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In photos: Remembering jazz photographer William P. Gottlieb

January 28, 2016 /Photography News/ Born 99 years ago today, on 28 January 1917, William Paul Gottlieb was both a notable jazz journalist and a self-taught photographer who captured the personalities of jazz musicians and told their stories with his camera and typewriter. His images document the jazz scene in New York City and Washington, D.C., from 1938 to 1948, a time recognized by many as the "Golden Age of Jazz". Gottlieb's portraits depict such prominent musicians and personalities as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, and many more.

Gottlieb died of complications from a stroke on April 23, 2006.

In line with Gottlieb's wishes, his photographs were put into the public domain in 2010.

Portrait of Louis Armstrong, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Louis Armstrong, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)
Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton's Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

Portrait of Cab Calloway, Columbia studio, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)
Portrait of Cab Calloway, Columbia studio, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)
Portrait of Sonny Greer, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Sonny Greer, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. Caption from Down Beat: An impressive photo of a truly impressive singer Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat, with Dizzy Gillespie making like a faun in the background. Dizzy has gone on his own way, while Ella is still keeping the club on the beat. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "Ella keeps it on the beat," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 20 (Sept. 24, 1947), p. 5.
Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947.
Caption from Down Beat: An impressive photo of a truly impressive singer Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat, with Dizzy Gillespie making like a faun in the background. Dizzy has gone on his own way, while Ella is still keeping the club on the beat. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "Ella keeps it on the beat," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 20 (Sept. 24, 1947), p. 5.

Portrait of Larry Adler and Paul Draper, City Center, New York, N.Y., ca. Jan. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Larry Adler and Paul Draper, City Center, New York, N.Y., ca. Jan. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Duke Ellington, Paramount Theater, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946. Caption from Down Beat: Fifth in the series of staff lensman Bill Gottlieb's intimate dressing room shots of musical celebrities is Duke Ellington, with the mirror reflecting his always present piano, his conservative ties, his 20 suits, his 15 shirts, his suede shoes and his smiling self. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "Through the looking glass," Down Beat, v. 13, no. 20 (Sept. 23, 1946), p. 16.
Portrait of Duke Ellington, Paramount Theater, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1946.
Caption from Down Beat: Fifth in the series of staff lensman Bill Gottlieb's intimate dressing room shots of musical celebrities is Duke Ellington, with the mirror reflecting his always present piano, his conservative ties, his 20 suits, his 15 shirts, his suede shoes and his smiling self. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "Through the looking glass," Down Beat, v. 13, no. 20 (Sept. 23, 1946), p. 16.

Portrait of Dardanelle, Washington, D.C., between 1938 and 1948. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Dardanelle, Washington, D.C., between 1938 and 1948. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Cab Calloway, New York, N.Y.(?), ca. Jan. 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "The carnation kid," Down Beat, v. 16, no. 2 (Jan. 15, 1947), p. 16.
Portrait of Cab Calloway, New York, N.Y.(?), ca. Jan. 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "The carnation kid," Down Beat, v. 16, no. 2 (Jan. 15, 1947), p. 16.

Portrait of Sidney Bechet, Freddie Moore, and Lloyd Phillips, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: The Record Changer, v. 6, no. 4 (June 47, 1947), p. 9.
Portrait of Sidney Bechet, Freddie Moore, and Lloyd Phillips, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: The Record Changer, v. 6, no. 4 (June 47, 1947), p. 9.

Portrait of Ralph Burns, Edwin A. Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter, Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947. Caption from Down Beat: Taking six arrangers of the modern school to the Museum of Art to pose with pieces by Picasso and Henry Moore seemed like a great idea to staff lensman Bill Gottlieb. Ralph Burns, Eddie Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter obliged, then the trouble started. For details, read the story by Gottlieb on page 2. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "Arrangers on the cover," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 7 (Mar. 26, 1947).
Portrait of Ralph Burns, Edwin A. Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter, Museum of Modern Art, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947.
Caption from Down Beat: Taking six arrangers of the modern school to the Museum of Art to pose with pieces by Picasso and Henry Moore seemed like a great idea to staff lensman Bill Gottlieb. Ralph Burns, Eddie Finckel, George Handy, Neal Hefti, Johnny Richards, and Eddie Sauter obliged, then the trouble started. For details, read the story by Gottlieb on page 2. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "Arrangers on the cover," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 7 (Mar. 26, 1947).

