By Thomas Casagranda
From Miles Davis to Manic Street Preachers, six readers tell us about their favourite album sleeve art – what's yours?
What does the picture mean? Miles is stating that the roots of jazz, of blues, of rock and of civilisation began in Africa. It is also a unification between black and white, between rock and jazz. The thunder in the distance suggests the turbulence of the grooves within: this wasn't the mild fusion of Filles DE Kilimanjaro, or In A Silent Way, this was the way forward – the jazz-rock fusion thunder.
Ultimately, the sleeve matches the (new) Directions in Music by Miles Davis, in that the figures on the painting are embracing, staring into a technicoloured new future for jazz. It is saying that jazz can go into rock, and will do amazingly. What a pity then that by 1976 Miles's vision was diluted by smooth jazz, which was the knock-on effect of fusion.