15 August 2010

Herman Leonard

Another member of the family has left us this weekend. Photographer Herman Leonard, whose work you have seen many times possible without even knowing it, has passed away. Read the New Orleans Times-Picayune obituary here. The photo of Dizzy Gillespie on the right side of the page is hanging in my apartment, and is one of my favorite works of jazz photography. Leonard's photos had wonderful depth and texture, you can practically feel the smoke in Royal Roost while looking at the photo.

Mark Myers interviewed Leonard last year, and Leonard said of his photos, "I wanted to preserve the mood and atmosphere as much as possible. My goal was to capture these artists at the height of their finest creative moments." He did just that, and those of us too young to have seen Parker and Gillespie and Ellington and Fitzgerald at the time will be forever indebted to Herman Leonard.

Image via AllPosters.com

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