Desdemone Bardin JAZZ ZOOM: Carryin' It On DVC Press 2004
When this book arrived in the mail, the first thought was that is was a set of LPs. It ended up being something equally impressive.
Jazz has never been an easy fit for a coffeetable book. Maybe its the lack of wild hair or that so many pictures of the legends are grainy and black and white or that jazz musicians speak in terms incomprehensible to most.
This book, a loving tribute to the work of photographer/photojournalist Desdemone Bardin, revels in these issues and brings them together - a fascinating peek inside the world of the jazz musician.
The book is organized around Bardin's photos and brief excerpts of her interviews. The photos are the main draw (highlights are Warren Smith, Oliver Lake, Sun Ra Arkestra, Andrew Cyrille, Rashied Ali) but some of the written material is fascinating, particularly conversations with people either passed or no longer on the scene (Marion Brown, Fred Hopkins, Denis Charles). An added attraction is flyers and posters from many concerts that are included for historical significance and as another visual element.
The only thing that may depress sales is that the chosen sphere of musicians, though all significant, are not well known to the general public. Coming from the AACM, BAG and downtown NYC scenes, JAZZ ZOOM illuminates a specific segment of jazz history that has lacked exposure.