The many photographs taken by Francis Wolff portray the golden age of jazz and the leading names of the famed Blue Note Records label. Taken in black and white, often as low angle shots, they highlight the close relationship between the photographer and the musicians ? whose personality traits and obvious energy Wolff liked to reveal. These shots forged an image of jazz and resulted from the high-level meeting of two art forms. Paul Chambers (1935?1969) was an American double bassist. He recorded music with some of the most important jazzmen of his time, in particular Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, and was part of the famous Miles Davis Quintet from 1955 to 1963. He took part in the recording of such notable albums as John Coltrane?s ?Giant Steps? and Miles Davis?s ?Kind of Blue?. Francis Wolff photographed him in front of Hotel Alvin in New York in 1956 before the recording of his album ?Whims Of Chambers?.

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The artist

Francis Wolff

Born in Berlin in 1907, Francis Wolff was the co-founder and in-house photographer for one of the world’s most prestigious jazz labels, Blue Note Records. A professional photographer passionate about his work, Wolff was the creator of a large number of portraits of legendary musicians taken during the many recording sessions of the New York label. His black and white shots, for the most part reproduced on disc covers, contributed greatly to both the aesthetic and the success of the Blue Note label, for which he would work until his death in 1971.

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