October 5, 2016

Jazz for the Eyes

Left: Helen Humes | Right: Ornette Coleman © William Claxton

 

 

The late, great photographer William Claxton famously said, "Photography is Jazz for the eyes." In the newest edition of Jazzlife, we get a glimpse of what the scene was like in the 1960's for musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Stan Getz, and Dinah Washington.  The volume is a compilation of images shot by Claxton while on a road trip across the USA, capturing every art form from New Orleans brass bands to Baptist gospel choirs to penitentiary blues. Starting out as an art director for Pacific Jazz Records, a label based in Los Angeles, Claxton soon became the go-to photographer for all the big names in the jazz world. Claxton has one simple request for the reader: "All I ask you to do is listen with your eyes." 

 

Stan Getz  © William Claxton

 

Ray Charles © William Claxton

 

Clifford Brown  Right: Dinah Washington  © William Claxton