Photographer And LP Cover Designer William Claxton Made West Coast Jazz Look Good

Jazz Photographer William Claxton

William Claxton (1927 – 2008) made the West Coast jazz scene of the 1950ies and early sixties look good. His photos were used for countless LP covers and he was sometimes also responsible for the cover design. Most of his pictures for LP covers are very colorful and have a California touch: sun, sea, desert and fun. Back then most jazz photography was caught in clichés – harsh flashlights, sweat, and strong contrasts were dominant. Claxton gave jazz photography a fresh perspective. Read the New York Times obituary for more information about William Claxton.

Photo-Audio Mashup (audio tribute from NPR)

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Jazz Saxmen On Pop Records

On my favorite music blog JazzWax I read that jazz sax player Sonny Rollins soloed on a few Rolling Stones songs in the eighties. I don’t know if Sonny Rollins did regularly rock and pop sessions or only occasionally.

Anyway, I had to think about how traditionally jazz players are brought in whenever a good sax solo is needed. Like for example Plas Johnson, another great jazz sax player who contributed many stirring solos to countless pop, R&B and rock and roll records. He played on records by Rod Stewart, Elton John, the Monkees, Duane Eddy, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, the Coasters and many more. Or David Sanborn who played with David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen and also the Rolling Stones.