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Jay Maisel : Early Work – Jazz


People are always referring to this or that “golden age.” I was lucky to start photography in a time that was often called the “Golden Age of Jazz.”

I got to see and photograph Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday and others you’ll see in this collection.

It was not only a golden age as far as the stars were concerned, it was a golden age for photographers. A dumb kid like myself could pay admission and shoot whatever I wanted. There was no security, no managers, and no PR people, just the jazz people themselves and the music. With rare exceptions, no one ever objected. It was a picnic.

I will always be grateful for the listening and the joy of shooting these great people.

P.S. I don’t remember the name of the woman in the photo, Unidentified Singer. If anyone does know who she is, please let me know at [email protected]

Jay Maisel


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