A great photographer passed away in Los Angeles yesterday. Herman Leonard, whose photographs defined the jazz era. I loved his work. He was know for documenting the birth of bebop. His instruments were a camera and light. I would love to take just one picture like him. The NY Times says this about him.
The artists he shot were titans or soon to be, so renowned that each can be conjured with a single name: Ella, Duke, Dizzy, Billie, Miles, Frank. Carefully lighted and meticulously printed, Mr. Leonard’s photos retained the quality of candids, catching his subjects in moments of powerful intimacy.
I once tried to buy one of his prints in an auction. I dropped out at $1,500. I had to settle for a book.