Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Snap! CTI covers

Pete Turner was the photographer responsible for the beautifully distinctive covers of the CTI Records label. Read an interview with him here.  I've been researching LP cover art for a talk I'm doing at the Design Assembly, this Wednesday evening at AUT.

"When bassist Ron Carter and I spoke a few weeks ago about his work for CTI Records in the 1970s, we both remarked how stunning the covers were. "That's Pete Turner," Ron said. "Give him a call." So I did. Like all great jazz album photographers, Pete is as much a part of the music's evolution and the jazz culture as the musicians themselves...

"JW: When did you get a call from record producer Creed Taylor?
PT: I didn’t. On the weekends, when I was in the army, I used to go into Manhattan. I’d take photographs for my portfolio and then go to record stores and look through the bins. I thought record covers were pretty interesting.

"Each time I’d run through the albums I’d see head shot after head shot on the covers. But every so often, an album cover would stand out. When I’d turn the album over to see what was going on, the album had Creed Taylor’s name on the back. I said to myself, “Gee I’d love to meet this guy. But he’d probably never want to meet me.” So on a lark, I called him up at ABC Paramount in late 1958 or early 1959. In those days, you could still get powerful people on the phone. We spoke, and I made an appointment to see him.

"When Creed and I met, I showed him my portfolio, and he liked what he saw. I had been working on weekends on a theme, “The Mood of New York at Dawn.” They were photos of quiet New York, in the snow and things like that. The photo series was for my portfolio. "

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