20 March 2013

Jacques Bisceglia, 1940-2013

Black & White Fantasy

French photographer Jacques Bisceglia passed away on March 1st, 2013. Even if his tool was not a musical instrument, his work is an integral part of the history of the music we love and we feel it is important to pay tribute to him. From the 60's onward, Jacques Bisceglia photographed many moments of jazz making: iconic episodes such as the Pan-African Festival in Algiers or Albert Ayler at the Fondation Maeght, but also many more mundane moments, daily life episodes or concerts now forgotten, moments he captured masterfully.

At the end of Jacques Bisceglia's Black & White Fantasy book, published in 1984 and now out-of-print, Abbey Lincoln wrote "Bisceglia's work speaks for itself, of course." Very much so, this is why we would like to share a few pictures, taken from Black & White Fantasy.

alan silva & françois tusques - paris, 1969

don cherry - paris, 1968

anthony braxton & barbara bisceglia - paris, 1971
 
beb guérin - paris, 1970
june tyson, richard wilkinson, marshall royal, eloe omoe, sun ra - between paris and donaueschingen, 1970
sonny simmons, barbara donald & son - san francisco, 1971

For more information on Jacques Bisceglia's life and his often astute views on the history of the music, see William Parker's essential Conversations book (Rogue Art, 2011). The book features an interview with Bisceglia (the only non-musician) and is illustrated with his work. Rogue Art also published a collaboration between Bisceglia and poet Steve Dalachinsky, titled Reaching Into the Unknown (2009). French speaking readers might want to look for the "Memories of You" series of articles Bisceglia wrote for the Improjazz magazine.

peter gannushkin - peter brötzmann & jacques bisceglia - new york, 2009
 

8 comments:

Lestorian said...

Nice post, and nice pictures, I have been meaning to track that book down, and I"m sorry he passed. One edit- are we sure that isn't Marshall Allen in the pic with Sun Ra? Not sure what Marshall Royal would be doing there, unless there is some surreal gap in my jazz history knowledge...

onxidlib said...

Thanks for this post - Bisceglia was instrumental, with several of his pictures, in making me very curious about the music, the musicians and the circumstances in which he took the photos.

R.I.P.

unitstructure said...

thanks for posting the photos.the Sun RaArkestra pictures remind me of the one's Lee Friedlander made of the Basie Band.Different style,same situation.thanks again.

IB said...

Au revoir Jacques. A la mémoire de notre ultime cuite, et de la musique ce soir-là...

longbranch said...

Thanks for this, much appreciated. Certainly he was an important part of our collective memory!

IB said...

And to add to the overall feeling of sadness for an era that's fading fast - Barbara Donald, pictured above, passed away on March 27, aged 70. R.I.P.

serviceton said...

I had no idea that Barbara Donald died. How very sad.

KayKay said...

Cool ! I like it.