JAZZ by William Claxton — 1st Edition 1st Printing, Only 4000 Copies Printed, 1987 HC/DJ — Very Rare
Publisher: Twelvetrees Press, Pasadena (1987)
Very rare, first edition, first printing of "Jazz" by the famous celebrity photographer, William Claxton, in near mint condition, with only 4000 copies printed. The dust jacket is in near mint condition with very slight shelf-wear to tips of spine ends. A beautifully produced book of some of his classic images of Jazz musicians. Includes a foreword by Leonard Feather, and an afterword by Terry Southern. A beautiful and scarce book. Please see below for more on Claxton.
Biography and Obituary
Claxton was celebrated for his moody black-and-white portraits of
leading jazzmen such as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Art
Pepper and Thelonious Monk. His photographs of musicians at work around
the US in 1960, taken on a four-month journey accompanied by
musicologist Joachim-Ernst Berendt, were collected in the book Jazzlife.
Claxton took the famous photograph of a brooding Chet Baker with his
face reflected on the piano (below). His Baker portraits were collected
in the book Young Chet, with a note from Claxton that photography is
"jazz for the eye".
Claxton's photographs made striking album covers for Pacific Jazz Records, such as the shot of a seaborne Baker blowing his trumpet in
the wind on the sleeve of the 1956 album, Chet Baker and Crew. Shooting
LP covers was, wrote Claxton, a "simple and delightful experience" - and
an intimate arrangement he preferred to the wrangling of executives and
stylists that would accompany CD cover shoots in later years.
Born and raised in California, Claxton snapped other leading
musicians throughout a career spanning more than 50 years, including
Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Tom Jones
and - most recently - Bob Dylan. His contribution to music included
setting up the organization that runs the Grammy awards; he was handed
the Lucie award for music photography in 2003.
His work appeared in Interview, Time, Life and Vogue and he teamed up
with his wife, model Peggy Moffitt, to work in the field of fashion
with designer Rudi Gernreich. Claxton also took many candid snaps of
legendary film stars, including Marlene Dietrich and, most notably, his
friend Steve McQueen, often shown posing behind the wheel of his beloved
automobiles. A collection of Claxton's photographs of comedians,
including Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, was published in 1999. -Courtesy of The Guardian Magazine