Book cover, 16.7k The Golden Age Of JAZZ

Publisher: Pommegranate Artbooks
Box 6099, Rohert Park, California 94927
ISBN number: 0-87654-355-7

Revised and expanded version of the first edition published by Simon & Schuster in 1979.

This photobook contains actually just three pictures of Billie, but it surely captures in excellent pictures the Golden Age of JAZZ. (Have a quick look here!)


I this nostalgic book, writer-photographer William Gottlieb presents a fond look back at the "Golden Age of Jazz," the years from the late 1930s through the 1940s when, despite the Great Depression and World War II, enormous strides were made in musical achievement. During the first half of the era, big band jazz, mostly known as swing, reached its peak. During the second half, bop and other modern jazz forms developed. And throughout, pioneers of jazz - already legendary in their own time - continued to play the older styles.
As a writer for the Washington Post, Downbeat and other eriodicals, Gottlieb interviewed almost all the outstanding instrumentalists and singers of the time. He learned from Post photographers (who didn't want to cover his late-night music stories on their own time) how to take his own pictures. Obviously an able student, Gottlieb created masterful images with a distinctiver storytelling touch, capturing a very human side of these larger-than-life musical personalities.
Over two hundred of his memorable photographs are included here. All the greats - Leadbelly and Willie " The Lion" Smith, Louis Armstrong and Duke Elington, Benny Goodman and Count Basie, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis, amongst others - and many talented but lesser-known musicians are pictured onstage and off, accompanied by a generous sprinkling of Gottlieb's pithy personal recollections of the people he was photographing. The result isa remarkable book - a suberb retrospective in images and words of the people and the accomplishments that contibuted to the Golden Age of Jazz.
As he puts it, William P. Gottlieb "stumbled onto jazz" in 1936 while writing a monthly record page for the Lehigh University Review. Subsequently the went to work for the Washington Post, producing among other things a weekly music column - one of the first regular newspaper features devoted primarily to jazz. Following a stint as an air force photo officer during World War II, Gottlieb became a writer for the magazine Downbeat and wrote about jazz not only for the Beat but also for the Record Changer, the Saturday Reviews, and Collier's.
Gottlieb's days at the Post proved invaluable - staff photographers taught him to take his own pictures, and his career took an exciting new turn. The combination of personal photograph and interviews gave his work a storyteller's perspective and earned him a unique place in the music world. Gottlieb's photographs have appeared in numerous jazz anthologies and exhibitions; in magazines, newspapers, books, motion pictures, and television documentaries; and as album and book covers, posters postcards, and even U.S. postage stamps. His prints are in the permanent collections of several museums throughout the world. In 1995 the Library of Congress acquired his original negatives "for posterity."

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