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David Stone Martin & The Art of Jazz

Updated on April 21, 2016

Jazz at First Sight

 Jazz at First Sight: The Art of David Stone Martin Exhibition Poster 2010
Jazz at First Sight: The Art of David Stone Martin Exhibition Poster 2010 | Source

The Art of Jazz

In the world of record collecting there is one jazz artist collected the world over who has never played an instrument, not even a single note of music but has left his mark on the jazz culture. Illustrator David Stone Martin or DSM was one of the most prolific and influential graphic designers from the postwar period. Martin has designed several hundred album covers, primarily those of jazz musicians including artist such as Stan Getz, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Jelly Roll Morton and Duke Ellington to name but a few. In my opinion Martins signature hand sketched graphics along with two or three primary colors, perfectly captured the energy and spontaneity of the jazz idiom. Martin produced covers for jazz record labels of the 1940s thru 1960s such as Asch Records, Dial Records, Disc Records, with a majority of album covers created for jazz impresario Norman Granz for the following labels, Mercury / Clef Records (verve), and Jazz at the Philharmonic. In the 1970s thru the 1980s Martin created album cover designs for In-terplay, Progressive, Pablo (another Granz label) among others totaling over four hundred covers in his lifetime.

Billie Holiday "All or Nothing at All" 1957

Billie Holiday "All Or Nothing At All" Verve Records MG V 8329 12" LP Vinyl Record (1957) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Billie Holiday "All Or Nothing At All" Verve Records MG V 8329 12" LP Vinyl Record (1957) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Art Tatum "The Genius of Art Tatum No. 11" 1956

Art Tatum "The Genius of Art Tatum, No. 11" Clef Records MG C 712 12" LP Vinyl Record (1956) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Art Tatum "The Genius of Art Tatum, No. 11" Clef Records MG C 712 12" LP Vinyl Record (1956) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Stan Getz "Interpretations by the Stan Getz Quintet, vol. 3" 1955

Stan Getz "Interpretations by the Stan Getz Quintet, vol. 3" Norgran Records MG N 1029  12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Stan Getz "Interpretations by the Stan Getz Quintet, vol. 3" Norgran Records MG N 1029 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

The Trumpeter

Trumpeter Logo Art Created for the Jazz at the Philharmonic Concerts or JATP for Norman Grantz
Trumpeter Logo Art Created for the Jazz at the Philharmonic Concerts or JATP for Norman Grantz | Source

Billie Holliday "All Or Nothing At All" 1956

Did You Know ??

David Stone Martin and Norman Granz had a long standing relationship fueled by the love of jazz. Martin created over well 200 album cover designs for various Granz projects but Martins first commission for Norman Granz was to design a logo for the "Jazz At The Philharmonic" concert and tours. Martin created the famous Trumpeter logo, which Granz featured on all 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.

Norman Granz established his first record label Clef in 1946 which issued almost a hundred jazz 10" LPs in the early half of the 1950s. Many of these recordings were also issued on the Mercury label. Clef also continued on to issue about 165 LPs in the 12" format, some of which were reissues of the 10" format LPs.

The trumpeter logo continues to be used today on reissues and is still perhaps the best recognized logo in jazz.

Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker Big Band" 1954

Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker Big Band" Clef Records MG C-609 12" LP Vinyl Record (1954) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker Big Band" Clef Records MG C-609 12" LP Vinyl Record (1954) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Roy Eldridge "Roy Eldridge Collates" 1952

Roy Eldridge "Roy Eldridge Collates"  Mercury MG C  113  10" LP Vinyl Record (1952) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Roy Eldridge "Roy Eldridge Collates" Mercury MG C 113 10" LP Vinyl Record (1952) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Roy Eldridge and Dizzy Gillespie "Roy and Diz" 1955

Roy Eldridge Dizzy Gillespie "Roy and Diz" Clef Records MG C 671 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin Album
Roy Eldridge Dizzy Gillespie "Roy and Diz" Clef Records MG C 671 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin Album | Source

Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin

Norman Granz "Jazz at the Philharmonic, vol. 3" 1946

Jazz at the Philharmonic, vol. 3 Mercury Records MG C 195 10" LP Vinyl Record (1946) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin Album Cover Art
Jazz at the Philharmonic, vol. 3 Mercury Records MG C 195 10" LP Vinyl Record (1946) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin Album Cover Art | Source

