Fox Music Company is an indie record store nestled in the downtown historic district of Watertown, Wisconsin.
Prolific Graphic Designer for Jazz Greats
In the world of record collecting, there is one jazz artist who has left his mark on jazz culture without ever playing a musical instrument. Illustrator David Stone Martin, or DSM, was one of the most prolific and influential graphic designers from the postwar period. Martin designed several hundred album covers, primarily those of jazz musicians. Martin designed album covers for such jazz giants as:
- Stan Getz
- Count Basie
- Charlie Parker
- Billie Holiday
- Coleman Hawkins
- John Coltrane
- Ella Fitzgerald
- Dizzy Gillespie
- Jelly Roll Morton
- Duke Ellington
In my opinion, Martin's signature hand-sketched graphics, coupled with only one or two primary colors, perfectly captured the energy and spontaneity of the jazz idiom. Martin produced covers for jazz record labels from the 1940s to the 1960s. The record labels Martin worked for include:
- Asch Records
- Dial Records
- Disc Records
- Mercury / Clef Records (verve)
- Jazz at the Philharmonic
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Martin created album cover designs for:
- Pablo (another Granz label)
Over the course of his career, Martin created over 400 album covers.
David Stone Martin and Norman Granz Collaboration
David Stone Martin and Norman Granz had a long-standing relationship fueled by their mutual love of jazz. Martin created well over 200 album cover designs for various Granz projects. Martin's first commission for Norman Granz was a logo designed for the "Jazz At The Philharmonic" concerts and tours. Martin created the famous Trumpeter logo, which Granz featured on all of his concert programs and record labels.
In the mid-1940s, Norman Granz's recordings were pressed and distributed by Mercury Records. These records also have the trumpeter logo on the label, which distinguished them from Mercury´s own recordings.
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Norman Granz established his first record label, Clef, in 1946. Clef issued almost 100 jazz 10" LPs in the early half of the 1950s. Many of these recordings were also issued on the Mercury label. Clef continued on, issuing about 165 LPs in the 12" format, some of which were reissues of the 10" format LPs.
The trumpeter logo is still the most recognized logo in jazz.
Barney Kessel "Orfeo Negro Medley" 1955
I make no copyright claims on the video content or images of drawings, paintings, prints, or other two-dimensional works of art contained within this article. The copyright for these items is most likely owned by either the artist who produced the image or the person who commissioned the work and/or their heirs. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is any use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
Keep It In the Groove—Let Us Know You Were Here Too!
Noe Bodski on January 02, 2019:
You should mention that DSM studied with Ben Sahn, from whom strongly influenced his style, particularly the black spots and raggy lines.
Fox Music (author) on June 18, 2015:
Your Right gee5 the compact disc and certainly the mp3 have surely changed what once was an extension of the bands artistic intent and has reduced to size of a postage stamp which reveals no meanings or insights.
gee5 on May 06, 2012:
In the age of mp3's, unfortunately its hard for artist like Martin to get exposure. Thanks for this lens.
Bellezza-Decor from Canada on January 30, 2012:
Billie Holiday is still one of my favorites. Great lens!
xavierdickso26 on January 06, 2012:
Really great lens you have.
Keep it up.
Loveyourshoes on November 30, 2011:
visual jazz....I sure do miss the artwork element of buying records because that was as an integral part of buying a new LP as a kid, listening to the music whilst reading the notes or lyrics of the album sleeve. Thanks for a great and informative lens
anonymous on December 01, 2010:
In 1962, when I was a student at the Institute of Design in Chicago, I assembled a large show of album art which included many of DSM's great covers. Many were my own lps, but many came from the record companies that sent me the press proof sheets which I mounted. He consistently captured the essence of each musician and the music with his unique vision, abet highly influenced by Ben Shahn. Thanks for assembling this homage to his work.
ZablonMukuba on September 13, 2010:
i will always be a jazz fun
chickadddee on July 30, 2008:
I love jazz records and David Stone Martins art!!!