Foto-Jazz. Photographs by Ed Van Der Elsken. Text by Joachim Berendt. Nymphenburger Verlagshandlung, Munich, 1959. 79 pp. Octavo (small size). First edition. Glossy photo-illustrated boards. No dust jacket as issued. 116 black-and-white reproductions.
Like William Claxton's Jazzlife and Dennis Stock's Jazz Street, Van Der Elsken's entry in the niche of jazz photography was published just prior to the moment when rock cemented its place as the popular music of choice for a new, self-identified youth demographic. With the ongoing 'museumification' of jazz courtesy of Ken Burns and Wynton Marsalis, it is easy to forget the visceral power and edgy soulfulness the music once possessed for listeners. As Parr & Badger point out in their entry for Van Der Elsken's English edition, Van Der Elsken's was perhaps the most successful of numerous attempts to capture photographically the essence of jazz: it is more than just "a succession of musicians' portraits, or even a documentary record of performance, but a book that visually echoes the music itself. Other photographers, perhaps closer to the Jazz community, have made books on the subject, but Van Der Elsken's is the work of an authentic jazz fan and a maker of authentic photobooks."
Near Fine+/Fine-; small area of abrasion (1") upper edge; trace of wear to 'tips'; otherwise very bright and crisp.