Item description for Jazzlife by William Claxton Steve Crist...
The sights and sounds of American jazz In 1959 and 1960, photographer William Claxton and noted German musicologist Joachim Berendt traveled the United States hot on the trail of jazz music. The result of their collaboration was an amazing collection of photographs and recordings of legendary artists as well as unknown street musicians. The book Jazzlife, the original fruit of their labors, has become a collector's item that is highly treasured among jazz and photography fans. In 2003, TASCHEN began reassembling this important collection of material?along with many never-before-seen color images from those trips. They are brought together in this updated volume, which includes a foreword by Claxton tracing his travels with Berendt and his love affair with jazz music in general. Utilizing the benefits of today's digital technology, a restored audio CD from Joachim Berendt's original recordings has been produced and is included in this package. Jazz fans will be delighted to
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Jazz Life is a great book in every senses: Fantastic photographs,very good informative text and wonderful audio CD, besides its weight and its size. Very, very good. Great find.
Jazzlife Book Jan 4, 2007
This book has great pictures of famous entertainers. It is very heavy, though. I got the best price through this site. It came more quickly than I imagined, We are very pleased with the book and the service and wouuld do it again.
Art Nov 10, 2006
I just received this enormous book; yes enormous in every way. Both in vision, content, printing and weight. I have plenty of jazz photo books and some earlier collections by Claxton, but this certainly reaches beyond the rest. It reminds me of the work by the great Cartier-Bresson. It is far beyond publicity shots and the compositions are real and echoes what language can never say. I am reminded of the great writer Albert Murray. He delves deep into the entire ouvre of this American art form. The large two page bleed photos are breathtaking. The book is largely b&w which suits me just fine. One seldom comes across such empathy and passion for a subject and at the same time shoots like a painter. This is a bargain at twice the price.
JazzLife Nov 4, 2006
Gorgeous book. One that I will want to have out and look through over and over. Amazing, you see something different every time you look through it.
Clickin' with Clax* Mar 18, 2006
If you were a jazz fan in the Fifties this book will be the ultimate visual memory jogger. It is a huge book, too, weighing in at over fifteen pounds (a bit more with its handy carrying box) and with spreads opening to an impressive twenty-three inches wide by sixteen deep. The 696 beautifully printed pages feature an expanded collection of photos originally taken for the 1961 German book 'Jazz Life' produced by Joachim Berendt and William Claxton.
In four months during 1960 these two motored across the America and it would seem photographed every important jazz musician that mattered and what stunning photos they are. Page after page of folks you have been listening to for years and not just recording studio shots but plenty of informal and location photos. Musicians everywhere get a look in, New Orleans, Kansas, St Louis, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, from ragtime to bop to East and West coast styles. Each area has an essay and all the photos are captioned. Looking through the book for the first time with its huge page size and Claxton's sympathetic jazz camera is a rather awesome experience.
There is a forty-two minute CD with the book (the original German edition had two seven inch LPs) of music recorded by Berendt but I thought it was rather bland in its choice of tracks. Predominately New Orleans traditional and spirituals with a very small sampling of other styles some of which annoyingly fade out before the end. I bet at the time though the music added to the book's success in a still rather war-torn Germany.
'Jazz Life' celebrates a great American music style with photos you can almost hear. I doubt there will be anything as good as this published again.
*A Shorty Rogers tune dedicated to Bill Claxton
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.