Green Paul Desmond covers in France and Italy

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Jazz, Sixties

Two years after the release of Paul Desmond’s album Take Ten, its cover design was used on two other albums in Europe.

Recordings for Bossa Antigua, the album that followed Take Ten, were made in the Summer of 1964, and the album was released in 1965. All over the world the cover art was the same, with a textile or tapestry design. Except in France. The French release of this bossa nova style album has Warhol’s Paul Desmond portrait on front. But the background colors have been reversed: the fiery orange/red from the original Take Ten cover is now green, and the few green parts are now faintly orange.

French issue of Bossa Antigua, RCA Victor 430.683 (1965).
French issue of Bossa Antigua, RCA Victor 430.683, 1965 – back cover

In my first post about Take Ten last year, I have already mentioned the Italian release The Artistry Of Paul Desmond. I removed that segment, and bring a more correct version here. On Discogs.com this album is listed as the Italian release of Take Ten, and dated 1963. This is not entirely true. In the early Sixties neither Take Ten nor Bossa Antigua were released in Italy, Italian jazz fans were offered a mix of both albums instead: 6 tracks from Take Ten, 2 tracks from Bossa Antigua (O Gato and The Night Has A Thousand Eyes). So the correct year of release will probably have been 1965.
The cover art of The Artistry Of Paul Desmond is remarkable for two reasons: at the front the background is painted green, but unlike the French Bossa Antigua cover, it’s clearly not an optical trick, but a newly painted background. Possibly done by Warhol, because it is well known that he often delivered more than one version to his clients. At the back, Desmond’s portrait is printed black on white.

The Artistry Of Paul Desmond, Italy, 1965, LPM 10167 (mono version)
Back cover of The Artistry Of Paul Desmond, Italy, 1965, LPM 10167 (mono version)

The picture Warhol most likely has used to create the Paul Desmond portrait, was an uncredited promotional picture from RCA Victor. A similar photo can be found at the back of another Paul Desmond album: Glad To Be Unhappy (RCA Victor, LPM 3407). Year of release of said album is 1965, but of course the photo is older since it was used in 1962 for the Take Ten cover.

Back cover of the Paul Desmond album Glad To Be Unhappy (detail).
Three Paul Desmond covers in a row.

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