Monday, May 12, 2008

Herman Leonard- man with a jazz camera

While it's now full of trendy boutiques, New York's Soho district does have a few galleries scattered around, including Morrison Hotel. There you'll find (until the end of this month), an amazing retrospective of photographer Herman Leonard's work on display in his 'Jazz Giants' series. How does this sound for a line-up? Clifford Brown seemingly to blow his whole body into his trumpet, a grinning happy Charlie Parker alongside Dizzy, Billie Holiday in candid, unguarded moments and also radiating warmth on stage in front of a wall of cigarette smoke, Thelonious Monk deep in contemplation, a young cocky Quincy Jones in the studio, Lester Young's distinctive gear by itself, Miles Davis near the end of life sketching out painting, a sober-looking Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald sweating it up on stage, Johnny Hodges being served wine in Paris and Dinah Washington testifying. There are also a pair of framed, damaged photos (including one of Sir Duke) rescued from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Leonard is in his 80's now and still active in his work.


Blogger Ed Ward said...

Great guy. Amerika Haus here in Berlin (when it still existed) had a three-photographers-of-jazz exhibit and flew them all in for the opening reception. Leonard took me aside and whispered "Where can I get some grass around here? And where do they hide the good-looking blondes?"

6:16 AM  

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