May 07, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Jazz Pictures

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Carol Friedman
genre
Coffee Table, Music
We gave it a B+

The best of these striking black-and-white portraits of jazz greats in The Jazz Pictures capture the musicians in nonperformance mode — Ornette Coleman trudging down a snowbound New York City street, Elvin Jones intently smoking a cigarette, a ravaged-looking Art Pepper glaring balefully from a hotel bed. Friedman’s atmospheric photos (taken between 1976 and 1998) add up to an ultra-creamy coffee-table book for admirers of this great American art form. One quibble: With so many pix of certifiable titans (Count Basie, Dexter Gordon) to choose from, why stick the smug mug of effete jazz reactionary Wynton Marsalis on the cover? B+

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