Filed Under: "record covers"

Mambo for Kittens

August 11, 2017

Music critic Dan Armonaitis: Sound Observations: I’ve been looking after a jumpin’, rockin’, screamin’ cat “Having volunteered to take care of a kitten for a friend who was traveling, I thought the feline might provide a muse as I struggled to come up with something to write about for this column. But every time I tried to focus on a possible topic, she’d hop in my lap and distract me with her soft fur, warm purr…

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We recently discovered this Camden 7″ EP that might very well feature an overlooked Flora cover. The catalog number, CAE-138, dates the release to 1954, during which Flora designed 18 covers for RCA Victor, ten of them 7″ EPs for RCA’s Camden budget subsidiary (two of which were for the Festival Concert Orchestra, a generic name for an aggregate of stellar musicians who were under contract to other labels). Some were credited to or signed…

Continue Reading... newly discovered Flora cover?

Crosby Classics

March 2, 2016

We’re grateful to Jeffrey Ferguson, who alerted us to this previously overlooked early Flora cover. Based on the catalog number (M-555) and some internet research, this cover dates from 1944, which would make it the earliest known illustrated Jim Flora cover. Though unsigned, the tiger-striped typography and horseback rider point to Flora as the artistic culprit. In 1944 he was art director of Columbia, which was issuing back catalog in 78 folio format owing to…

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You can buy our fourth anthology The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora and browse the man’s legendary album illustrations between book covers. Or you can attend Jalopy’s similarly named exhibit and be surrounded by four walls of Flora. Those walls will be adorned with vintage LP and 78 covers, proof sheets, and oversized reproductions from our fine art print catalog. The Brooklyn-based club’s exhibit opens Friday June 13 from 6 – 8pm, during which yours…

Continue Reading... The High Fidelity Exhibition

Richard Myrle Buckley was born 108 years ago today in Tuolumne, CA. He later self-applied the deferential appellation Lord and became a fixture on the New York jazz nightclub scene, transforming into what his biographer Michael Monteleone described as “a strange but intriguing mix of a proper English peer of the realm and a street corner jive hipster.” He played the Vaudeville circuit, was friends with gangster Al Capone, appeared on The Tonight Show, married six…

Continue Reading... Hipsters, Flipsters …

In 2012 we sold our 200th and final oversized Mambo For Cats screen print, the last of a limited edition produced by Aesthetic Apparatus of Minneapolis in 2006. Almost immediately, a legion of Floraphiles—especially those fond of felines and Latin terpsichore—began clamoring for this work to be restored to our catalog. The nature of limited editions precludes us from issuing the work in an identical (or even comparable) format. Two hundred hand-numbered, Flora family-authenticated, 20″-square Mambo screen prints…

Continue Reading... The Miraculous Mambo Returns!

Our fourth Jim Flora anthology is officially available today. Our first book, The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora (2004), featured Flora’s known album covers. Since that book’s publication, more vintage covers have been found, as well as the artist’s rough drafts and rejected illustrations. The Mischievous Art went through two editions, but is now out of print, highly sought and available only at high prices through rare-book sellers. So we decided to compile a complete collection of Flora record…

Continue Reading... The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora

One of our representatives will be with you shortly. Your visit is very important to us, and we look forward to answering your questions. Such as: What’s up with the Flora blog, the website, and Jim Flora art in general? The paucity of new posts in recent months does not connote inactivity in the Florasphere. Here’s breaking news—and news which has previously broken: Flora co-archivist Barbara Economon and I have completed a new book—our fourth— for Fantagraphics:…

Continue Reading... Too Much Information – Part 1

There’s been little Florablogging in recent months. Not for lack of interest, certainly not for lack of fresh material. We could post something new every day for the next five years and still retain a cache of surprises. A few years ago we discovered a sketch album that contained 225 (artist-clipped and glued-in) pencil and ink drawings from the 1940s, very few of which were subsequently published or posted. That album alone could carry us…

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The Picasso of Jazz

June 17, 2012

Thanks to Clayton Walter for a nice little Flora gallery at his Claytonology blog: “I think of Flora as the Picasso of Jazz; his other-worldly depictions of Jazz musicians capture perfectly the vibe of a certain era of the music—brash, swingin’ and full of ecstatic movement. There’s another side to Flora as well. If you look closely at his LP illustrations, beyond the exciting flash,  you see a cunning method to his cartoonish madness.”

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Today we launch a new limited edition fine art print of a classic mid-century Flora album cover. Bix and Tram was one of the artist’s earliest record sleeve illustrations, issued by Columbia in 1947 on a 78 rpm 4-disc set. The cover features outlandish caricatures of two legendary bandmates from the 1920s “hot jazz” scene: cornetist Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke and saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer. Despite what appear to be mutant facial and cranial features, in fact…

Continue Reading... Bix & Tram print released

Jim Flora Art has launched a new limited edition fine art print: INSIDE SAUTER-FINEGAN, a 1954 RCA Victor LP that features one of Flora’s best-known cover illustrations. Eddie Sauter and Bill Finegan were famous for their orchestral mayhem. While Flora’s mischievous cover figures didn’t physically resemble Eddie or Bill, his caricatures reflected their inventive approach to redefining big band jazz in the 1950s. The print image is larger (15-1/2″ square) than the 12″ square LP….

Continue Reading... Inside Sauter-Finegan (print)
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