Remembering Jazz Photographer William Gottlieb


January 28, 2016

 

Born 99 years ago today, on 28 January 1917, William Paul Gottlieb was both a notable jazz journalist and a self-taught photographer who captured the personalities of jazz musicians and told their stories with his camera and typewriter. His images document the jazz scene in New York City and Washington, D.C., from 1938 to 1948, a time recognized by many as the “Golden Age of Jazz”.¬†Gottlieb’s portraits depict such prominent musicians and personalities as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Ella Fitzgerald, and many more.

 

Gottlieb died of complications from a stroke on April 23, 2006.

 

In line with Gottlieb’s wishes, his photographs were put into the public domain in 2010.

 

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Portrait of Louis Armstrong, Aquarium, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress).

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Portrait of Thelonious Monk, Minton’s Playhouse, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

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Portrait of Cab Calloway, Columbia studio, New York, N.Y., ca. Mar. 1947. William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress)

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Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947. Caption from Down Beat: An impressive photo of a truly impressive singer Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat, with Dizzy Gillespie making like a faun in the background. Dizzy has gone on his own way, while Ella is still keeping the club on the beat. Forms part of: William P. Gottlieb Collection (Library of Congress). In: “Ella keeps it on the beat,” Down Beat, v. 14, no. 20 (Sept. 24, 1947), p. 5.