Sunday, 12 August 2018

a great day in harlem

On this day in 1958, Esquire Magazine photographer Art Kane, famous for his iconic framing of many musicians and figures in the fashion industry, assembled fifty-seven jazz performers with some of the children from the neighbourhood at a brownstone between Fifth and Madison Avenues for a group portrait, which remains one of the most important cultural and academic artefacts in studying and understanding the impact of the genre.
Among those assembled include Count Basie, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Milt Hinton, Charlie Mingus, Gene Krupa, Maxine Sullivan and Sahib Shihab. Visit this website to learn about each person pictured and hear a sample of their music.  The photograph became the subject of a documentary film which was told in the form of overlapping biographies of each of the subjects and went on to inspire many homages, like 1988’s “A Great Day in Hip-Hop” or the 2004 and 2008 “A Great Day in London” and “A Great Day in Paris” that celebrated artist of Caribbean, Asian and African descent living and working in those cities.