LIFE IS A RIDE Those of you who know me IRL, know that Chris Joseph and I go back. Some difficult times, but always a kinship. Friends, business partners, not partners and eventually, friends again. Chris introduced me to Jazz Fest – after years of him catching dawn flights out of MSY to start the work week bleary eyed and buoyant, I knew I had to check this thing out. Some years later, he encouraged me to apply to shoot Jazz Fest for the Jazz & Heritage Foundation Archive, a fruitful relationship that continues to this day. Chris and I would catch up at Fest, house concerts and other musical coming togethers, but it had been awhile when I heard from others about his pancreatic cancer diagnosis and reached out before he traveled to Germany for treatment in 2017. Our friendship was rekindled as Chris flew with great courage into the big what’s next. That story, his story, his unconventional path into that big what’s next, took on a life of its own. Chris subsequently collaborated with Paul Sanchez as a lyricist to the song Life is a Ride, meting out all his fear and hope to Paul and co-writer […]
July 28, 2020 No Depression, one of the foremost sources for Americana and roots music coverage, asked if I’d provide a retrospective of my Newport Folk Festival work for their Through the Lens Column, ahead of what would have been 61 years since the inaugural festival. If you have followed this blog at all, you’ll know I jumped at the opportunity to share a selection of images with the musical community No Depression speaks to. I’ve been damn lucky to get there since 2014, one of the few photographers from out west to do so. It’s been a highlight of my creative career, to be in the pit at Newport, alongside some of the best in the business, including Henry Diltz, Danny Clinch and Jay Blakesberg. But that pales to the spirit of the place, where songs as resistance and power loom as large as Pete Seeger’s presence, and especially this year, John Prine’s. This is a year like no other, stopping many of us in our tracks with challenge and loss, at many levels. But Newport Folk has weathered so much history and we will be back at the Fort sometime down the road. Because Newport Folk is bigger […]
William Ellis is a charming fella and a richly talented music photographer with a project that completely resonated with me. Hailing from Cheshire from across the pond and in town a few years back, we met at a photo-centric event where I learned of his One LP project. The concept is simple and expressive. Chat with artists, musicians, photographers and luthiers about the one album that moved them and shaped their creative vision like no other, then take their portrait with said musical work in hand. Back in the day when some of us proudly displayed our recordings for all to peruse, I was that guy – a serial profiler of character who’d scan a collection and pass judgment. Yup, right up my alley. But in all seriousness, choosing one album, one collective work, that is so powerful as to hit you over the head and change your life, and then creating a visual record of the artist and that work, is just too good a subject. So, I was tickled when William wanted to include me and get a sit down. Flash forward a couple of years, and with the help of our mutual friend, jazz photographer Bob Barry, […]
October 27, 2019 I’m 18 in a dorm room at UCSC and this dude from Philly puts on Waiting for Columbus. Knew the band, but really, didn’t know the band. Dixie Chicken, Lowell George, guys from L.A.. Sure. And then those first swampy grooves of Fat Man hit me like lightning. They still do. That will never change. The band took a big hit when Lowell was gone so young, but man, they kept it rolling. Right on through the night. 50 years worth somehow, even after losing Richie Hayward a few years back, and despite Paul’s health setbacks. These guys were a consummate band. The parts were awfully good, the sum, though, no one else. It was the coming together. The rhythm section that always left me punch drunk in the best way, the encyclopedic keys from stride to boogie to blues to just about every stop from coast to coast. And those tangling guitars, first with Lowell George and then Fred Tackett. But it was the syrupy Strat and slide of Paul Barrere that were unmistakable, and a body of work that will live on long after I’m gone, like the best does. I’ve seen the band in […]
The Newport Jazz Festival has its share of discoveries. This year, mine was not on any the Fort stages (yet), but you can bet that won’t last long. I heard Joshua Hill sit in with trumpeter Doug Woolverton last Monday at The Fifth Element on Broadway, and my ears stood on end. That he’s 19, and only been at it for a few years is more than a little wow. The Newport Daily News piece has a great profile of Josh and features a 1/4 page above the fold photo from a quick shoot I did with him the week before the festival. Joshua Hill. Remember the name. Some other images from that shoot below.
Working with owners Chris and Laura McMillan, a select group of Jim Brock Photography open edition prints will be displayed at Revel Cafe & Bar in Mid-City New Orleans, beginning Sunday November 5, 2017. If you are in town, drop by Revel next Sunday between 6:30 and 8:30 for some nibbles and beverages and a chance to catch up when it’s not the craziness of Jazz Fest. To those who haven’t checked out Revel, this gastro lounge founded by fourth generation bartender McMillan, with food by chef Jose Ayala, is a personal favorite go-to along Carrollton and I am really tickled that Chris and Laura McMillan have kindly offered Revel to display my work. As a photographer based far from New Orleans, I can’t keep my lens away from its musical heartbeat. I know I am a visitor, an interloper of sorts, deeply drawn by what I hear and what I see. It is especially meaningful that these prints have a home in New Orleans and I am proud and grateful they do.
Jim Brock Photography is proud to contribute to the Newport Festival tradition with this splash image for next year’s Jazz Festival, the first under incoming Artistic Director Christian McBride.. Early flex tickets available now.
Jim Brock Photography’s image of Jon Cleary from the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is featured in this week’s Gambit, New Orleans largest alternative weekly publication. Check out the digital edition here.
Glen David Andrews Southland visit extended beyond his Friday gig at The Mint to surprise legendary producer Ken Ehrlich with his own second line as part of his Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony. The upcoming Grammys on February 8th will be Ehrlich’s 35th production. His New Orleans ties are deep, and his bond with Jazz Fest captain Quint Davis, even deeper. Keith Spera of NOLA.com provides excellent coverage of the event, accompanied by images from Jim Brock Photography.
November 25, 2012 Hearing the news of Austin Peralta’s passing, at just 22, is beyond incomprehensible. At 13, Peralta had already established himself as a jazz pianist bearing the burden of comparisons to giants like McCoy Tyner. At 15, he was playing alongside giants like Ron Carter. This kid, from West Los Angeles, this progeny of a surfer-skate legacy, was off the charts fucking unbelievable. I first heard him at my cousin’s urging in 2008 (he went to high school with his daughter). I couldn’t believe what I was listening to. His cover of Tyner’s “Passion Dance” didn’t just honor the composition, it elevated it. Like that was even possible. I saw Peralta live only once. Playing to a room of 30 or so mostly friends and family at the old Jazz Bakery on a weeknight. That the world did not know this guy was beyond me. He had been a fixture in town, playing fairly often at the Blue Whale and other rooms. I did not know Austin or his family personally, but knew friends and players in his orbit and I’m probably older than the sum of most of his early trios. That he even existed in this […]