Thursday, June 7, 2007

Jim Flora Meets Raymond Scott

In a design sense—and posthumously, anyway. Their professional paths nearly crossed: early in his career, composer-bandleader Raymond Scott recorded for Columbia Records but left the label in 1941, one year before Flora was hired by Columbia's art department.

I've long wanted to revive the Flora album cover tradition by adapting his art on new CDs. In 2006, Seattle's Reptet released Do This!, whose cover was bedecked with a Flora three-eyed monster we call a "triclops." Later this year, the first CD collection of the 1948-49 Raymond Scott Quintet will showcase a Flora cover (above) designed by the gifted Dutch art director Piet Schreuders. The 1951 illustration, which originally garnished a Robert Lowry short story in Mademoiselle magazine, was likely rendered during Flora's Mexican idyll. Ectoplasm refers to a Scott composition on the CD, which this author is producing for Basta Audio-Visuals.

N.B.: The Lothars album Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas (released in 2000) adapted Flora's 1955 album cover art for This Is Benny Goodman and His Orchestra (RCA Victor).

P.S. Basta is considering pressing a limited vinyl edition of Ectoplasm for the Floraphiles.

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