Book Review: Images of Jazz by Brian O’Connor
Images of Jazz
With a foreword by bassist/jazz club owner Peter Ind, this book features over 400 photographs taken over the course of nearly 50 years at more than 60 venues across Britain.
Photographer Brian O’Connor has been photographing jazz musicians since the early 1970s and is also a regular contributor to SJM.
Most of the photos are arranged in groups, either a collection of photos of individuals (such as vocalist Claire Martin) or grouped by instrument (including guitar, piano, vibraphone, harp and many more) and even family groupings such as the collection of Dankworths. There’s even a then-and-now montage of Alan Barnes, Liane Carroll and Andy Panayi (p. 81).
Sussex jazz venues are well represented, including the Birley Centre and Underground Theatre in Eastbourne, Brighton’s Verdict, The Hawth in Crawley, The Brunswick in Hove, and both the Love Supreme Festival and the South Coast Jazz Festival, where Brian exhibited as photographer in residence earlier this year.
As well as local legends such as Geoff Simkins and John Donaldson, there are also a number of photos of American legends such as Dexter Gordon (pictured opposite), Stan Getz, Count Basie, Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie.
A helpful index at the back of the book helps you locate photos by artist.
Providing a visual record of jazz in Britain for the past 40+ years, this book is a great achievement and an interesting and fun resource for both jazz fans and musicians.
Published by Riverside Publishing Solutions in association with the National Jazz Archive. £25.95 or £20 if ordered before Christmas.
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