Correspondence: Another Warhol

Rifftides reader Ted O’Reilly writes:

Wasn’t there a Warhol cover for a Johnny Griffin Blue Note?

A brief search discloses that, as we might expect of one of Canada’s leading jazz broadcasters, Mr. O’Reilly is correct. The album was The Congregation, recorded by the tenor saxophonist in 1957 with Sonny Clark, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; and the excellent, under-recognized Kenny Dennis on drums. Here is Warhol’s cover, and the title tune mining a vein that in the second half of the 1950s yielded several 16-bar pieces oriented—a la Horace Silver’s “The Preacher”—toward gospel and soul music.

The Rifftides staff did not chop off the upper two-thirds of the saxophonist’s head in the illustration. That’s how Warhol drew it.

He did stranger things.

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  1. Roy Lukas says

    Warhol also did the cover art for Kenny Burrell’s Blue Lights. Originally released on 2 Lps, the session features Tina Brooks on tenor and Louis Smith on trumpet. Bobby Timmons is the pianist and Art Blakey is on Drums. Very good jam session type recording recorded in May of 1958.