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Jazz Katz: Jazz in NY

Joel Roberts By

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Jazz Katz: Jazz in NY
Jimmy Katz
Hardcover; 188 pages
ISBN: 978-3-9810250-4-0
JazzPrezzo
2007

Over the past two decades, Jimmy Katz has established himself as probably the preeminent jazz photographer of his generation, capturing the recent New York jazz scene with the same artistry, passion and deep knowledge of the music as past masters like Francis Woolf, William Claxton and Herman Leonard.

Jazz Katz is a feast for the eyes, a beautifully printed volume that brings together 175 of Katz's black and white photographs of most of the major artists of the period - icons like Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter and Dave Brubeck, as well as important contemporary figures like Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, John Zorn and Brad Mehldau. Along with dozens of riveting live performance shots, what's especially moving here are the pictures that reveal intimate moments offstage, in the recording studio and especially at the artists' homes—Jimmy Heath at his Queens home surrounded by family photos; Roy Haynes at his Long Island home surrounded by Charlie Parker memorabilia; Ornette Coleman in Harlem surrounded by abstract art; bassist Ben Allison at home with his young daughter; Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell and David S. Ware with their dogs.

While jazz musicians can be an aloof and serious bunch, in images like Wynton Marsalis smiling with his eyes closed as he digs a Wess Anderson solo at Iridium, or tenor sax titans Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman and Michael Brecker sharing a private laugh on a downtown street, Katz conveys the overwhelming joy that's at the heart of their art and the delight they take in one another's company.

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