Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus (1956)

I was debating between this cover and another great one: Thelonious Monk / Sonny Rollins (1954), but I had already posted one by Monk. Turns out, both covers were designed by the same person: Tom Hannan. Originally from Michigan, he was a jazz drummer when he was young, but then took up art. He moved to NYC in the early 1950s to study with Hans Hoffman and served as his studio assistant for three years. To earn money, he designed album covers for Prestige, Blue Note and other labels, including several covers for Rollins (Tenor Madness), Miles Davis, Red Garland and others. Later he moved to Vermont and became a dealer in fine American furniture and decorative arts. He died in 2000.

Biographical information on Hannan from "'In the Circle of Hans Hofmann: Works from the Hannan Art Collection' on view at Betty Krulik Fine Art, Ltd" at Art Daily.

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