Archive for December, 2009

Jazz Photography

December 22, 2009
Fourth Street and Jazz Fest September 2009 001

Gerald Wilson and Orchestra at Detroit Jazz Fest 2009


I love the old music photography.  This is an assortment of photos and photographers available on the internet.  The photos here are my own.  I don’t consider myself a “real photographer” per se.  Yet I’ve shot at least 2 or 3000 photographs over the years, both around Detroit and in my travels.           

First, the late Roy DeCarava (1919-2009).  He just died recently.  I love his book of photos The Sound I Saw.  It gets into the atmosphere, the neighborhood in which jazz is played, not just photos of the musicians themselves.          

Obituary:   ,0,860183.story              


Bucky Pizzarelli at the 2009 Detroit Jazz Festival


Jim Marshall is well-known for his music photography including rock and pop as well as jazz.  He started doing documentary work in the early 1960’s, including photos of poverty in the USA and the civil rights movement.   Here’s photos of John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.          

Milt Hinton (1910-2000) was an excellent jazz bass player as well as a photographer.  His friendship with his fellow player helped him to  get more relaxed and natural photos.       



William Claxton (1927-2008) is another photographer who has often shot photos of jazz musicians:      

Ole Brask (1935-2009):      

Herman Leonard (b1923):      

He’s one of the great ones.  He lived in New Orleans and his studio and a lot of his work was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Check out his bio on his website as well as the jazz photos.      

an interview with Herman Leonard:    

Pannonica de Koenigswarter, the “jazz baroness” (1913-1988) is legendary for having befriended many jazz musicians including Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker.  She also shot a lot of photographs and recently had a book of them published.  There’s also a new documentary film about her.     

Various others!  Including Duncan Schiedt (b 1921):   

Lee Tanner:   

William Gottlieb (1917-2006):   

Bob Parent (1923-1987):   

others include Helen Mandel, Jeffrey Kliman, Skip Bolen and  Jimmy Katz.  Then there’s Bert Stern.  He’s not primarily know for his jazz photos but he did direct a classic jazz film Jazz on a Summer’s Day.’s_Day