The Photography of Francis Wolff (Blue Note Records)

Francis Wolff is a name that doesn't ring bells amongst casual jazz fans like Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, or John Coltrane, but it should.

Wolff was born in Berlin, Germany in 1908, and who would have thought that a German immigrant would have been the co-founder (along with co-founder Alfred Lion) of the iconic movement that was and is Blue Note Records. One of the most prestigious jazz record labels ever, Blue Note Records had a roster that featured some of the biggest names in jazz. During its height, it was also the best selling jazz label,

But what made Blue Note Records “Blue Note Records“?

Yes, they had the big names and as a result, they built an extensive catalog. What made Blue Note stand out from other jazz labels is a skill that Francis Wolff had that had absolutely nothing to do with his skills as a company executive or a record producer. It was Wolff's eye for photography that gave Blue Note its imagery, which is still admired and emulated today.

It's safe to say that you've seen his work. The contemplative photo of John Coltrane with his arm bent behind

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his head… the one of Dexter Gordon immersed in his own cloud of cigarette smoke. Simply put, these are the photos that gave jazz the notion of being cool, and these are the photos that go with the soundtrack of the iconic sound of jazz. These photos evoke multiple senses, thoughts and stories. It is a frozen moment in time, giving us a window into a time period of American history…the history of jazz. The art of photography combined with the best jazz music is what made Blue Note Records the premier jazz label of its time. I forgot to mention…when you see one of the hundreds of Blue Note Records from the 50's or 60's, you're most likely looking through the lens of Francis Wolff.

In todays age of instagram, SLR cameras, and the ability to upload thousands of photos from a single afternoon photo shoot on to your computer, Francis Wolff's photography should be appreciated even more so. With that said, here is a drop in the ocean that is the Photography of Francis Wolff. He has taken pictures of all of them, many times over. From on stage, to out in public, to in the studio, to in private, Francis Wolff always found himself with a musical genius, and thankfully, he always for us, he always had a camera on him.

(The removal of these photos were requested by Blue Note Records.)

Written by: @Haylow

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Comments

The Photography of Francis Wolff (Blue Note Records) http://t.co/Rkgnn4yB

Jazz + Photography + Blue Note Records = Francis Wolff http://t.co/Rkgnn4yB He is someone you should know if you’ve ever listened to jazz.

posted by @RoyAyersProject on 05.17.12 at 2:01 pm

Jazz + Photography + Blue Note Records = Francis Wolff http://t.co/Rkgnn4yB He is someone you should know if you’ve ever listened to jazz.

posted by @RoyAyersProject on 05.17.12 at 2:01 pm

The Photography of Francis Wolff (Blue Note Records) | Roy Ayers Project | 70/30 http://t.co/HuqEOeU8

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