Masters of Jazz Photography — Ray Avery

November 24th, 2015


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Chet Baker
Los Angeles, 1956


Photo by Ray Avery

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The great improvisational American jazz musicians of the mid-20th century inspired a generation of photographers to develop a looser, moodier style of visual expression. That evocative approach is on striking display in The Jazz Image: Masters of Jazz Photography. Covering six decades of performers — from Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to John Coltrane and Miles Davis — this unique collection is as much a comprehensive catalogue of jazz greats as it is a salute to the photographers who captured them.

Lee Tanner was a leading authority on jazz photography. He selected works — by such noted jazz photographers as Herman Leonard, Bob Willoughby, Milt Hinton, and Bill Claxton —that are iconic, candid, explosive, and intimate. They provide a simultaneous look at jazz, photography, and America from 1935 into the 1990s.#

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In honor of the late Mr. Tanner, Jerry Jazz Musician presents a number of editions of “Master of Jazz Photography,” featuring a work by one of the photographers featured in The Jazz Image.

This edition: Ray Avery

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Ray Avery was born in Winnepeg, Canada, in 1920.  His family moved to California when he was six, to an isolated rural area outside of Los Angeles.  His first contact with jazz was on the radio in the early mornings.  Avery studied at UCLA, then entered the Air Force in World War II, photographing in India with an Argus C3 camera.  After discharge, Avery went into his father’s fur-farming business for a while.  In 1947 Avery opened the first of a series of Los Angeles record shops.  The stores became a center for serious record collectors and music professionals.  He was invited to many jazz events, and Avery brought his Nikon cameras everywhere, documenting the West Coast jazz scene from its beginnings; all the Monterey Festivals, the Stars of Jazz television series, and the busy nightclub scene.  He retired in 1986 and devoted more time to photography; his book Stars of Jazz was published in 1998.  Avery passed away in 2003.#  His work can be found online at www.ctsimages.com

 


 

kidory

Kid Ory

 

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bobbyhacket

Bobby Hackett

 

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averysidney

Sidney Bechet

 

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brubeck

Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond

 

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artpepper

Art Pepper, 1954

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shellymanne

Shelly Manne, 1956

 

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mulligan

Gerry Mulligan

 

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monk

Thelonious Monk

 

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averydizzy
Dizzy Gillespie, 1990

     

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About the Author

 

Lee Tanner photographed jazz musicians for nearly half a century. His photographs have appeared in Down Beat, Jazz Times, American Photo, and Popular Photography, on the covers of many record albums, and in several books.

 

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# Text from the publisher

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Read our interview with Lee Tanner

Remembering Lee Tanner

 

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In This Issue

This issue features a roundtable discussion about how the world of religion may have impacted the creative lives of Billie Holiday, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. Also, previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning story; three new podcasts from Bob Hecht; new collection of poetry; recommendations of recently released jazz recordings, and lots more.

Short Fiction

"The Wailing Wall" -- a short story by Justin Short

Interviews

Three prominent religious scholars -- Wallace Best, Tracy Fessenden and M. Cooper Harriss -- join us in a conversation about how the world of religion during the life and times of Langston Hughes (pictured), Billie Holiday and Ralph Ellison helps us better comprehend the meaning of their work.

Poetry

Nine poets contribute ten poems celebrating jazz in poems as unique as the music itself

Short Fiction

In celebration of our upcoming 50th Short Fiction Contest, previous contest winners (dating to 2002) reflect on their own winning story, and how their lives have since unfolded.

The Joys of Jazz

In this edition, award winning radio producer Bob Hecht tells three stories; 1) on Charlie Christian, the first superstar of jazz guitar; 2) the poet Langston Hughes’ love of jazz music, and 3) a profile of the song “Strange Fruit”

On the Turntable

25 recently released jazz tunes that are worth listening to…including Bobo Stenson; Medeski, Martin and Wood; Muriel Grossman and Rudy Royston

Features

Chick Corea, Rickie Lee Jones, Gary Giddins, Michael Cuscuna, Randy Brecker and Tom Piazza are among those responding to our question, "What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940's?"

Poetry

"Billie Holiday" -- a poem (with collage) by Steve Dalachinsky

Coming Soon

Thomas Brothers, Duke University professor of music and author of two essential biographies of Louis Armstrong, is interviewed about his new book, HELP! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration; also, Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, author of An American Odyssey: The Life and Work of Romare Bearden, in a conversation about the brilliant 20th Century artist

In the previous issue

This issue features an interview with Bing Crosby biographer Gary Giddins; a collection of poetry devoted to the World War II era; and a new edition of “Reminiscing in Tempo,” in which the question “What are 3 or 4 of your favorite jazz recordings of the 1940’s” is posed to Rickie Lee Jones, Chick Corea, Tom Piazza and others.

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