The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Shutterbug Friday #6:
Francis Wolff and the Empire of Cool (Vol. 3)

Rudy Van Gelder

Sidney Bechet

Alfred Lion and Thelonious Monk

Eric Dolphy and Kenny Dorham

Sonny Clark and Philly Joe Jones

Clifford Brown and Percy Heath

Eddie McFadden, Jimmy Smith and Donald Bailey

Blue Mitchell and Chick Corea

Howard McGhee, Gigi Gryce and Tal Farlow

Oscar Pettiford, Kenny Clarke and Gil Coggins

Dexter Gordon

Pops Foster, Sidney Bechet, Art Hodes and Al Nicholas

Dave Burns, James Moody, Cecil Payne

Johnny Griffin, John Coltrane and Hank Mobley

Jackie McLean and Miles Davis

Joe Henderson

Buck Clayton and Keg Johnson

John Collins, Joe Jones and Vic Dickenson

Bennie Green and Stanley Turrentine


Robert Fiore said...

How many places and times in human history could you have walked among as much creative genius in such a concentrated space as in the jazz clubs on 52nd Street after World War II? It's possible you could find a similar sort of concentration on a studio lot during the classic period of Hollywood film, but those places weren't open to the general public.

H. P. L. said...

This series makes me think that it was nearly impossible to take a bad picture of those guys.... Great pic of Trane and Hank together! They were called "the cousins", weren't they?

marietta said...


Pop9 said...


swac said...

So that's what Rudy looks like. Love the record lathe.

estiv said...

Wonderful shots. The Johnny Griffin, John Coltrane, and Hank Mobley photo could possibly have been captioned "Three Tenors," no? ;-)

Loye said...

That's a great shot of Eric Dolphy and Kenny Dorham. Absolutely fantasic. said...

Do you know who the photographer was/is? My neighbor did a lot of photos of jazz greats during the Central Ave era in Los Angeles

Tom Sutpen said...

The photographer was Francis Wolff. He'd been a professional photographer earlier in his life, but these photos were taken during his years as an executive for Blue Note Records ("The Finest in Jazz Since 1939"). Many of them were used as album cover art for that label's releases throughout the 50s and 60s.

erik hogstrom said...

I love that photo of Joe Henderson.
Once again, Tom, some fabulous stuff here.

Zoe said...

cool photos