The Jazz.com Blog
January 14, 2008 · 0 comments
Harlem at Night, photo by Marcel Fleiss
Marcel Fleiss captured the excitement of jazz in New York and Paris during the 1950s as writer and photographer for Le Jazz Hot. Born in Paris in 1934, Fleiss first developed his interest in jazz at age fifteen, and soon was immersed in the modern musical currents of the day. At the age of eighteen, Fleiss came to New York, and was a regular presence at Birdland, the Blue Note, the Apollo Theater, and other locations where he could photograph the leading jazz players of the day.
Thelonious Monk at Salle Pleyel (1954)
Photo by Marcel Fleiss
I recently had the opportunity to meet with Fleiss when he was in Los Angeles for a conference on jazz at the Getty Center. His images and first hand accounts of the 1950s jazz scene in Paris and New York captivated me, and all of the others who were in attendance at this event. He generously agreed to let us share a selection of his jazz photography in one of our Visual Jazz galleries on jazz.com.
These images reveal the essence of jazz in full flight. What a delight it is to see Thelonious Monk in a stylish dark suit -- and white socks! -- entertaining at the Salle Pleyel. Or Erroll Garner and Art Tatum sharing the piano bench at Birdland. Or Paul Desmond with a dreamy and lost expression on his face, while Dave Brubeck listens and comps with intensity in the background. Or Lee Konitz playing on the stage at Birdland, but seemingly more interested in getting the attention of Miles and the other members of the band than with the audience.
I encourage all of you to pay a visit to our Marcel Fleiss gallery and share in these stirring images of a great era in jazz history.
This blog entry posted by Ted Gioia