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Thread: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

    An interesting movie about W. Eugene Smith and his lifestyle in New York City. Recorded most everything that happened on reel to reel tape - jam sessions of Thelonius Monk and a ton of top Jazz musicians. All the while working on images and photo essays and filling rooms full of work, record albums and assorted stuff.

    A bit slow in places and takes some concentration - but I found it very interesting to see his workspace and how he lived. An absolute shit as a father/family man but one top notch photographer - even as he was a pain in the butt to most every publisher he worked with.

    Historical information and a lot of music that he had taped. I think it is worth the time to watch it. Not Large Format, but photographic history you may find interesting.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  2. #2
    William Whitaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    the Southern Part of Heaven

    Re: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

    Very cool. Thank you for sharing!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

    Such an amazing era...another reminder that I was born twenty years too late!

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

    Yes very interesting, also plenty of drugs with that scene

    Many WWII wounded became hooked on morphine later heroin in theatre (meaning war zone)

    Nelson Algren wrote about an area I lived in until recently

    2 bars from the book still exist, one still open and full of junkies, replete with original stripper cage, few realize what it is

    These are the good old days, right now...
    sin eater

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    now in Tucson, AZ

    Re: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

    Well, Smith was badly wounded in WWII. Legend has it that for the rest of his life he existed on amphetamines, Scotch, and candy bars. There's at least a grain of truth there; he was truly a tormented genius who produced great work. BTW, his archive is at the CCP here in Tucson, if anyone wants to do any research...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Chicago, IL

    Re: The Jazz Loft according to W. Eugene Smith

    There is also the book The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965 by Sam Stephenson (2009). Interesting book -- read it a number of years ago.


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