A belated addition to the 'what I had for Christmas' post, but one that's well worth adding on. My friend got this fantastic book for me, and a sign of a great present is when you'd seen it yourself but had decided not to buy it for financial reasons. Perfect!
It's called Jazz Covers, published by Taschen, and is available here.
It is, quite simply, a collection of some of the most engaging and artistically diverse album covers ever released, across any genre. The breadth of style is staggering, and whether you're into jazz or not, it's worth at least a look, if not a purchase. To give you a taste, have a look at this selection of some of my personal favourites...
Manny Albam - The Blues Is Everybody's Business (1957, Coral Records)
Ornette Coleman - Skies of America (1972, Columbia)
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (1966, Impulse!)
Chick Corea - Tones For Joan's Bones (1968, Vortex)
Luis Gasca - Collage (1976, Fantasy)
Stan Getz / Zoot Sims - The Brothers (1949, Prestige)
Thelonious Monk - Underground (1968, Columbia)
Phil Woods and his European Rhythm Machine - Phil Woods and his European Rhythm Machine (1970, Pierre Cardin)
P.S. I'm not the only one who thinks it's great - according to the Taschen website, "Joaquim Paulo, the author of our best selling book Jazz Covers, received the prestigious Prix du Livre de Jazz 2008 awarded by the Académie du Jazz".