*Starred Review* Old-LP collectors, in particular, are in for a shock of recognition when they open this almost-LP-jacket-sized album: "Hey, this is the guy!" Right, Jim Flora (1914-98) is
the guy, the one who made those astonishingly energetic early LP cartoon-art covers, on which, for instance, jazzmen were playing so hot that their bodies flew apart like unstrung marionettes or, at the other extreme, melted together (apparently not altogether pleasantly: look at those bristling teeth on Inside Sauter-Finnegan
). A drawer from childhood on, Flora turned to commercial art after giving up, for financial reasons, an architecture scholarship. He forged his distinctive style as the artist for a little magazine that he and another literarily inclined student put out on a shoestring. Cubism, Miro, Klee, and, especially after a year and a half in Mexico at midcentury, the great muralists Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros, influenced Flora; a further great Mexican, Covarrubias, who did a lot of commercial art himself, shows in the poses and contours of Flora's figures. Flora characteristically used four or fewer colors--bright, even pastels that, with the sharpness of his line, make his drawings suggest linocuts. His work virtually always provokes a smile, and pop-culture preservationist-revivalist Chusid accompanies a tidy gallery of it with his own and others' writing about and interviews with Flora. And mirabile dictu, the book seems to be typo free! Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
About the Author
, based in Hoboken, NJ, is a journalist, music historian, radio personality and self-described “landmark preservationist.” Since 1975, Chusid has been a DJ on free-form radio station WFMU in New Jersey. He is the author of Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music
. He has produced landmark reissues of the music of composer/bandleader/electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott, Space Age Pop avatar Esquivel, the Langley Schools Music Project, and has salvaged the careers of now-celebrated icons like Jim Flora.Jim Flora
was born in 1914 in Ohio and passed away in 1998 in Connecticut.