The Jazz Image: Seeing Music Through Herman Leonard's Photography PDF (Adobe DRM) download by Heather K. Pinson

The Jazz Image: Seeing Music Through Herman Leonard's Photography

University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: June 2010
ISBN: 9781604734959
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
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Typically a photograph of a jazz musician has several formal prerequisites: black and white film, an urban setting in the mid-twentieth century, and a black man standing, playing, or sitting next to his instrument. That's the jazz archetype that photography created. Author K. Heather Pinson discovers how such a steadfast script developed visually and what this convention meant for the music.Album covers, magazines, books, documentaries, art photographs, posters, and various other visual extensions of popular culture formed the commonly held image of the jazz player. Through assimilation, there emerged a generalized composite of how mainstream jazz looked and sounded. Pinson evaluates representations of jazz musicians from 1945 to 1959, concentrating on the seminal role played by Herman Leonard (b. 1923). Leonard's photographic depictions of African American jazz musicians in New York not only created a visual template of a black musician of the 1950s, but also became the standard configuration of the music's neoclassical sound today. To discover how the image of the musician affected mainstream jazz, Pinson examines readings from critics, musicians, and educators, as well as interviews, musical scores, recordings, transcriptions, liner notes, and oral narratives.
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The Jazz Image Seeing Music through Herman Leonard’s Photography

This is another work examining the crossover between jazz and culture, and more particularly the medium of photography. Leonard’s photographs expose the real life moments of jazz but one point that Pinson raises is that people can read all sorts into a photograph, and once they have done so it can lead to multitudes recognising the same things about that photograph, and largely, jazz itself is branded as such. Or so it would seem, looking at the history of archetypal images created around jazz. Once she has finished singing Leonard’s praises at length with interesting histories of hid apprenticeship in photography, Pinson evaluates the ‘image’ of jazz, and tears apart the stereotypical picture (which brings the cartoon medium to mind) of a cool old black man with shades and a sax, smoking. She is incredible well-informed on all matters of jazz in the context of visual culture, and her statements are written and backed up with style. The body of each chapter in dense with references and nods to scholars, ‘jazzers’ and iconic stages of the history of jazz. Buy this book!
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