Monday, February 19, 2007
Benno Friedman. When Arista/Freedom began issuing records, about 1975, they used Friedman's photos for many of their covers, especially the quasi-reissue line that put out recordings from the 60s, including this one by Ayler. Always found his (Friedman's) work pretty fascinating, his messed around with photos that reminded me a little of Lucas Samaras but without the self-sensationalism. I recall coming across his name now and again in art or photogtraphy magazines over the years, but I don't think I've ever seen very much of his work outside of album covers. Searching around now, I see he's advanced to digital manipulations, sometimes of existing photos including stock from old Westerns.
re: Ayler, well, one of my many Halls of Shame. This is the only vinyl Ayler I own and I've only one disc as well (the reissue of the ESP-Disk, Bells/Prophecy). When I got into the music, he'd just died and he fell into that category of: I'd hear his work all the time on KCR and never really got around to picking up much. I do love his stuff although, I'll admit (ducking) that I find a little bit of sameness in much of his work. The overt "spiritual" referentiality can also, admittedly, grate on me. But hey, a fantastic record. Cherry, Peacock, Murray. Excellent Ray Ross photo on the back (I'll have to discuss Ray sometime).
But Benno Friedman, man, those gooey clouds, that melting ship.