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Blow by Blow: The Great Jazz Horn Players

The great horn players of jazz are true musical heroes – icons who took the stage and created the classic sounds we take for granted today. They were daring pioneers, continually experimenting with new sounds, improvising, innovating and pushing the music in new directions.

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Dizzy Gillespie And the damaged hornLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Maynard ferguson hits the heightsLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Paul Desmond’s Smooth StyleLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
John Coltrane breaks freeLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Benny Goodman Gets In The SwingLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Miles Davis Cools things DownLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Sonny Rollins the Saxophone colossusLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Freddie Hubbard Wows the criticsLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
The jazztet play hard bopLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Wynton Marsalis leads a new generationLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Louis Armstrong Leads The WayLimited edition of only 300From £100Options
Cannonball Adderley Brings soul to the blue noteLimited edition of only 300From £100Options

About our exhibition

The great horn players of jazz are true musical heroes – icons who took the stage and created the classic sounds we take for granted today. They were daring pioneers, continually experimenting with new sounds, improvising, innovating and pushing the music in new directions.

When these musicians performed in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, their images were captured by Ted Williams – one of the very few African-American photographers working on the jazz scene. These candid photographs document some of the world’s most famous musicians as they created musical history, or relaxed behind the scenes.

This exhibition takes us right through the evolution of jazz. It illustrates how successive horn players built on the legacy of the music to create new ideas, movements and trends, and how swing gave way to bebop, cool jazz and other styles. And the influence of these musicians reaches way beyond the world of jazz. Coltrane’s determination to squeeze new sounds out of his instrument set a fantastic example for guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, and when Miles Davis moved into electric jazz in the late 1960s, he laid the groundwork for hip hop and all kinds of future dance music, including dubstep.

These photographs are not only fascinating documents of a sensational period of music, but also amazing works of art in their own right. And now, for the first time, you have the chance to own them yourself.

About Ted Williams

Most of Ted Williams’ archive, comprising both original negatives and photographs has never been published, printed, or seen before – until now. His jazz photography has been widely celebrated for the way in which it takes viewers on a heartfelt journey into both the on- and off-stage lives of touring, hardworking, and often legendary, jazz musicians.

Williams’ photographs capture the focus, the energy and the delight of jazz artists, and he photographed virtually every major name in jazz and blues: Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Dinah Washington, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.

Williams’ work emanated an intimacy and spontaneity towards his subjects and it’s in that dynamic where the honesty and truth of his photos is to be found. William’ longer-term ambition had been that the general public would get to see his images in exhibition settings. In this way, Ted believed that the photographs would offer some illumination on mid twentieth century African-American culture.

Ted died in 2009, but he remains a figurehead for African-American photographers and in the history of American photography. He has left behind a dazzling photographic odyssey through the world of jazz.

Taken from a piece written by James Clarke