The Deep Groove Mono Classic Jazz Album Art Gallery

Welcome to the Deep Groove Mono Class Jazz Album Art Gallery! Some notes about the gallery:

  • The criteria for inclusion in the gallery was simply a matter of choosing some of my favorite jazz album art. As a result (and to the best of my knowledge), it had nothing to do with the musical content of the albums.
  • The scope has been limited to American album covers, though it may expand to include more than that in the future. (No doubt, there was some brilliant cover design happening abroad.)
  • The year for each album indicates its release year, not the recording year. I felt the release year was more meaningful in this context, the idea being that the designer was more likely to be working in the year of the album’s release than in the year of its recording.
  • Albums are sorted by catalog number, with the exception of the Miscellaneous page, which is sorted alphabetically by label name.
  • Some of these albums I do not own, so to include them my only choice was using digital images I found online. Options were severely limited in some cases and the image I ended up choosing left a lot of room for improvement. If you have a nice copy of any of these albums and are willing to share a high-res photo, please let me know.
  • Many thanks to London Jazz Collector and It’s a Raggy Waltz, collectors whose websites I jacked some excellent digital images from.
  • While the original goal for this gallery was simply to share high-quality digital images of some of my favorite jazz album art, the project soon took on a (much) broader scope as I became fascinated by the origins of modern American graphic design. I ended up having so much fun learning about it that I decided to write an essay about it, which can be found here.
  • I am not an expert on graphic design or its history but I would love to learn more. If you feel that any of the claims made here are off-base, or if you have something of value to add to the story, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Below are links to the different sections of the gallery. Enjoy exploring the world of classic jazz album art!

– Rich Capeless, July 18, 2021

Blue Note Records:
5000 Series (1951-1954)
1500 Series (1956-1958)
4000 Series (1959-1962)
4100 Series (1962-1966)
4200 Series (1965-1967)

Prestige/New Jazz Records:
Part 1 (1955-1957)
Part 2 (1957-1960)

Miscellaneous Labels:
Argo, Atlantic, Columbia, Contemporary, Jazz West, Jazzland, Jubilee, Progressive, Riverside, Storyville, Unique, Verve (1952-1963)