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The Birka Jazz Archive
Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

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AMERICAN LABELS

COLUMBIA RECORDS
The pioneers of album cover design

CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (1)
David Stone Martin

CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (2)
The photographic covers

BLUE NOTE  10" LPs
Searching for a modern jazz identity

BLUE NOTE  1500 series
Defining the hard bop style

BLUE NOTE  4000 series
Masterpieces of Reid Miles

PRESTIGE RECORDS
Images of East Coast jazz

RIVERSIDE RECORDS
Street cred with Thelonious Monk

PACIFIC JAZZ
Moods of Chet and Claxton

CONTEMPORARY
Cool West Coast, great Sound

SAVOY RECORDS
Masterworks by Charlie Parker

DIAL RECORDS
Small label, big Bird sound

ATLANTIC RECORDS
Bold and striking albums

EMARCY RECORDS
The classic drummer logo label

BETHLEHEM RECORDS
The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt

DEBUT RECORDS
Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

CANDID RECORDS
Legendary, early 1960s LPs

ESP-DISK
Free jazz and silk screened covers

IMPULSE RECORDS
Edgy and experimental

RCA VICTOR
The high spirit of Jim Flora

VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
and more

VARIOUS US labels (2)
Epic, Fantasy, HiFi, Imperial, Jazzland, Jazz West, Jubilee, Mercury, Mode, and more

VARIOUS US labels (3)
Roost, Signal, Storyville, Tampa, Transition, United Artists, Vee Jay, and more



EUROPEAN LABELS

SWEDEN (1)
The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s

SWEDEN (2)
The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

SWEDEN (3)
Changing times in the 1960s

SWEDEN (4)
New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s

DENMARK
Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz

NORWAY
Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz

FINLAND
Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz

FRANCE
Americans in Paris, force in French jazz

ENGLAND
Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz

GERMANY
Jazz labels with strong identity

ITALY
Rare Italian jazz covers

HOLLAND
From Diamonds to ICP in
Dutch jazz

POLAND
Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza


OTHER COUNTRIES
Jazz labels around the world






         

RCA Victor

The spirit
and excitement
of Jim Flora

The legendary designer and illustrator JIM FLORA produced some of his most oustanding works during the two years he was working for RCA Victor.

He had started at Columbia in the 1940s. In 1954 he was hired by Bob Jones who was a former colleague from Columbia, now art director at RCA Victor.

Jim Flora's RCA covers shows what a brilliant cartoonist he was. His zany cartoon-like covers have a unique dynamic motion and they bubble over with high spirit and excitement.

Finally his style began to fall out of fashion, and the tide was turning against album covers based on illustration. Photography-based covers came into vogue.

Jim Flora left RCA Victor in 1956 and started to write and illustrate children books. He died in 1998.

ANDY WARHOL made just some few jazz album covers, and the best known are those for Blue Note Records. But one of his finest cover from 1950s was made for RCA Victor. It's the cool drawing of Count Basie, shown among the images to the right.

BOB JONES was the art director at RCA Victor from the early 1950s. He was trained at Columbia in the 1940s, which design studio was the most innovative of the American companies. He worked together with Alex Steinweiss and Jim Flora and they developed the new LP format toward the end of the decade. When Jones came to RCA he hired his old friend Jim Flora.

Bob Jones stayed at RCA Victor into the late 1970s. Throughout most of his career Jones devoted his spare time to his private publishing venture Glad Hand Press. He became well known for his limited editions and he initiates a renewed interest in nineteenth century decorative and novelty typography. Bob Jones died in 1993.

         

RCA VICTOR was founded as Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. In 1929 Victor was purchased by RCA and the company then became RCA Victor.

But it was still known as just Victor through the 1930s and 1940s and continued to do important recordings by jazz greats such as Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington.

The company started pressing vinyl discs in 1946, and in 1949 they issued the first 45 rpm single. Around this time they began to be known as RCA Victor, and used that name on the labels.

In 1968 RCA change its image with a new modern logo that replaced the famous classic Nipper dog trademark. And the background colour, which had always been black, switch to orange.

         


In the 1950s, RCA had three subsidiary labels: Groove, Vik and "X". Label "X" was founded in 1953 and renamed Vik in 1955. Groove (founded in 1954) was mainly a r&b speciality label. There were also some budget labels, RCA Camden among others.





See also

Jim Flora at Columbia

Andy Warhol at Blue Note



LINKS

Interview JIM FLORA
Angelynnn Grant


JIM FLORA
jimflora.com


 Nick Travis: The Panic Is On   Label: RCA Victor EJC-1010   7" EP 1954
 Design: Jim Flora

RCA VICTOR
The jazz covers of Jim Flora

 Inside Sauter-Finegan   Label: RCA Victor LJM-1003   12" LP 1954
 Design: Jim Flora
 
 

 Shorty Rogers: Courts the Count   Label: RCA Victor LJM-1004   12" LP 1954
 Design: Jim Flora
 
 

 This is Benny Goodman   Label: RCA Victor LPT-3056   12" LP 1954
 Design: Jim Flora
 
 

 Charlie Ventura: For Boppers Only   Label: RCA Victor EP-659   7" LP 1954
 Design: Jim Flora
 
 

 Various Artists: Mambo for Cats   Label: RCA Victor 1063   12" LP 1955
 Design: Jim Flora
 
 



