Mt. Pleasant’s Johnston to host ‘A Look at Jazz LP Cover Artwork 1948-1975’ Saturday – The Morning Sun

Mt. Pleasant’s Johnston to host ‘A Look at Jazz LP Cover Artwork 1948-1975’ Saturday – The Morning Sun

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Music is life immersed in music.
Mike Johnston’s life is that in that he’s actively been involved in the art form for well over 40 years, playing it and teaching it and writing it and about it and recording it and managing a record store that sold it.
That’s a lot of its, but it’s what Johnston does.
On Saturday evening Johnston, a Mt. Pleasant resident and host of ‘Destination Out’ on CMU Public Radio, will be hosting a presentation entitled ‘A Look at Jazz LP Cover Artwork 1948-1975’ at 541 E. Grand River in East Lansing. The presentation will take place in the Co-op Housing Office which is located next door to sponsor Flat, Black and Circular Records. It is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and is free to attend.
The focus will be on the relationship between jazz album cover artwork and the artist’s music, in particular, the artwork on the Blue Note label, Impulse and El Saturn labels. These labels employed artists such as Andy Warhol, Reid Miles, Mati Klarwein and Robert Thompson from the mid-1950s to early 1960s and were ahead of their time artistically. Album cover art has evolved into an art form of its own over the decades and Johnston will speak about this evolution in depth.
Johnston has spent the near entirety of his life immersed in music too.
He’s been a member of the music faculty at Delta College for decades and has hosted ‘Destination Out’ every Sunday night for decades.
Johnston is also the founding member of his own band ‘Northwoods Improvisers’, a free jazz band that has recorded dozens of albums in the past three decades. Johnston is a multi-instrumentalist as he plays bass, wood flutes and percussion. He’s worked extensively with Detroit jazz legend Faruq Z. Bey too, cutting nearly 10 albums with Bey between 2001 and 2012.
The Traverse City native also used to write about jazz for Coda Publications and managed the Mt. Pleasant record store – New Moon Records – in the 80s and 90s and early 2000s.
In short, Johnston knows about jazz and jazz records and jazz cover art moreso than most and is going to share his extensive knowledge Saturday evening.
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