Blue Notes in Black and White: Photography and Jazz by Benjamin Cawthra
Miles Davis, very cool behind his shadow. Billy Holiday, eyes closed and head tilted back in full cry. John Coltrane, one hand behind his neck and a finger holding on…
Blue Notes in Black and White synopsis
Miles Davis, very cool behind his shadow. Billy Holiday, eyes closed and head tilted back in full cry.
John Coltrane, one hand behind his neck and a finger holding on his lips. These famous images attracted jazz fans as much as the music.
Jazz is a landmark in American history. It is a reflection and a vital part of American-African culture at a time of great turmoil, conflict and celebration.
The blueprints of jazzevolution from the 1930s to the black nationalism of the 1960s, "Blue in Black and White", are the first of its kind: a fascinating account of the partnership between two of the twentieth most innovative forms of art in the century. Benjamin Kothra introduces us to the great jazz photographers - including Gjon Mili, William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Francis Wolff, Roy DeCarava and William Claxton - and their struggles, attempts, styles, and creative vision.
We also meet their legendary subjects, such as Duke Ellington, where they are sweating in the late-night jam session of the troops during World War II, and Daisy Gillespie, stylish in hats and glasses. Cawthra shows us the links between photographers, art directors, editors and producers of CDs who have created a look of jazz that sells magazines and albums.
On the other side of the lens, he explores how musicians shape their public images to enhance their financial and political goals. This combination of art, trade, and racist politics has a rich visual heritage that is clearly shown in the "Blue and Black Notes". Apart from shedding light on the aesthetic power of these images, Cawthra finally shows how jazz and its images served a crucial function in the struggle for civil rights, making African Americans proud and powerful..
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