Jazz. Photographs by Ed Van Der Elsken. Texts by Jan Vrijman, Hugo Claus, Simon Carmiggelt, Friso Endt and Michiel de Ruyter. De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1959. 116 pp. Octavo 7.25 x 6.75 in./18.5 x 17 cm.). First edition. Hardbound. Photo-illustrated boards. No jacket as issued. 109 black-and-white reproductions. Text in Dutch. With list of photos and discography appended.
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 young rebels. Now, with the ongoing 'museumification' of jazz (for whom we have Ken Burns & Wynton Marsalis to thank), it is easy to forget the visceral power, the hint of danger & edgy soulfulness the music once possessed for listeners. As Parr & Badger point out, this book is perhaps the most successful of numerous attempts to capture photographically the essence of jazz because 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-; internally clean and bright; small, .75 in./1.5 cm. tear to backstrip w/ adjacent crease; touch of tanning and slight wear to 'tips';