The Unwound Third > Other Musical Interests

Poignant, classy NYT jazz pics and narrative, Open Door 1953

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Thanks for posting that link, Rivers.  The photos really are wonderful, and it's hard to see how they were done without a flash.  As for the one being the "best" Jazz photo ever, well . . . .
All best,

That's a good observation, John. Bob Parent was a professional who took a lot of photos, so I'm sure he had the knowledge of what worked best. The easy answer is fast film and the right processing. The difficult questions to answer are what specific film(s) and which processing techniques he actually used to get his shots to come out the way they did. I don't know what was available in 1953, so I'll defer to the experts.

We live in times when terms such as "the best" and "the greatest" are thrown around at will. But they sure are hard to avoid when talking about Herman Leonard and his jazz photos from the 1950s, especially the now-iconic photo of Ella Fitzgerald singing at a club with Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman sitting a few feet away, and the great photo of an unsmiling Louis Armstrong (a rare instance, at least in front of a camera) taking a break in-between sets at a club in Paris in the early 60s. 

See for yourself:

It may be easier to find out how Leonard did his low-light non-flash work, since there's been a lot more written about him than about Bob Parent (who was a very fine photographer, I love the Monk, Parker, et al. photos!).


Miles, Monk, Mingus, Dexter Gordon, Prez, Ben Webster, et. al. get a spin around our place most evenings.  Those Blue Note records, the photos, the whole era was high water mark in music.  They were so good.


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