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The Jazz ImageSeeing Music through Herman Leonard's Photography$
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Heather K. Pinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604734942

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734942.001.0001

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The Construction of Signs in Jazz Photography

The Construction of Signs in Jazz Photography

(p.63) Chapter 2 The Construction of Signs in Jazz Photography
The Jazz Image

K. Heather Pinson

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter asks the question: how exactly can a picture possibly represent a style of music? What triggers in society or in the mind create such representations? For centuries, many artists have tried to capture both sound and music through the use of visual imagery. The chapter looks at artists who have been enamored with music to the point that they endeavored to reproduce their feelings about the tunes that they were hearing of musicians such as William Claxton, William Gottlieb, Ole Brask, Lee Tanner, and of course, Herman Leonard. The chapter studies the composition of the jazz photographs, how the layering of connoted and denoted messages seems to exude from each of Leonard’s photographs. Here, signs in the pictures are studied to determine the precise part of reality the photograph replicates.

Keywords:   William Claxton, William Gottlieb, Ole Brask, Lee Tanner, Herman Leonard, signs, jazz photography

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