blog, the font comes from Stefan Kjartansson at YouWorkForThem. Cool.

Adult Swim

Ghostly International

Miles Davis Nefertiti & Sorcerer

I’ve been on a huge second quintet-era Miles kick lately, so I’d thought I post two of my favorites. I really love these close-up shots, one of Miles and one of then-love interest Cicely Tyson. Ive always felt that they demonstrate how well minimal type with strong photography can work really well. The type choice on “Sorcerer is pretty interesting too. Other than the photography being done by Jan Persson, I don’t know much about who’s behind the covers. And I don’t know much about Persson other than having a lot of photo credits on Google. But I do love them…

Stark Reality – Hoagy Carmichael’s Music Shop

I saw this in CD in the record store last year and knew it was something good. Unfortunately I didn’t buy it. I was confused until recently, not knowing that the Stark Reality album “Now“, released on Stones Throw, was actually this album plus some unreleased tracks. Either way, it is an amazing psychedelic funk album and I love the artwork. It actually makes me think about the Medeski Martin & Wood album I wrote about a while ago. Sadly, I’m not sure who’s responsible for the cover.
Another thing I thought was cool, Monty Stark has a list of hip-hop tracks that have sampled his band on his webpage. If I wasn’t tired I’d pull my SP out and start playing…

Update: An anonymous commenter says that the illustration was done by Mel Dietmeier and designed by Jim Bourne. Mel was 18 at the time! There’s more about it on Monty Stark’s site.

Stark Reality
Monty Stark

Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster…

I’ve been neglecting this blog. I doubt many people read it so no loss, I guess. Anyway, yesterday was Record Store Day. 20% off everything. So I bought a few things and got tons of free stuff. One of the albums was Arts & Crafts, Broken Social Scene label-mates Los Campesinos! new album “Hold On Now, Youngester…“.

It’s a rock album that reminds me a lot of BSS’s work. Giant walls of beautiful, exciting sounds. I could have purchased this on the merits of the album packaging alone, done by an artist named Sarah Duncan. Her website is filled with great things, including a viciously amazing flash animation on the splash page. Good times.

Sarah Duncan
Los Campesinos!
Arts & Crafts

Also… a fun video.