Andy Warhol
The jazz covers for RCA Victor

 Count Basie   Label: RCA Victor EPC-1112   7" EP 1955
 Illustration: Andy Warhol
 
 

Cool Gabriels   Label: Groove 1003 (RCA subsidiary label)   12" LP 1956
 Illustration: Andy Warhol  
 
 

 Joe Newman: I´m Still Swinging   Label: RCA Victor 1198   12" LP 1955
 Illustration: Andy Warhol
 
 

 Artie Shaw: Booth Feet In The Groove   Label: RCA Victor 1201   12" LP 1955
 Illustration: Andy Warhol
 
 



RCA VICTOR
from the beginning

 Fats Waller on the Ivories   Label: RCA Victor    78 rpm album 1942
 
 

 A Duke Ellington Panorama   Label: RCA Victor    78 rpm album 1942
 
 

 Jelly Roll Morton: Hot Jazz   Label: RCA Victor   78 rpm album 1945
 
 

 Various Artists: Esquire´s Hot Jazz   Label: RCA Victor   78 rpm album 1946
 
 

 This is Oscar Peterson   Label: RCA Victor LPT-3006   10" LP 1952
 
 

 The Mundell Lowe Quintet   Label: RCA Victor LJM 3006   10" LP 1954
 
 

 Max Kaminsky: Jazz on the Campus Ltd   Label: RCA Victor LJM-3003   10" LP 1954
 
 

 Barbara Carroll Trio   Label: RCA Victor LJM-1001   12" LP 1954
 Design: Bob Jones
 
 

 Django Reinhardt   Label: RCA Victor 1100   12" LP 1955
 Photo: David B. Hecht
 
 

 Al Cohn: The Natural Seven   Label: RCA Victor 1116   12" LP 1955
 Design: Auerbach
 
 

 Milt Bernhart: Modern Brass   Label: RCA Victor 1123   12" LP 1955
 Design: Bob Jones
 
 

 Al Cohn: That Old Feeling   Label: RCA Victor 1207   12" LP 1955
 
 

 Dinah Shore: Boquet of Blues   Label: RCA Victor 1214   12" LP 1956
 
 

 Artie Shaw: Moonglow   Label: RCA Victor 1244   12" LP 1956
 
 

 Both Sides of Tony Scott   Label: RCA Victor 1268   12" LP 1956
 
 

 Muggsy Spanier: The Great 16!   Label: RCA Victor 1295   12" LP 1956
 
 

 Duke Ellington: In A Mellotone   Label: RCA Victor 1364   12" LP 1956
 Photo: Bob Parent
 
 

 Hal McKusick: The Jazz Workshop   Label: RCA Victor 1366   12" LP 1957
 
 

 Bud Powell: Strictly Powell   Label: RCA Victor 1423   12" LP 1957
 Design and photo: Burt Goldblatt
 

 Shorty Rogers plays Richard Rogers   Label: RCA Victor 1428   12" LP 1957
 
 

 Lou Levy: A Most Musical Fella   Label: RCA Victor 1491   12" LP 1957
 Photo: William Claxton
 

 Fats Waller: A Handful of Keys   Label: RCA Victor 1502   12" LP 1957
 Design: Burt Goldblatt
 

 Bud Powell: Swingin´ with Bud   Label: RCA Victor 1507   12" LP 1957
 Design and photo: Burt Goldblatt
 

 Lee Wiley: A Touch of the Blues   Label: RCA Victor 1566   12" LP 1957
 
 

 Artie Shaw: Any Old Time   Label: RCA Victor 1570   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Raymond Jacobs
 
 

 Urbie Green   Label: RCA Victor 1667   12" LP 1958
 
 

 Shorty Rogers: Gigi in Jazz   Label: RCA Victor 1696   12" LP 1958
 
 

 Duke Ellington: At His Very Best   Label: RCA Victor 1715   12" LP 1959
 Painting: Sidney Goodman
 
 

 Red Norvo: Red plays the Blues   Label: RCA Victor 1729   12" LP 1959
 Photo: Garrett Howard
 
 

 Urbie Green: Jimmy McHugh in Hi-Fi   Label: RCA Victor 1741   12" LP 1959
 
 

 John Lewis: European Windows   Label: RCA Victor 1742   12" LP 1959
 Photo: Ken Klein
 
 

 Shorty Rogers: Chances Are It Swings   Label: RCA Victor 1975   12" LP 1959
 
 

 Toni Harper: Lady Lonely   Label: RCA Victor 2092   12" LP 1960
 
 

 Sonny Rollins: The Bridge   Label: RCA Victor 2527   12" LP 1962
 
 

 Charles Mingus: Tijuana Moods   Label: RCA Victor 2533   12" LP 1962
 
 

 Sonny Rollins: Our Man in Jazz   Label: RCA Victor 2612   12" LP 1962
 Photo: David B. Hecht
 
 

 Sonny Rollins - Coleman Hawkins: Sonny meets Hawk   Label: RCA Victor 2712   12" LP 1963
 
 

 Sonny Rollins: Now´s The Time   Label: RCA Victor 2927   12" LP 1964
 
 

 The Standard Sonny Rollins   Label: RCA Victor 3355   12" LP 1965
 
 

 Nina Simone Sings the Blues   Label: RCA Victor CPM-3789   12" LP 1967
 Photo: David Hollander
 
 

 
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