William Paul Gottlieb (1917 - 2006) was another one of those cats, but not with a horn or a hand on keyboard. He was a photographer and his subjects were jazz musicians in their prime time. In the 1930s and 1940s he was out on Basin’ Street and other joints trying to capture the mood of ‘Golden Age’ of jazz. He was a devil when he took some photos from a cat performing in a club or sitting in front of a mirror in his/her backstage room. “We are so lucky that there was a Bill Gottlieb there at that time to document. You’ve got to remember that there were no headlines in the paper in those days saying this is the ‘golden era of jazz’ and it’s going to be gone someday.” says Loren Schoenberg about Gottelib's great contribution to the world of jazz.
There are 60 incredible pieces of his work printed in a book called Golden Age of Jazz. And in this collection 4 photos later became the basis for the U. S. stamps of Lady Day, Jimmy Rushing, Mildred Bailey and Bird.
Just dig how Miles is looking at Howard McGhee. I know today the name doesn’t ring for most of the people, but back then McGhee was a giants and years ahead of young Miles.
One of my all time favorites. Bird with his long-time associate, Tommy Potter. His eyes are like fire.
Check library of Congress to see some of his work and listen to his commentary about those days and moments.