Each month I have a photo featured on the Jazz FM site. This month I’ve chosen one of the great McCoy Tyner taken during the sound check in the Market Hall at Brecon JF in 2002 with a Leica M6 and 90mm lens.
Brecon is one of my favourite festivals, I find the Brains beer they serve there makes me feel vey clever.
I digress, I don’t often crop images but this was one that I felt would be benefit, the space around McCoy was dark but distracted.
One of the things I love about stage photography is how the lighting on the artist sometimes recreates a feel of the Hollywood look of the film stars of the 40’s and 50’s exemplified by the great British photographer Cornel Lucas.I organised a masterclass given by him some years ago and will never forget how he subtly used bashers with dimmers to produce exquisite lighting effects to create the image in his mind.
Many of the master portraitist Jousuf Karsh’s most famous photographs were made with similar lighting arrangements and jazz master photographer Herman Leonard assisted him for a time which is where I’m sure he acquired some of the skills he used to great effect.
A thought – the year after this was taken I was on my first visit to NYC in 2003 I was staying in a place just off Time Square and picked up The Village Voice from a machine and went straight to the jazz listings – incredible – of course many of the worlds leading players are based in the city.
The one that hit me was McCoy Tyner with Michael Brecker at Iridium, just 5 minutes from where I stood. To begin the evening I went to Sardis on West 44th, a famous show biz restaurant and bar enjoyed a libation and left for the club.
I was in New York over the weekend enroute for a festival in Toronto I had some prints with me to show there and would you believe it, I had this one and a mounted one of Michael Brecker’s tenor taken at Glasgow JF on a Hasselblad years earlier. I managed to get myself introduced to the guys backstage had a chat and gave them the prints, I had 2 of this one with me, I don’t know why – must have been for this night in New York.
You can see Mr. Tyner at London Jazz Festival this year.
Ready to frame archival prints are available from only £15.00. A3 posters, £17.50 from ye olde online shop. Free delivery on all orders placed until 31st January 2011.
Visit Jazz FM to view the feature and listen online.