Portrait of Dardanelle and Joe Sinacore, Hickory House, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1947. Caption from Down Beat: A hot summer season is promised for New Yorkers, especially those around 52nd Street. Remember the report from the front last January that "Jazz Blows Final Breath?" Eddie Heywood, recently at the Downbeat club, is in the first picture. Coleman Hawkins, working at the Three Deuces, is shown in the second. Dardanelle, vibe star and  leader of her own unit, can be seen at piano, framed by bass and guitar. The last show shows tenorist Bud Freeman at Jimmy Ryan's. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "More who manage to keep New York's swing lane lively," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 16 (July 30, 1947), p. 3.
Portrait of Dardanelle and Joe Sinacore, Hickory House, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1947.
Caption from Down Beat: A hot summer season is promised for New Yorkers, especially those around 52nd Street. Remember the report from the front last January that "Jazz Blows Final Breath?" Eddie Heywood, recently at the Downbeat club, is in the first picture. Coleman Hawkins, working at the Three Deuces, is shown in the second. Dardanelle, vibe star and leader of her own unit, can be seen at piano, framed by bass and guitar. The last show shows tenorist Bud Freeman at Jimmy Ryan's. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "More who manage to keep New York's swing lane lively," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 16 (July 30, 1947), p. 3.

Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, New York, N.Y., ca. Nov. 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Billie Holiday, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: The Record Changer, v. 5, no. 12 (Feb. 47, 1947), p. 7.
Portrait of Billie Holiday, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: The Record Changer, v. 5, no. 12 (Feb. 47, 1947), p. 7.

Portrait of Jerry Jerome, ca. June 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "Jerome's versatility keeps him busy," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 12 (June 4, 1947), p. 16.
Portrait of Jerry Jerome, ca. June 1947. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "Jerome's versatility keeps him busy," Down Beat, v. 14, no. 12 (June 4, 1947), p. 16.
Portrait of Willie Smith in his apartment, Manhattan, New York, N.Y., ca. Jan. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Willie Smith in his apartment, Manhattan, New York, N.Y., ca. Jan. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Charlie Barnet and Re-Bop, New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1946. Caption from Down Beat: Charlie Barnet's pet monkey, Re-Bop, pretends that he doesn't find much harmony in the sax tootlings of his maestro on the cover of this issue. But it's all in fun, and the grimaces of the monkey are not the reason that Charlie is breaking up his dance band early this month. He's going out to California to rest for the remainder of the summer, probably will re-organize on the west coast this fall. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: "Charlie, Re-Bop on the cover," Down Beat, v. 13, no. 17 (Aug. 12, 1946).
Portrait of Charlie Barnet and Re-Bop, New York, N.Y., ca. Aug. 1946.
Caption from Down Beat: Charlie Barnet's pet monkey, Re-Bop, pretends that he doesn't find much harmony in the sax tootlings of his maestro on the cover of this issue. But it's all in fun, and the grimaces of the monkey are not the reason that Charlie is breaking up his dance band early this month. He's going out to California to rest for the remainder of the summer, probably will re-organize on the west coast this fall. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
In: "Charlie, Re-Bop on the cover," Down Beat, v. 13, no. 17 (Aug. 12, 1946).

Portrait of Sidney Bechet, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Sidney Bechet, Jimmy Ryan's (Club), New York, N.Y., ca. June 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

Portrait of Stan Kenton and Bob Gioga, 1947 or 1948. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).
Portrait of Stan Kenton and Bob Gioga, 1947 or 1948. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).


 


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10 comments:

  1. kstewart says

    A few brilliant photo of our National art form, Jazz Made in the USA.


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