Dexter Gordon, Royal Roost, NYC, 1948 - photograph by Hermann Leonard
Long ago, when i was a student, i had a housemate and friend called Andy who was a massive jazz fan. Andy was a photographer who had combined his passion for music with his photography resulting in a superb collection of jazz portraits/concert photographs. The jazz clubs and festivals in Newcastle Upon Tyne acted as the perfect place to develop his portfolio.
A big influence over Andy's work was Hermann Leonard, an american photographer who photographed many of the jazz greats of the 1940's. Leonard's work fused the atmosphere of the smokey jazz clubs with the performance and persona of the artist he was photographing. The resulting images are among the greatest photographs of pro musicians at work ever taken.
As i wandered through the internet today, i came across Hermann Leonard's website, and his magnificent images in the portfolio section brought back all kinds of great memories of late night photography discussions as a Miles Davis album played in the background. Great days. Even if you aren't a big fan of jazz music, I'd recommend taking a look at Leonard's work. It is the work of a true master.
Hermann Leonard's website can be found at http://www.hermanleonard.com/