I am back (reluctantly) from another magnificent Monterey Jazz Festival weekend. As I regain (again, reluctantly) my real-life bearings, let me pass on a few items of note.
Jazz photography has a rich and deep history no other genre of music can match. From “A Great Day in Harlem” to timeless Blue Note cover shots, jazz for nearly a century has spawned innumerable classic images.
It’s also been much in the news recently. The New York Times reported the death of Lee Tanner, the photographer “whose evocative and sometimes ethereal images of Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and others helped define the genre visually on scores of album covers and in magazines, exhibitions and books.” Tanner died September 7 in the Mother Lode town of San Andreas at age 82.
The Times’ also recently published in its Sunday magazine a wonderful collection a freshly uncovered trove of color Nat Singerman photos featuring jazz giants such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and more.
And then there’s Stuart Brinin, who is among the genre’s current masters. The Bay Area resident’s biography is nothing if not impressive.
Stuart's work has been published in The New York Times, Village Voice and Rolling Stone, as well as a number of other major publications. He is a staff photographer for SIPA PRESS, one of the largest photo agencies in the world. He has shared his broad knowledge of photojournalism as an instructor at UC Berkeley ASUC Studio. National and international music assignments have provided him with access to some of the best artists of the day. His photos have graced Grammy-nominated albums by blues legends Charles Brown and Irma Thomas. Stuart is currently a contributing photographer to JAZZIZ, Jazz Times and Living Blues magazines. He is the house photographer for Yoshi's Jazz Club in his hometown of Oakland, California.
The Bay Area’s FivePlay has a new album coming out, “Five and More.” The band will mark that event by performing at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Bird and Beckett, 653 Chenery St., San Francisco. Also Quartet San Francisco's "Pacific Premieres: New Works by California Composers" drops today. The ensemble performs Friday night at Yoshi’s in Oakland.
Finally, a correction on my posting re: “Ella: The Musical,” which runs through October 12 at Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Yvette Cason (above) stars as Ella Fitzgerald in the production.
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