“JAZZ VISUALLY ECHOES THE MUSIC ITSELF”
VAN DER ELSKEN, Ed. Jazz. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, (1959). Small square octavo, original laminated photographic boards. $1500.
First edition, Dutch issue, a “gem of a book” (Parr & Badger), with over 100 rich, velvety photogravures of jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan.
“The 1950s constituted a golden age for jazz music. The decade was also renowned for classic small-camera photography, much of it as rough and ready as the best experimental jazz. The two art forms combine to perfection in Ed van der Elsken’s gem of a book, Jazz. Jazz is an elusive art form, and there would seem to be two aspects to pinning it down in a photobook: the form of the photographs and the form of the book. Van der Elsken’s assiduous attention to both makes this modest volume probably the most successful of the numerous attempts to do so… Jazz visually echoes the music itself… Van der Elsken’s is the work of an authentic jazz fan and a maker of authentic photobooks” (Parr & Badger I:246). “In a sense Van der Elsken turned his books into cinematic self-portraits, photographing and finding the ideal graphic shape for his passions. One passion was for jazz, and his 1959 book on the subject, shot at concerts in Amsterdam and The Hague, is clearly a devoted fan’s attempt to capture not just the performer but the performance” (Roth, 156). Text in Dutch. First edition, Dutch issue, published same year in German as Foto-Jazz; both printed in Holland, no priority established. Open Book, 184. Owner signature on title page.
Images clean and fresh, mild rubbing to bright boards, light tape repair to spine of near-fine book.