|Charles Mingus in All Night Long|
Significantly, the golden age of jazz in the 1940s and 1950s, overlaps the golden age of film noir, both known as (almost) pure American art forms. Though more than a simple synchronicity, they exchanged a lot during those productive years. In many film noirs, there was always a run-down bar in the big city, lost somewhere in the night, with a bunch of "troubled" jazz musicians hanging around after-hours. On the other hand, dozen of phenomenal film scores by giants like Duke Ellington and John Lewis was heard on the movies. But a neglected part of this troubled relationship is the influence of film noir and its black and white photography on jazz cover artworks. Here I present twelve samples of what I consider noirizing the jazz album covers. The titles under the covers come from film noirs.