Any person who, like me, has spent too much time in junk shops trying to score cool LPs, has seen his stunningly creative work...his images are a stirring part of the tapestry of those excursions. I think of him as the Picasso of Jazz; his other-worldly depictions of Jazz musicians capture perfectly the vibe of a certain era of the music...brash, swingin' and full of ecstatic movement. There's another side to Flora as well. If you look at his LP illustrations more closely, beyond the exciting flash, you can see a cunning method to his cartoonish madness. It wasn't a surprise to me to see some of his more conventionally serious work; his 'Mount Adams Ascension' (pictured here, center bottom), reminds me very much of some of the lesser woodcuts of the legendary Flemish master Frans Masereel...which I consider a top compliment.
Jim Flora may have passed away in 1998, but in 2012, he's very much alive!