Into the jazz heartland

By William Claxton. Excerpt from the book 'William Claxton. Jazzlife'

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I photographed a Dizzy Gillespie recording session in a recording studio on Tenth Avenue. Dizzy was an affable and generous man. That was easy enough, but there were many other musicians whom I thought needed to be photographed against a more interesting background. I ended up shooting Charlie Mariano and Toshiko Akiyoshi posing in one of those "self-photo-for-25 cents" booths; Donald Byrd practicing his trumpet while traveling uptown on the "A" train; the Modern Jazz Quartet in a midtown ballet studio; and Lee Konitz laughing with his pal Warne Marsh while seated on those huge rocks in Central Park.

Joe, Peggy and I spent a Sunday afternoon near the Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village, listening to the various folk and blues singers, a few jazz players and the usual soapbox orators. It was indeed a musical crosssection of America and a very moving experience. In fact, it was a lovely way to end our journey...our jazz odyssey
of 1960.

William Claxton,
Beverly Hills, California, November 2004
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Philly Joe Jones (left) and Larance Marable, Falcon Lair, Beverly Hills. (c) William Claxton