Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The greatest photo in jazz history?

On an August morning in 1958, first-time photographer Art Kane gathered more than 50 of the world's greatest jazz musicians for a group shot to grace the pages of Esquire magazine.
The photo featured musicians ranging from Red Allen to Lester Young, along with notables such as Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie.
No such gathering had ever taken place before this photo, and no assemblage of history making musicians will likely ever occur again.
"What about Band-Aid?" my wife Jill asked last night.
What about it?
This photo is different. This photo is like Beethoven, Bach and Mozart posing for a painting.
You can learn more about the photo and the artists pictured at the Web site, located here.
Alert ROUTE 1 reader Mike M. told us about a newly acquired DVD at Dubuque's Carnegie-Stout Public Library: Jean Bach's "A Great Day in Harlem" details the circumstances surrounding the photo shoot, while offering details on many of the musicians involved. We all know about Count Basie and Coleman Hawkins. This documentary also informs viewers about the importance of Vic Dickenson and Pee Wee Russell.
You should check it out immediately. Well, immediately after I return it to the library.


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