New Orleans will never again appear as it does in these rare and stunning photographs by William Claxton taken for the book Jazzlife in 1960. While traveling around the United States with musicologist Joachim E. Berendt to record America’s original art form, Claxton met and photographed the jazz personalities in every major and minor city, capturing these musicians in their natural environment. Among the most poignant and soulful photographs are these from the colorful melting pot of New Orleans, the city where jazz was born.
The photographer: William Claxton began his career shooting jazz record cover art. His iconic images of Chet Baker, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and many others reflect his preeminence among photographers of jazz music. Claxton worked for many of the biggest publishers including Life, Paris Match, and Vogue magazines. His work has been shown in galleries around the world, and his photographic prints are now sought after by collectors of fine art photography.
The author: The late Joachim E. Berendt first published The Jazz Book in 1953, which became the most successful history book on jazz in the world. Berendt’s contributions to jazz as a musicologist and a producer of over 250 records are internationally recognized to this day.