PREVIEW: The Jazz Moment – jazz photography exhibition, Alan John Ainsworth/ John Watson (The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1, 10 to 23 November)

James Carter at the Pancevo Jazz Festival, Serbia
Photo credit: © John Watson/jazzcamera.co.uk
Jazz and photography – they go together like… well, a horse and carriage. Editor-at-Large Peter Bacon previews an exhibition by two of our finest jazz snappers.

“Jazz is a powerfully visual music, remarks Alan John Ainsworth. “Photographers like me are privileged to be able to capture the art of supremely talented musicians in the act of creation. The spontaneity and ‘in the moment’ nature of jazz chimes with the ‘decisive moment’ of the photographer. Jazz and photography were made for each other.”

And we can see the results in a London gallery in November when a joint exhibition by specialist music photographers Ainsworth and John Watson is to be staged during the EFG London Jazz Festival.

The exhibition, The Jazz Moment, at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6EL (nearest Tube Farringdon) will feature 50 images of jazz legends and rising stars, and will run from Friday 10 November to Thursday 23 November.

The exhibition will be launched at a special invitation event on 10 November, the opening night of the festival, at The Gallery, in Clerkenwell. The launch event starts at 5:30 pm.

John Watson (a generous contributor to this site) has contributed to UK magazines including Jazz Journal and Jazzwise for many years, and his work has also frequently been published abroad, in countries including the USA, Japan, China and throughout Europe. His published books include his critically-acclaimed photography book The Power of Jazz, which was described by reviewer Fred Grand in Jazz Journal as “Treasure-packed, and highly compulsive”. Watson has been nominated three times for photography in the JJA Jazz Awards, organised in New York. His work can be seen on his website www.jazzcamera.co.uk

Watson comments: “It’s a joy and a privilege to photograph so many jazz legends and rising stars, and to document jazz history in the making. The challenge of working in low light at festivals, clubs and concert halls, and often with limited time for shooting, is always an exciting one.

“My aim is always to create striking images that capture the thrills of performance, and will interest viewers in great musicians and their work. Capturing ‘the jazz moment’ is a joy.”

Alan John Ainsworth’s jazz and architectural photographs have appeared in the national and specialist press. His books include New City: Contemporary Architecture in the City of London (2012) and Brussels Arts Nouveau: Architecture and Design (2015). His reviews of photography exhibitions have been published in Twentieth Century magazine and articles on jazz photography history in Jazz Research Journal. Alan has photographed jazz musicians in the UK and the United States.

Alan was awarded first prize in the Harry Page Photography Competition in 2016. His work can be seen on his website www.alanainsworthphotography.com

John Scofield at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival.
Photo credit: © Alan John Ainsworth/www.alanainsworthphotography.com

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