FRANCIS WOLFF

Herbie Hancock

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The artist

Francis Wolff was born in Berlin in 1907. He met Alfred Lion when he was 15 years old and already a jazz and photography enthusiast. Their shared love for this new music cemented their friendship. In 1933, Lion emigrated to American soils. Wolf pursued a brilliant career as a photographer and collected records in spite of the Third Reich’s rise to power. In 1939, he had to face facts and escape Nazi Germany. He reached New York in October. He moved into Alfred Lion’s apartment. This place had also been the head office of a brand new jazz label ‘Blue note’ for about ten months. Wolff worked retouching in a photography studio in the daytime and in the evening was devoted to managing the label. The label developed and soon Wolff devoted all his time to it. He did however take his camera to each recording session for 28 years. He therefore photographed an important part of the history of jazz and its legends.In 1951, with the advent of the LP, and the imminent importance of record covers, the photographs taken by Francis Wolff became primordial for Blue Note. In 1967, Alfred Lion retired and Wolff took over the role of producer. He had to relinquish his photography. He remained at the helm of Blue Note until his death in 1971.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Herbert ?Herbie? Jeffrey Hancock, born on 12th April 1940 in Chicago (United States), is a jazz pianist and composer. He integrates elements of soul, rock, funk and disco, as well as several rap rhythms, into his work as a jazz musician. He has worked with the greatest jazz artists throughout his career including members of the Miles Davies Quintet in the 60s. This artist loves discovering new sounds. His musical forages encompass being one of the first to use synthesizers and scratch: remaining melodic his music has unfailing public success. Some of his creations, Watermelon Man and Rock it were commercially successful.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

20 April 2012

Artwork subject

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