Dizzy Gillespie


Sonny Rollins

Nowadays technology is in constant flux, gone are the hours spent in a smelly dark room, negatives projected through an enlarger with quality German lenses onto silver nitrate coated Ilford paper, sloshed around in trays of developer and fixer, the chemicals’ effluvium damaging lungs and eyes. Replaced by digital reproductions printed on any kind of paper fancied, clean and crisp, popping out of a laser printer. Or better still, on a trip to town, creating the prints at London Drugs; economical and high quality. Of course to the “expert”, and Hornby has a few of those, it will be apparent they are not silver nitrate prints.


Odetta Holmes


Joni Mitchell

Mahalia Jackson

Mahalia Jackson


Ella Fitzgerald

In my youth
, back there on the council house estate in Bristol, except for the old Kodak Brownie box camera languishing in the kitchen drawer among the clutter of abandoned knickknacks, cameras had no part in my life, no thought of collecting a visual history of friends or happy families at the seaside. Had it not been that I fancied the friendly wife of a jazz photographer, often seen crouching in front of bandstands, my interest would never have been aroused. I cannot say if it was the thought of a clandestine rendezvous with his wife – never to happen – or my interest in jazz music that inspired me to purchase a 35mm camera. Such haphazard decisions. Money, or the lack of it, was always a problem, resulting in my first camera being a budget priced East German Praktica, a rather primitive affair with a noisy stiff shutter-release, the mirror not returning until wound to the next frame. The viewfinder dark. But it had to do. The first pictures, taken in the back room of the Swan Hotel in Stokes Croft, were of the West Indian alto saxophonist Joe Harriott.

Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy


Jimi Hendrix

Every spring
the Hornby Blues Society opens their yearly event with an art show party – “Blues Where Art Thou?” – at which I display photographs of mostly long-dead blues singers taken in the sixties at Mariposa, Ann Arbor, New York… Over the years the images featuring the Reverend Gary Davis, Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachel, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Victoria Spivey, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Quite a collection really! This past spring they had been Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix [a popular favourite], B.B. King and Lonnie Johnson.

And now throughout October and November a show at the local Credit Union. Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The shows always a local artist willing to provide a visual delight to the patrons. My show is eight photographs; jazz and blues artists as always. Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins the instrumentalists, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Mahalia Jackson and Odetta Holmes the vocalists, the blues represented by Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix. A handful of my favourite shots. Memories too. All have been visited on previous occasions. One way or another.

For your pleasure
Just click on a picture, click again and it will be revealed at a larger size.

Comments may be sent to dawdle@rantanddawdle.ca