Barney Kessel "Swing Guitars" 1955

Barney Kessel  "Swing Guitars" Norgran Records MG N 1033 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Barney Kessel "Swing Guitars" Norgran Records MG N 1033 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Oscar Peterson "Oscar Peterson Plays Irving Berlin" 1953

Oscar Peterson "Oscar Peterson Plays Irving Berlin" Mercury Records MG C 604 7" EP Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Oscar Peterson "Oscar Peterson Plays Irving Berlin" Mercury Records MG C 604 7" EP Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Lester Young "Lester Young: Collates No.2" 1953

Lester Young "Lester Young: Collates No.2" Mercury 124 10" LP Vinyl Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone MartinArt
Lester Young "Lester Young: Collates No.2" Mercury 124 10" LP Vinyl Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone MartinArt | Source

Charlie Parker "The Magnificent Charlie Parker" 1955

Charlie Parker "The Magnificent Charlie Parker" Clef Records MG C 646 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Charlie Parker "The Magnificent Charlie Parker" Clef Records MG C 646 12" LP Vinyl Record (1955) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Various Artist "Alto Sax" 1957

Various Artist "Alto Sax" Norgran 1035 12" LP Vinyl Record (1957) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Various Artist "Alto Sax" Norgran 1035 12" LP Vinyl Record (1957) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Lester Young "Lester Young Trio" 1952

Lester Young "Lester Young Trio" Mercury 104 10" LP Vinyl Record (1952) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Lester Young "Lester Young Trio" Mercury 104 10" LP Vinyl Record (1952) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Billie Holiday "Billie Holiday Sings" 1953

Billie Holiday "Billie Holiday Sings" Mercury / Clef 118 10" LP Vinyl Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Billie Holiday "Billie Holiday Sings" Mercury / Clef 118 10" LP Vinyl Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker Plays South of the Border" 1952

Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker Plays South of the Border" Mercury 513 10" LP Vinyl Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Charlie Parker "Charlie Parker Plays South of the Border" Mercury 513 10" LP Vinyl Record (1953) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Art Tatum "The Genius of Art Tatum, vol. 3" 1954

Art Tatum "The Genius of Art Tatum, vol. 3" Clef  614 12" LP Vinyl Record (1954) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Art Tatum "The Genius of Art Tatum, vol. 3" Clef 614 12" LP Vinyl Record (1954) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie "Bird and Diz" 1952

Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie "Bird and Diz"  Mercury Records 512 10" LP Vinyl Record, (1952) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie "Bird and Diz" Mercury Records 512 10" LP Vinyl Record, (1952) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Flip Phillips "The Flip Phillips Quartet" 1950

The Flip Phillips Quartet   Mercury Records 25023 10" LP Vinyl Record (1950) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
The Flip Phillips Quartet Mercury Records 25023 10" LP Vinyl Record (1950) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Roy Eldridge "Swing Goes Dixie" 1956

Roy Eldridge "Swing Goes Dixie" Verve Records 1010 12" LP Vinyl Record (1956) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Roy Eldridge "Swing Goes Dixie" Verve Records 1010 12" LP Vinyl Record (1956) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

Roy Eldridge, Art Tatum 1956

Roy Eldridge, Art Tatum  Clef  Records 679   12" LP Vinyl Record (1956) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin
Roy Eldridge, Art Tatum Clef Records 679 12" LP Vinyl Record (1956) Album Cover Art by David Stone Martin | Source

P.S.

Barney Kessel "Orfeo Negro Medley" 1955

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I make no copyright claims on the video content or images of drawings, paintings, prints, or other two-dimensional works of art contained with-in this article, the copyright for these items are 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 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Keep It In the Groove -- Let Us Know You Were Here Too !!

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    • profile image

      chickadddee 8 years ago

      I love jazz records and David Stone Martins art!!!

    • ZablonMukuba profile image

      ZablonMukuba 6 years ago

      i will always be a jazz fun

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      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.

    • Loveyourshoes profile image

      Loveyourshoes 5 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      xavierdickso26 5 years ago

      Really great lens you have.

      Keep it up.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      Billie Holiday is still one of my favorites. Great lens!

    • gee5 profile image

      gee5 4 years ago

      In the age of mp3's, unfortunately its hard for artist like Martin to get exposure. Thanks for this lens.

    • Fox Music profile image
      Author

      Fox Music 21 months ago

      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.

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