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Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens Book Detailed Proposal
Written by Alfredo Cruz
Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens is a compelling, evocative, and unique art book chronicling mostly the Jazz world with some other legends of World music during the last two decades of the 20th century and the first few years of the 21st. The book features the work of renowned Jazz photographer Enid Farber with a forward by (TBD). Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens is designed to emphasize Farber’s photographs while offering her own personal text that poetically enhances and illuminates the emotion of each of these photos.
This is an art book that will go beyond the living room and appeal to a broad demographic of consumers, including art lovers, Jazz fans, and the general public. In addition, an historic publication of this caliber can attract the attention of many more specialized groups including art and music critics, Latin and World music lovers, academics, historians, writers, students, members of the entertainment industry, the media and others. In short, the mass, broad-based appeal of this publication has the potential to break out and reach across all cultural and disciplinary boundaries that have traditionally separated and defined target audiences or markets.
In Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens, photographs tell the story of important musicians during this vital and under-represented period in Jazz history. Images are accompanied by complimentary text designed to enhance the appreciation of the photographs. Text may include personal observations, anecdotes, and inspirational elements.
Enid Farber is an award-winning Jazz photographer and currently one of the most important chroniclers of Jazz in the world. Like the musicians she documents, Farber has dedicated her life’s work to the continuation of a tradition pioneered by masters like Claxton, Gottlieb, Leonard, Tanner and others.
For more than a quarter century, Farber’s photographs-at once stunning, emotional and singularly intimate- have captured the essence of thousands of artists. One of the most respected of our younger generation of Jazz photographers, Farber’s photos included historically important and graphic images of seminal Jazz figures during the last two decades of the 20th Century and the first years of the 21st.
Having experienced Jazz and lived it for more than half of her life, Farber has been a constant fixture behind the scenes of the Jazz world. She has shared valuable experiences with and captured exclusive and intimate moments during the final years of many legendary musicians that helped shape modern Jazz, including: Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Ray Charles and many others. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Farber also witnessed and documented many of today’s younger rising Jazz legends that are carrying on in the spirit of their Jazz elders including Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Roy Hargrove and Ravi Coltrane.
Farber brings her own uniquely intimate and insightful perspective of the Jazz world and it’s integral personalities to this project. Farber effectively captures a visually tantalizing and emotionally stimulating array of magical moments that provide viewers a window into the artists’ soul. This rare combination of images and commentary is the result of both having earned a genuinely intimate and personal relationship with the artists- a relationship based on a mutual trust, integrity and respect between musician and photojournalist.
Farber has been a vital member of the Jazz community and has contributed to the Jazz world for more than a quarter of a century. As a major participant in the New York and the national Jazz scene during the 1980’s and 1990’s she was a first hand witness to many important moments in Jazz and brings this perspective to the documentation of Jazz history with Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens.
The end of the 20th Century saw a renaissance in Jazz, but it was also a time when many Jazz legends and pioneers passed on. This was an important period that marked the winter of many a Jazz pioneer’s life, but it also gave rise to many future Jazz legends. Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens is part one in a two book project presenting legendary photographs of some of the greatest pioneers of Jazz as well as many younger emerging and evolving musicians whose lives were cut far too short. This transitional era in Jazz is also important because it signaled a continuum of an original American art form. This was a period that saw the passing of the torch from one generation to another, an important time of our cultural history that has not yet been significantly documented and preserved.
Just as important as the works of earlier photo masters in capturing the formative years of Jazz, Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens is the continuum of another tradition, the art of Jazz photography. Farber’s work effectively picks up where noted Jazz photography pioneers like William Claxton, Bill Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner and Chuck Stewart left off.
Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens is a logical contribution to the annals of Jazz history. Here, we see many Jazz legends as well as new and emerging artists that have not yet been widely photographed. The personal quality and warmth that Farber is able to capture with her camera, offer us moving and inspiring scenes of Jazz life, performance and artistic expression. Farber’s camera shows us the kinds of images that are impossible to witness without first gaining the respect, confidence and complete trust of her subjects.
Enid Farber has achieved the rarely attained status of beloved members of the media in the Jazz community. Over the years, she has earned a trust among musicians that has helped her gain sensitive access to hundreds of musician’s personal and professional lives. Farber has established herself as a trusted conduit between the Jazz musician and the public.
Much in the same way that earlier contributions of great Jazz photography offered an important insight to Jazz figures in the genre’s formative years, Farber’s substantial body of work serves as an invaluable historical archive of Jazz at the end of the 20th Century.
Legends Who Have Passed Through My Lens is the archive of an era whose time has come.
"The camera is my instrument, in the best way that I can, I pay tribute to the musical artist, translating my love for the sounds they create into a photographic image which enables me to relive the experience long after the event. This way I have also been allowed to participate, and I, too, can play the music."