You see, it really works! Put in a request and I'll honour it if I can. The other day, Bruno asked me to write about these two stamps:
and here I am writing about them. Lady Luck did play her part as well though, for the day after I read Bruno's comment and request on this blog, I was at a stamp fair and happened to find these stamps!
They were issued in June this year, as a joint issue for the US and France. The general thought behind this issue is that music speaks an international language and that was enough for the two postal administrations to embark on this project, choosing two artists whose fame reached far beyond their country's borders.
The photographs were selected for the body posures the two musical giants were famed for. That makes them work perfectly well as a stamp set, and the predominantly black and white appearance gives a good ambience of the old days. I must secretly admit, though, that I have a slight preference for the French stamps, these being completely black and white.
It is, of course, not the first time that France has issued a stamp for her Little Sparrow singer Edith Piaf. She was also part of a 1990 issue honouring France's chansonniers.
And neither is it the first time that France has honoured American musical talent. In 2002, a set was issued with jazz musicians on, and these included the likes of Louis Armstrong and, one of my favourites, Ella Fitzgerald.
She, of course also appears on American stamps, such as this 2007 issue, part of the long-running 'Black Heritage' series.
Now jazz and philately seems a slightly odd combination. Somehow the smoky cellars of old, where music was played which at the time was very much criticised for luring the young into a world of intimacy and amorality, doesn't fit well with the image of the precise philatelist, researching minute details and getting excited over perf holes that are 0.005mm smaller than normal.
But it seems that jazz has come a long way and has become part of the establishment if you like. But how to translate this into jazz stamps? I suppose for that we really have to look at the country of its origin, the United States, where many a jazz issue has seen the light of day. The easy way to represent this subject has been to depict musicians, as done here on a 1998 'Twentieth Century' stamp representing the popularity of jazz in the 1920s.
But my favourite US jazz stamp, issued last year, does more than that: it actually manages to come up with a very jazzy design. The designer, Paul Rogers, wanted the design to be the visual equivalent of the music. His inspiration came from the artwork on album sleeves of vintage jazz records. Absolutely brilliant!
See yous later