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The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965 (Anglais) Relié – 24 novembre 2009

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 28 commentaires
32 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Music Lived in The Loft 26 novembre 2009
Par Ken Mabuchi - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
If you are a musician, you will come alive in Sam Stephenson's awesome collection of the happenings in a loft on Sixth Avenue in New York during the late 1950's and 1960's. Every struggling jazz musician with talent was there. Those of lesser talent never came back.
Tiny clips of conversations, recorded on tape bring back recollections of moments passed with enough spirit, to let you join the clan.
The book will serve as a Rosetta Stone, for those who long ago participated in making jazz the American standard in the world and who want to reconnect with friends to make more music, or to sit back and smile in their memory.
18 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Walk In the Garden 3 décembre 2009
Par Bascomb Lunsford - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Beautiful and truly spiritual book. Like great jazz itself. Life affirming and what all art should be; truly democratic.
The photographs are stunning. The writing and transcriptions get all the right juices flowing. I would love to hear some of the tapes Smith recorded.

Get this book as a gift for yourself or someone close to your heart.
Like the old Medicine Show man said "Good for what ails you and gives you what you ain't got".
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith 22 janvier 2010
Par James Mahoney - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
On a quick thumb-through, this looks like a book I'll spend lots of random hours with. Very nicely put together, and what I expected of the BOOK.

Alas, I should have read *all* of the Amazon reviews prior to purchase. Like others, I expected at least one CD with this, and was disappointed at the absence of one (or more). I learned about this book from a year-end review of "best books." Both that review and the title of the book led me to think that it included audio (as apparently others also thought). And as much as I looked forward to the photography--and I looked forward eagerly to that--I also looked forward to hearing the rehearsal/jam banter as well as the music. Had the title been "...Photographs and Transcripts", it would be more accurate, and you wouldn't be reading reviews like this one.

One other observation: the description says "deckle edge", but the book is not. That doesn't matter to me one way or the other, but it might to some people.

Bottom line is that I'll keep the book and peruse it in leisure moments. But I agree with others who misunderstood that we feel just a little bamboozled.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The best of the best of the very best! 25 décembre 2009
Par J Book - Publié sur
Format: Relié
To start with, I'm an old photography teacher, specializing in black and white. Secondly, one of my best friends is the brother of Hall Overton, a major name in this book. These are the two ground works for what I write.

Hall's brother is so proud of how the author has brought his brother and the people, music and times out so close to reality. Smith has photos beyond expectations and locations.

I know Hall Overton is depicted here as he was ...down to the smallest detail. His brother agrees.

Smith's photos are quite accurate, including moods, emotions, feelings, inspirations.

I am happy to see this material finally covered in such true and accurate detail. It is grand!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A treasure chest of the past 23 avril 2010
Par R. M. Peterson - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This is a magnificent book that captures human life and creativity as played out during a thin slice of the past in a tiny nook of the globe. No other book I know is quite like it. It is special.

About 1954, two people with loft space in a then 100-year-old five-story building on Sixth Avenue, near 28th, in the Flower District of Manhattan, began to allow jazz musicians to practice and jam there. For the next decade or so, the decrepit building was a favorite private late-night haunt of jazzmen, many who never were "somebody" but some who were (for example, Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Sonny Clark, Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Jim Hall, Roland Kirk, Theloneous Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Sonny Rollins, Pee Wee Russell, and Zoot Sims). In 1957, W. Eugene Smith - at a nadir in his personal life - left his family and moved into the building. From there, over the next eight years, he recorded - both with his cameras (40,000 pictures) and with tape recorders (1700 reels) -- a wide spectrum of the life that occurred in the lofts, out front on Sixth Avenue, and in the world at large as broadcast over New York radio and television.

After Smith died, those 40,000 pictures and 1700 reels of tape were part of 22 tons of Smith's materials that were delivered to the University of Arizona. Sam Stephenson spent years sifting through the materials, tracking down and interviewing some of those whom Smith had recorded decades earlier, and then putting together this documentation of Smith's documentation. It is an extraordinarily rich, eclectic, and fascinating book - an assemblage of the raw events of time as it unfolded within and in front of one building in Manhattan circa 1960 (somewhat like what I imagine Walter Benjamin imagined).

THE JAZZ LOFT PROJECT is comprised primarily of the following: an account of the building and its unique place in the jazz world of New York City; an account of W. Eugene Smith, his quirky genius, and his time at 821 Sixth Ave.; black-and-white photographs that Smith took of jazz musicians playing and relaxing in the jazz lofts; black-and-white photographs Smith took from a fourth-floor window of street life below him on Sixth Avenue; and transcriptions of numerous verbal exchanges that Smith caught on his tapes, including conversations among people within the building and all sorts of broadcast communications, both radio and television.

As one would expect, the photographs are of exceptionally high quality. Smith truly was one of the great American photographers of the 20th Century. ("Iconic" has become a dreadfully over-used and trivialized word, but Smith's photograph from the rear of his two small children walking into a garden of sunlight - the concluding photo of Edward Steichen's famous photography collection "The Family of Man" - is iconic even in the old sense.) But the book is so much more than a book of photography. It is a record of the past that begins to approach the past itself. In his "Jazz Loft Project", Smith seems to capture and preserve in amber the transitory happenings - both significant and insignificant, sublime and mundane - from half a century ago. To now review those amber-enclosed artifacts is curiously intoxicating and exhilarating.

Bassist Jimmy Stevenson was one of the lesser-knowns who once made 821 Sixth both a home and a jazz practice spot. He left the jazz world in the 1970s and in 2003 the author, with luck, found him selling wind chimes by the side of a road in California. Here is what Stevenson said about Smith's archives: "You can't imagine somebody calling you up out of the blue and telling you that they've got tapes--many, many hours of tapes--of you talking and playing music forty-five years ago. Hearing these tapes is like somebody playing back your memories for you, only these are memories you forgot you had." When I see Smith's photographs of 1950s New York street life and read transcripts of broadcasts of the 1960 World Series or ongoing developments during the Cuban missile crisis, I too - to a much lesser but still far from negligible extent - am confronted with memories that I forgot I had.

There is much more in and to THE JAZZ LOFT PROJECT than I have been able to touch on in this review, and I can scarcely begin to convey my enthusiasm for it. I note that other reviewers have complained because the book does not include any audio excerpts from the tapes that are part of the 821 Sixth Avenue archive. I too would love to hear well-selected excerpts of those tapes and I hope that someday I will be able to do so. But even without any audio, THE JAZZ LOFT PROJECT is a treasure. Likely it would be especially valued by connoisseurs of jazz and/or W. Eugene Smith, but I wholeheartedly recommend it to one and all.
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