Photography

Leonard, Herman (1923 - 2010)

Herman Leonard opened his own studio in 1948, in New York and he promptly began to frequent jazz clubs where he depicted musicians with portraits or during their performances with the help of precise compositions and powerful lights. Not only did he represent individuals but did the American photographer manage to recreate an atmosphere made of the smoke of cigarettes, perspiration and alcohol: a noirish dramatic reality that resembled films noirs: ‘His photographs are probably the single best visual representation of what jazz sounds like.’ Because he could only use two lights in the dark clubs he explored, Herman Leonard made of this constraint, the signature of his style that diffused the mere essence of jazz. Having settled in his late years, in New Orleans, the photographer lost all his personal collection during the Katrina storm. Hopefully, all his negatives were securely kept in a museum. A chance at a time when watching people enjoy a cigarette in nightclubs looks like the ultimate freedom.
 

Tags / Herman Leonard - American Photographer - Portrait - Jazz - Music - Dark - 1950s
Herman Leonard, Martha Graham
Herman Leonard, Martha Graham
Herman Leonard, Art Blakey, Paris, 1958
Herman Leonard, Art Blakey, Paris, 1958
Herman Leonard, Art Tatum, Los Angeles, 1955
Herman Leonard, Art Tatum, Los Angeles, 1955
Herman Leonard, Billy Bauer, Charlie Parker, Eddie Safrans and Lennie Tristan, New York, 1949
Herman Leonard, Billy Bauer, Charlie Parker, Eddie Safrans and Lennie Tristan, New York, 1949
Herman Leonard, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, New York, 1949
Herman Leonard, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, New York, 1949
Herman Leonard, Dexter Gordon, 1948
Herman Leonard, Dexter Gordon, 1948
Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, New York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, New York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Dizzy Gillespie, Royal rots, 1949
Herman Leonard, Dizzy Gillespie, Royal rots, 1949
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat Club, New-York, 1949
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald at the Downbeat Club, New-York, 1949
Herman Leonard, Fats Navarro, New-York, 1948
Herman Leonard, Fats Navarro, New-York, 1948
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New York, 1956
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New York, 1956
Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, New York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, New York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Paris, 1958
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Paris, 1958
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, Monte Carlo, 1958
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, Monte Carlo, 1958
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Birdland, New York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Birdland, New York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Johnny Hodges, Paris 1958
Herman Leonard, Johnny Hodges, Paris 1958
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Palm-Court cafe, New-0rleans, 1996
Herman Leonard, Palm-Court cafe, New-0rleans, 1996
Herman Leonard, Youngs hat
Herman Leonard, Youngs hat
Herman Leonard, Billy Eckstine, 1948
Herman Leonard, Billy Eckstine, 1948
Herman Leonard, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, New-York City , 1958
Herman Leonard, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, New-York City , 1958
Herman Leonard, Chet Baker, 1956
Herman Leonard, Chet Baker, 1956
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New-York City, 1956
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New-York City, 1956
Herman Leonard, James Moody, New-York City, 1951
Herman Leonard, James Moody, New-York City, 1951
Herman Leonard, Lenny Kravitz, New Orleans, 2004
Herman Leonard, Lenny Kravitz, New Orleans, 2004
Herman Leonard, Count Basie, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Count Basie, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Lena Horne, 1948
Herman Leonard, Lena Horne, 1948
Herman Leonard, Tony Bennett, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Tony Bennett, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Dave Brubeck, Newport Jazz Fest, 1955
Herman Leonard, Dave Brubeck, Newport Jazz Fest, 1955
Herman Leonard, Louis Armstrong, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Louis Armstrong, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Marilyn Monroe, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, New-York City, 1953
Herman Leonard, Marilyn Monroe, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, New-York City, 1953
Herman Leonard, Miles Davi, Birdland, 1949
Herman Leonard, Miles Davi, Birdland, 1949
Herman Leonard, Dinah Washington, New-York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Dinah Washington, New-York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Dizzy Gillespie, New-York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Dizzy Gillespie, New-York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Malibu, 1991
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Malibu, 1991
Herman Leonard, Ray Brown, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Ray Brown, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Dizzy Gillespie, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Dizzy Gillespie, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Quincy Jones, New-York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Quincy Jones, New-York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, New-York City, 1958
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, New-York City, 1958
Herman Leonard, Pearl Bailey, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Pearl Bailey, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Paris , 1960
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Paris , 1960
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington’s Shoes, Paris, 1958
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington’s Shoes, Paris, 1958
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New-York City, 1956
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New-York City, 1956
Herman Leonard, Nat King Cole, Quartet, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Nat King Cole, Quartet, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Nat King Cole, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Nat King Cole, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Billie Holiday, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New-York City, 1956
Herman Leonard, Frank Sinatra, New-York City, 1956
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Malibu, 1991
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Malibu, 1991
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Sonny Stitt, New-York City, 1953
Herman Leonard, Sonny Stitt, New-York City, 1953
Herman Leonard, Stan Getz, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Stan Getz, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Stan Kenton, Shoes, Atlanta, 1950
Herman Leonard, Stan Kenton, Shoes, Atlanta, 1950
Herman Leonard, Thelonious Monk, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Thelonious Monk, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, New-York City, 1958
Herman Leonard, Clifford Brown and Max Roach, New-York City, 1958
Herman Leonard, Coleman Hawkins
Herman Leonard, Coleman Hawkins
Herman Leonard, Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton
Herman Leonard, Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald, New-York City, 1948
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, New-York, 1948
Herman Leonard, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, New-York, 1948
Herman Leonard, Gerry Mulligan with Dizzy Gillespie at Gillespie home, 1958
Herman Leonard, Gerry Mulligan with Dizzy Gillespie at Gillespie home, 1958
Herman Leonard, Dinah Washington, 1955
Herman Leonard, Dinah Washington, 1955
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Diahann Carroll, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Diahann Carroll, Paris, 1960
Herman Leonard, Sonny Stitt and Dizzy Gillespie, 1953
Herman Leonard, Sonny Stitt and Dizzy Gillespie, 1953
Herman Leonard, Jacques Brel, 1960
Herman Leonard, Jacques Brel, 1960
Herman Leonard, Johnny Hodges, Paris 1958
Herman Leonard, Johnny Hodges, Paris 1958
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, 1948
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, 1948
Herman Leonard, Jacques Brel, 1960
Herman Leonard, Jacques Brel, 1960
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Royal Roost, New-York City,1948
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, Royal Roost, New-York City,1948
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, 1950
Herman Leonard, Sarah Vaughan, 1950
Herman Leonard, Thelonious Monk, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Thelonious Monk, New-York City, 1949
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, New-York City, 1953
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, New-York City, 1953
Herman Leonard, Ben Webster, Birdland, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Ben Webster, Birdland, New-York City, 1950
Herman Leonard, Chet Baker, New York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Chet Baker, New York City, 1955
Herman Leonard, Geoffery Holder and Daniella, Paris, 1968
Herman Leonard, Geoffery Holder and Daniella, Paris, 1968
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, 1989
Herman Leonard, Miles Davis, 1989
Herman Leonard, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Allen Eager and Kai Winding, 1949
Herman Leonard, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Allen Eager and Kai Winding, 1949
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