A Treasure Comes Back

Jazz has always been an important part of my life, integral to my life, just like photography. Just like cycling. Just like tea. Put the two together and it brings a lot of happiness. I use to be the kid that would stand outside the clubs to hear, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, Gabor Szabo. I just liked the music. Years later with a drivers license and the right to vote, I was very fortunate to have photographed for a small club in exchange for entry. The Jazz Hall brought the kings of jazz to an intimate setting.  The night I met and photographed jazz drummer Elvin Jones, I thought I died and went to heaven.  Simply known as the Jazz Hall, it was a gem of a club, in my hometown. But, when Chick Corea assembled a quartet, for the Tribute to Bud Powell tour,  a change of venue was necessary. These photographs were recorded on Tri-X film during the bands sound check and later during their performance. Chick Corea on piano, Roy Haynes on drums, Christian McBride on stand up bass, and Wallace Roney on trumpet.

I kept my promise and made prints for the Jazz Hall.  Had I not done this, I would have lost this moment forever. The art,  music, and jazz community would have lost this record forever. The photo negatives had been intentionally destroyed. This was a heart shattering experience for someone like me who trained traditionally in the darkroom. Whose training in deadline includes cooking your film for one minute, putting your film in the enlarger wet, caption to printing plate/press under five minutes.

The good news is that I’m really happy to have made and kept this community thread. While it’s not the negatives, it’ a digital record of a print. It’s party of my history and community posterity. A treasure comes back.

As for the Jazz Hall, welcome their new incarnation.  Who knows maybe my photo with Elvin Jones will come back! Elvin Jones , playing drums with John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, “In A Sentimental Mood” It was so lovely to hear Elvin Jones play the drums to this tune while he was alive.

All photographs in this post copyright Ana Elisa Fuentes. Photographed using Tri-X film at Victoria Hall.
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