“People weren’t doing filters like this with colour. They were afraid to do anything with colour.” - Pete Turner
I discovered Pete Turner about the same time I discovered jazz. It was the early ‘70s and my musical taste was broadening. I had heard a jazz version of ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ on the radio, and with visions of Kubrick’s 2001 in my head, I went off to find the record; Prelude by Deodato. The album cover featured a bright green wall with a shadow of a tree cutting across it. This was my first introduction to the work of Pete Turner.
Creed Taylor (of CTI Records) had commissioned Turner to produce a number of images for the CTI jazz recordings. These included albums by Deodato, George Benson, Airto Moreia, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws and Milt Jackson. All of these covers featured strong colours and somewhat abstract images.
As I bought more jazz music, I discovered that Creed Taylor had earlier used Pete Turner for a number of album covers on the A&M label. The gatefold cover of Wes Montgomery’s Road Song is still one of my all time favourite images. Imagine, jazz and great photography in one package. The cover art is one area that modern music delivery methods really fall down.
At that time all my work was in 35mm and black and white (not having the money or facilities to have a colour darkroom at home) so these brilliantly coloured images seemed almost impossible to achieve with my knowledge of photography. Turner also introduced me to a new way of ‘seeing’. Everyday objects could be turned into art, if they were lit and photographed correctly.
Any of my ipernity friends who have been watching my photo set for a while will no doubt still see some influences of Pete Turner in my work.
You can see some of Pete’s work here…
And you can read an interview in which he talks about how he achieved some of the images here…
Just for old times sake, I had Prelude playing while I wrote this.