Eiko Ishioka album covers

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Eastward (1970) by Gary Peacock Trio. Photography by Hiroshi Asada, Tadayuki Naitoh.

Continuing an occasional series about artists or designers whose work has appeared on record sleeves. Also another jazz-related post which includes Herbie Hancock via the V.S.O.P. album.

Eiko Ishioka is best known outside Japan for the costume designs she created for feature films, especially those in Francis Coppola’s Dracula, but she also had a parallel career as a graphic designer and art director, working with photographers and other designers on a large number of album covers. The examples here are a partial selection, many of which were created for East Wind, a label established by Nippon Phonogram to promote Japanese artists overseas.

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Circle 2: Gathering (1971) by Circle. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Seiya Sawayama, Yoshio Nakanishi.

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Weather Report Live In Tokyo (1972) by Weather Report. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi.

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Miles Davis Story Vol. 2 (1972) by Miles Davis. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Yoshio Nakanishi. Photography by Columbia Records Photo Studio, Tadayuki Naitoh.

Black ink on silver foil, something that always looks impressive but doesn’t wear very well. This cover may have led to Ishioka’s work on Tutu (see below).

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Winter Love, April Joy (1975) by David Friedman. Design by Eiko Ishioka, Motoko Naruse.

Continue reading “Eiko Ishioka album covers”

Herbie Hancock live!

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Whenever my music listening gets on the jazz train, as it has been for the past week or so, I find myself gravitating to the Kozmigroov Konnection to see what albums I may still be missing. “Kozmigroov” is one of those descriptive terms that sounds awkward but is nevertheless useful for framing an idiom that would otherwise go undefined: “a transgressive improvisational music which combines elements of psychedelia, spirituality, jazz, rock, soul, funk, and African, Latin, Brazilian, Indian and Asian influences culminating [in] an all encompassing cosmic groove. At its most accomplished, Kozmigroov is both expansive and highly rhythmic, and simultaneously finds connections with the mind, soul and body.” (more)

If you like this kind of thing then the Kozmigroov Konnection is an essential guide, especially when you’re faced with discographies by artists you know only from their contributions to releases by bigger names. Herbie Hancock isn’t exactly an unknown quantity but I hadn’t noticed before that his Kozmigroov listing features a number of live recordings that I was sure I hadn’t heard. Could they be found anywhere? The answer is obviously yes, thanks to the trove of live recordings archived at Never Enough Rhodes. The post there is an old one but the links for all the Herbie Hancock recordings were updated a few years ago, and all the ones from the essential years up to 1979 are still active. Not only are they active but there are far more concerts from the Mwandishi/Head Hunters era than I ever expected to find in one place. And many of these are from FM radio broadcasts so they don’t suffer from the cassette-recorder-under-the-seat syndrome that spoils so many rock bootlegs from the 1970s and 80s. Amazing.

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Sleeve art by Nobuyuki Nakanishi for one of the few official live albums from Hancock’s Head Hunters period (but only in Japan until it was reissued a few years ago). I love everything about this cover: the Cosmic Coelacanth, Mr. Hancock’s NASA helmet, the Stop typeface, the waterspout nod to Mati Klarwein’s cover for Bitches Brew… Earth, air, fire and water.

The performances range from extended extrapolations of album compositions—a 43-minute version of Hornets (Boston Jazz Workshop, 1973) featuring a lot of synth freakery from Patrick Gleeson; a 57-minute performance of Sleeping Giant (Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, Detroit, 1972)—to later concerts that capture the post Head Hunters group playing to wildly enthusiastic audiences. The thumping version of Palm Grease that opens the Kansas City show makes the studio version sound very restrained. The only disappointment is a rather noisy recording of the FM session from the Ultra-Sonic Recording Studio, a Long Island venue that in the early 1970s hosted many studio appearances by rock, blues and jazz artists. An Ultra-Sonic session by Dr John from 1973 has circulated for years in exceptional quality so I was hoping the Hancock set might sound as good. This is a minor quibble, however, the recording is still decent enough, and the performances are fantastic.

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Musikladen, 1974.

The only concert on the list that I had heard before is an audio rip from a 1974 appearance by the Hancock ensemble on Musikladen, a German TV series. I linked to a copy of this in one of the weekend posts years ago but nothing lasts on YouTube so the link is now defunct. There is another copy here, however. For the time being… The person who was running Never Enough Rhodes complained about having to keep reposting concerts when file hosting services were shut down. Always download things of interest, you never know how long they may be available.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Miles and Miles

Weekend links 578

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The Witch (1920) by Mila von Luttich for Die Muskete.

• “One thing that used to annoy Geff in particular—I don’t think Sleazy cared so much—was that the gay press hardly ever paid any attention to Coil. It really was the cliché of, if you’re making disco bunny or house music then you might get covered in the gay press, but if you’re not doing something that appeals to that rather superficial aesthetic, which was the hallmark of the gay scene, they didn’t even deign to glance at you.” Stephen Thrower talking to Mark Pilkington about Love’s Secret Domain by Coil, and touching on an issue that I’ve never seen referred to outside the occasional Coil interview. Coil’s sexuality was self-evident from their first release in 1984 but they always seemed to be too dark and too weird for the gay press, and for the NME according to this interview.

