The missing link between the Persian classical music of the Faramarz Payvar Ensemble and
the guy who played piano on Chuck Berry's hit records, Johnnie Johnson, is none other than John Costa, who designed album covers and created graphics on releases by these artists and many more. Costa seems to be a regular choice of the Elektra label and its subsidiary Nonesuch, an affiliation which by itself guarantees a regular flow of diverse and interesting projects, provided the bean counters in the top floor offices are co-operating.
Costa's credits began appearing in the '70s, a decade in which the Nonesuch outfit had established itself as one of the cheapest ways to find out what a wedding ceremony in the high Himalayas sounds like, to pick one of many possible remote examples. Design and artwork on these packages tended to be spare but sometimes elegant. This cover designer should not be confused with the Johnny Costa who played piano on the Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood show, not to mention the rockabilly bassist John Costa or the identically-named fellow who designs Star Wars action figures.