In the mid-50s, New Yorker cartoonist (and children’s book author, sculptor and Orgone Box owner) William Steig (1907-2003) was called upon to throw together some illustrations for Epic Records’ “Epic in Jazz” LP series, which featured classic 30s recordings from the likes of Johnny Hodges, Chu Berry, Count Basie, Barney Bigard and Cootie Williams. One might safely opine that the good Mr. Steig outdid himself. You be the judge.
These sets were reissued over the years, often with bland photo covers (oh, the infamy!), but Sony Japan has done right by the series a few years ago, reissuing it on cd while retaining the essence of its visual allure and, in most cases, adding four tracks of the same calibre and vintage to each disc.
Did I mention that Cab Calloway and Dizzy Gillespie are also in attendance? Sorry, it must have slipped my mind, what with all the excitement and bathtub gin.
« My neighbours listen to good music whether they like it or not. » – Unknown