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Dave Brubeck + Neil Fujita: music and art

We listen to Dave Brubeck a lot at PSAW. Today he turns 89 and is receiving a Kennedy Center Award. Fabulous.

And because great music and great design go better together,  let's not forget the wonderful Brubeck album covers by Neil Fujita.

  Dave Brubeck,TimeOut, Neil Fujita, jazz, record album illustration
Dave Brubeck:Time Out. Columbia Records. Art and design by Neil Fujita.

 dave brubeck, Brubeck plays brubeck, neil fujita design 

Brubeck plays Brubeck. Design by Neil Fujita

Here's a bit of an interview with Fujita, discussing legendary album designer Alex Steinweiss and the beginning of music album design.

"When I got to Columbia, Alex was at RCA, I believe. We met for lunch several times and would speak. The relationship was a friendly one, but I don’t think we talked a lot about design. There were a lot of changes going on in the business and we were both searching for our own answers. I would travel across the country speaking to record sellers. I would ask them how they sold records because I felt that we needed a new approach. In those days, clerks would spend a lot more time actually selling records to customers. We thought about how we could use images or pictures in a more creative way. We thought about what the picture was saying about the music and how we could use that to sell the record. And abstract art was getting popular so we used a lot more abstraction in the designs—with jazz records especially but also with classical when there was a way for it to fit, like with the more modern composers."

See the whole interview here

And here's a taste of Steinweiss:

 "Louis armstrong, earl hines, alex steinweiss, jazz album cover,
1940 Alex Steinweiss design for Columbia Records. Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines

Addendum: March 10, 2010

Here's a fascinating  review of Neil Fujita's 1968 book, Aim For a Job in Graphic Design. Review in

 S. Neil Fujita, Aim For A Job in Graphic Design, 1968,
S. Neil Fujita, Aim For A Job In Graphic Design, Cover. 1968, Richard Rosen Press