The Jazz Photography Issue
…..For many of us who revere jazz music – especially those fortunate enough to have grown up during the era of the 12 x 12 record album jacket and coffee table photography books– the images of great musicians taken by photographers like William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, William Claxton and Lee Tanner provided ample inspiration to explore the music and culture they so passionately chronicled.
…..Gottlieb connected us to New York’s earliest bebop musicians, and to the aura of Dizzy’s 52nd Street. Leonard’s portrait of Dexter Gordon, engulfed in the smoke of an unfiltered cigarette, was so seductive that, according to Dexter’s wife Maxine Gordon, Leonard jokingly wanted to have a disclaimer on the photo that said, “This photo does not encourage young people to smoke!” Claxton’s work with Chet Baker expressed his beauty and complexity in the warmth of the Los Angeles environs. Tanner’s ability to capture a moment from a stage performance nearly made it possible to hear Miles blowing his muted horn in the shadow of a spotlight.
…..Add to that the work of other great photographers from the mid-century era like the bassist Milt Hinton, San Francisco Bay area-based Veryl Oakland, and today’s most eminent jazz portrait photographer, Carol Friedman, whose 1976 photograph of Chet Baker is shown here.
…..In this edition of Jerry Jazz Musician —“The Jazz Photography Issue” — fans of photography (and jazz) have access to several interesting posts:
…..A new and entertaining interview with Ms. Friedman about her career as a New York photographer, who talks about creating iconic photos of legends like Jimmy Heath, Ron Carter, Lena Horne, Chet Baker, Eubie Blake, Cecil Taylor, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and Sarah Vaughan, and of contemporary artists like Sullivan Fortner, Chucho Valdes, Terence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, Lisa Fischer and Joey Alexander.
…..In a continuation of our recent interview with Michael Cuscuna, the Mosaic Records co-founder talks about the availability of many previously unpublished Francis Wolff photographs, taken during Blue Note Records sessions from 1940 – 1969.
…..“Jazz: Through the Life and Lens of Milt Hinton” features countless photographs and book excerpts from his 2006 book of the same name.
…..A new edition of “Jazz in Available Light” by Veryl Oakland. His photos and stories this time are of Art Pepper, Pat Martino and Joe Williams.
…..The artist Charles Ingham introduces a new series of five unique and brilliant jazz photo-narratives – focused on jazz people and places.