19 September 2008

Friday Album Cover: Everybody Digs Bill Evans

Bill Evans
Everybody Digs Bill Evans
In the midst of a big Presidential election, endorsements can be key to a candidate's momentum. With that in mind, let's look at an album cover with some endorsements intended to swing another kind of momentum. In the liner notes to Bill Evans' second album, Everybody Digs Bill Evans , Riverside Records producer Orrin Keepnews writes,
The unusual cover of this album is designed to make completely clear one of the most startling facts about BILL EVANS: that this extraordinarily talented young pianist, although still virtually unknown to the jazz public, is already the object of a truly amazing degree of admiration and respect on the part of some of the most highly regarded of today's jazz musicians.
This seems like a pretty inventive use of the album cover as a marketing tool. Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Ahmad Jamal, and George Shearing all give glowing reviews of Bill Evans. These were four of the brightest stars in jazz in 1958, the year the album was released. But still, the concept seems a little gimmicky. These are the kind of testimonials one might expect to hear on a late-night infomercial. It's as if Miles and Cannonball are shilling for Ginsu knives. If the purpose an the album cover is to attract attention and boost sales of the album, then this is definitely a great cover. However if you think an album cover should add artistic value to the overall product, or become itself a standalone piece of art, then this cover fails to do that. I think my feelings on the Everybody Digs Bill Evans cover are clear, what do you think?

1 comment:

Bernardo said...

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