- Jazz Body and Soul by Bob Willoughby, Evans Mitchell Books, 192 pages, $43.
Bob Willoughby is well known for his photographs of movie stars that he shot throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s. None of those celebrities are in this book. Instead we are provided with a look at Willoughby's passion for jazz and a virtual who's who collection of jazz icons.
Willoughby died in 2009 and this project was produced by his son, Christopher, drawing from his father's notes and archived images.
In the early '50s Willoughby photographed performances in many of the small jazz clubs around Los Angeles. Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Lionel Hampton, Dave Brubeck and many more legendary figures are shown here in their early days.
Photographing under difficult lighting conditions, Willoughby captured the energy and passion of these artists in his stunning black and white pictures. Many of the images are accompanied by his remarks about the artist or the venue and what it was like to be there. Complimenting the stage photographs are a broad selection of photos taken back stage or in studios where Willoughby's access to these musicians resulted in outstanding portraits.
Starting in the '50s this collection draws on Willoughby's photographs right through into the '90s, when well into his seventies, he was still taking remarkable pictures of jazz performances.