About this Item
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Title: The Sound I Saw: Improvisation on a Jazz ...
Publisher: Phaidon Press Limited, London
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: S Paperback
Illustrator: DeCarava, Roy (photographer); Over 125 b/w Photographs (portraits)
Book Condition: Near Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: J Near Fine
Edition: F First Edition Thus.
About this title
This is the long-awaited publication of a moving masterwork by one of the greatest photographers of our time. Conceived, designed, written and made by hand as a prototype by master photographer Roy DeCarava (b.1919) in the early 1960s, yet unpublished for nearly half a century, The Sound I Saw has largely existed as a legend among the cognoscenti of the photography world. Presented as a stream of 196 soulful images interspersed with DeCarava's own evocative poetry, the book is, in its form and effect, the printed equivalent of jazz. "This is a book about people, about jazz, and about things. The work between its covers tries to present images for the head and for the heart and, like its subject matter, is particular, subjective, and individual," writes the author. DeCarava is a life-long New Yorker who from his immediate world creates images that transcend the specific to depict universal themes of joy, anticipation, pain and survival. Largely unpublished, he was first recognized for his images of daily life in Harlem (the subject of The Sweet Flypaper of Life, his 1955 collaboration with Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes) and portraits of musicians like Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. It is these two themes, Harlem and jazz, interwoven and inseparable, that are the ostensible subject of the book. However, the seemingly casual yet deeply felt compositions and the deep, rich tones of DeCarava's photographs stir emotions that resonate far beyond one neighbourhood and one era.Review:
Let legendary photographer Roy DeCarava lead you through the dark, moody, and exciting world of New York jazz in the 1960s. Photographed 30 years ago and not published until now, The Sound I Saw is a saunter through a poignant period of New York musical history and life experience. Vacant lots and sweaty musicians dot a cultural landscape that looks as if it's going to burst at the seams. The beautiful black-and-white images simultaneously capture hard and luscious life in the city. Lonely figures abound, on park benches, street corners, stages, and subways. The music appears and strives to make intense connections with the surrounding world. A delirious trumpet player works so hard you can almost feel him move the camera. This beautiful coffee-table size book has one striking picture after another, each capturing heartfelt experiences of life in the great city. From jam sessions to candy stores, the streets of New York appear choreographed to reveal the depths of the human spirit. --J.P. Cohen
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