• “Gorey collected all sorts of objects at local flea markets and garage sales—books, of course, though also cheese graters, doorknobs, silverware, crosses, tassels, telephone insulators, keys, orbs—but he especially loved animal figurines and stuffed animals.” Casey Cep on Edward Gorey’s toys.

• Last week it was a giant cat opposite Shinjuku station; this week at Spoon & Tamago there’s a giant head floating over Tokyo.

DJ Food delves through more copies of The East Village Other to find art by underground comix artists (and Winsor McCay).

• New music: My Sailor Boy by Shirley Collins, and Vulva Caelestis by Hawthonn.

• “€4.55m Marquis de Sade manuscript acquired for French nation.”

• At Dangerous Minds: The Voluptuous Folk Music of Karen Black.

• At Greydogtales: Montague in Buntlebury.

Aaron Dilloway‘s favourite music.

Toys (1968) by Herbie Hancock | Joy Of A Toy (1968) by The Soft Machine | Broken Toys (1971) by Broken Toys

Weekend links 537

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“The dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet.” The Masque of the Red Death illustrated by Harry Clarke, 1919.

• 2020 is the year of enormous pink lady faces on book covers, apparently. As someone who spends little time following cover trends, the identification of a new variety of herd behaviour among designers or their art directors is always fascinating and bizarre.

Tomoko Sauvage plays her porcelain and glass instruments inside a disused water tank in Berlin for a new album, Fischgeist. The Wire has previews.

• At The Paris Review: Craig Morgan Teicher on the later work of Dorothea Tanning, and Daniel Mendelsohn on the rings of Sebald.

Unlike many of the rapidly forgotten [Nobel] “winners”, and despite the occasional sniffy critic wondering “who still reads it?” Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet has never been out of print since he published it in 1957. The centenary of his birth in 2012 raised a flurry of revived interest in Durrell. Indeed the whole Durrell family has been popping up regularly in reprints of Lawrence’s novels and poetry, in his brother Gerald’s popular tales of his “family and other animals,” and in several TV series about their life in Greece on Corfu island in the late 1930s. A BBC interviewer once asked Lawrence about the difference between his writing and brother Gerald’s. He replied: “I write literature. My brother writes books that people read.”

I’ve read Gerald and I’ve read Lawrence; I prefer Lawrence, thank you. Thomas O’Dwyer examines the chef d’oeuvre of the elder Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet

• Dark Entries shares Patrick Cowley’s cover of Chameleon by Herbie Hancock. The original is here.

• Saunas, sex clubs and street fights: how Sunil Gupta captured global gay life.

• Inside the Grace Jones exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary.

Rob Walker on how dub reggae’s beats conquered 70s Britain.

• Who invented the newspaper? John Boardley reports.

Spread The Virus (1981) by Cabaret Voltaire | Cut Virus (2003) by Bill Laswell | The Unexclusive Virus ~even our invincible religion “Technology” cannnot~ (2006) by Kashiwa Daisuke

Weekend links 492

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Cover art by Gahan Wilson for Monster (1980) by Herbie Hancock.

• RIP Gahan Wilson, a great cartoonist with a flair for horror, the macabre and grotesque. Many of his best cartoons are buried in back issues of The New Yorker, Playboy and National Lampoon but book collections of his work are worth seeking out. He also wrote regularly, and for several years was a film reviewer and columnist for The Twilight Zone Magazine, back issues of which may be found at the Internet Archive. Related: Gahan Wilson and the Comedy of the Weird, an interview with Wilson by Richard Gehr; The Beautifully Macabre Cartoons of Gahan Wilson by Michael Maslin.

• The Unanswered Question: Irmin Schmidt, the last surviving member of Can, interviewed by Duncan Seaman. The conversation is mostly about his solo work but he also mentions plans to release a collection of live Can recordings next year.

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), the Surrealist fable directed by Jaromil Jires, receives a welcome region-free blu-ray release by Second Run in January.

At its best, the true psychedelic experience is an analogue of psychotherapy: you are encouraged to lean in to something potentially rupturing or even disturbing, in an attempt to achieve deep personal resolution rather than simply mind-scrambling hedonism or entertainment (which, to be fair, the group can provide as well). […] Despite clear and longstanding links with the extreme worlds of black metal, power electronics, industrial, sludge metal and doom, Sunn O))) have created a space that now stands beyond any obvious scene signifiers. This zone of pure affect—and what they hope will be a healing experience—is welcome to all.

John Doran on the vibrational power of Sunn O)))

Neuland is an electronic collaboration by two ex-members of Tangerine Dream, Peter Baumann and Paul Haslinger.

• Flying teapots and electric Camembert: the story of Gong, prog’s trippiest band by Simon Reynolds.

• Conversations with Ursula: Clive Hicks-Jenkins answers some questions about his art.

• Mix of the week: Test Transmission Archive Reel 38 by Keith Seatman.

• Limitation of Life: Tim Pelan on John Frankenheimer’s Seconds.

Anthony Madrid on the most famous coin in Borges.

• At Dennis Cooper’s: Jacques Tati Day.

Dutch Graphic Roots

The Magic Yard (1970) by Lubos Fiser | Valerie (2003) by Broadcast | Introduction (2007) by The Valerie Project