The Blue Note Years: The Jazz Photography of Francis Wolff

Michael Cuscuna, Author, Francis Wolff, Author, Michael Cuscana, Author
Michael Cuscuna, Author, Francis Wolff, Author, Michael Cuscana, Author Rizzoli International Publications $65 (204p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1912-6
Reviewed on: 05/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
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In 1939, Wolff (1907?-1971), a professional German photographer, came to the U.S. and became partners with Alfred Lion at Blue Note Records, an innovative new recording company producing masterpieces by talented young jazz musicians such as Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, John Coltrane and many others. Wolff managed the company's business affairs, and he also attended recording sessions, taking thousands of informal photographs of individual musicians at work. Some of these photographs appeared on Blue Note album covers and later in booklets offered with reissues of classic jazz recordings produced by Mosaic Records, which Cuscuna and Lourie founded in 1982. Most of them, however, were never seen by the public, and many of the over 200 duotone photographs in this large-format volume, beautifully designed by Schnider, are here reproduced for the first time. Intimate and unposed, these portraits reveal Wolff's genius for capturing the musicians' various moods and their joy in music-making. The brief but lucid text outlines the history of Blue Note Records and its relationship to its artists, adding to the appeal of this stunning book. (Oct.)
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