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Jazz Covers II - the new Taschen book

If, like me, you still harbour fondness for a bit of old-school technology, you may also still have a cherished vinyl collection. And even if you've converted the lot to digital, you can still make good use of those records – they make excellent free artwork.

Here are a couple I have propped up around my place... I'm lucky still to have them: I inherited from my oldest brother, Simon, when he moved to Australia. Or at least, that's what I assumed when I had a car boot sale and thought I'd take it upon myself as a poor student, convinced indie was the only music worth listening to (that phase lasted just a few years, fortunately) to add them to the booty. I wondered why the punters were so pleased and kept asking if my brother knew and wouldn't he be sending for them to be shipped. "Course not!" I chirped confidently. I was wrong. I think he's forgiven me...

But Taschen's new coffee table book, Jazz Covers II, £35, is a an even better advertisement of why album artwork shouldn't be stuck in a cupboard.

So put on a black turtle neck, pour yourself a tumbler of Scotch, stroke your chin, picture yourself at a Mad Men party circa series II – and enjoy these beauties from the Taschen book, which would also make a spectacular present for the design-appreciating muso in your life. And, yes, sacrilege, but if you don't have any record sleeves as beautiful as these, you could always slice them out of the book with a Stanley knife and frame them, as I did with my John Hinde Butlin's book.

Dick Katz (Nixa)

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