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May 03, 2009

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Michael Steinman

About the covers: the disparity says a good deal about small labels versus large corporations. Good Time Jazz, I am sure, didn't have a well-paid art director responsible for making Claire Austin into a model reclining on a couch: "Here's what the artist looks like when she's making the music you paid for here" is the aesthetic. About the Gleason cover: there's a fascinating set of four CDs on the Fine and Mellow label which collect all of Bobby Hackett's Capitol performances with Gleason, and almost every one of the original lp covers is like this one -- a closeup of a lovely woman in some evocative setting. But Gleason also liked to surround himself with long-legged beauties on his television show, so perhaps he was in charge of saying what or whom he wanted to see on the cover. The demographic is clear: buy this record and have a wonderful time with your gorgeous "girlfriend." Perhaps it happened, one in a while?

John Cooper

16 songs on the Gleason LP, all classics except for MARILYN, JO ANNE AND ROSE ANNE.

The Austin cover reflects the anguish of the Blues which she is obviously trying to discharge while she sings. We get to share her anguish both visually and aurally. "Let' dem Blues go outta me, Lord!"

Red Colm O'Sullivan

I love George Shearing's assertion that he personally chose the girls on the cover of his Capitol albums "using the braile method".
(And I see that Venus Records in Japan is bringing back the fashion).

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  • Marc Myers writes frequently on music and the arts for the Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (University of California Press). JazzWax has been named the Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year."
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