When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn’t own a good camera, didn’t know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians’ mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer’s day. Francis Vallejo’s vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author’s note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane’s famous photograph.
|Harlem1958, photo by Art Kane|
It is so much fun to read the poems by Orgill and look at the darling illustrations by Francis Vallejo all based on the photograph and notes about the events of that day. I enjoyed every minute I spent with the book and know you will, too. This is my favorite type of book to read. One which sparks my imagination AND offers me new information which sparks my curiosity.
|Sample page from the book Jazz Day, this illustration is based on one of the many photographs taken that day.|
Rating: 5 stars.
Source: Print copy borrowed from the public library.
2017 Printz Award Contenders
25 / 35 books. 72% done!