FRANCIS WOLFF

Relaxin' for Real

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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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The American composer and trumpet player Miles Davis left his mark upon the history of 20th century music and jazz. In 1942 he became a professional musician and played until his death in 1991. He worked with the greatest names in jazz from 1940 to 1980 and was always surrounded by new talent. The musical career of Miles Davis was synonymous with his political position in support of black civil rights and the fight against racism. This photograph dated 6th March 1954, was taken during the last recording session with The Miles Davis Quartet at Blue Note.

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Date photograph was taken

20 April 2012

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