andrew sullivan – harlem jazz

Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls

Andrew Sullivan

Harlem Jazz

play this essay

 

Tap dancer Omar Edwards thrust the metal toe of his shoe forward and scraped an arc on the Minton’s Playhouse stage. An audience of three heard the sound of saws cutting through logs. African drums echoed from Edwards’s feet, then the creak of chains on a ship sailing west across the Atlantic. Wiping sweat away, Edwards said, “It’s not just black history, but the history of man.”

Harlem’s jazz clubs evoke the age before rock and hip-hop dominated  rebellious musical expression. Spaces where crowds sit inches from the musicians once featured Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald.  Edwards danced on the stage where Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie invented bebop after hours in the 1940’s.

The 1939 Art Deco Lenox Lounge glows red less than a block from a Starbucks. Customers scramble for the corner booth Billie Holiday used to sit in for dinner.

“When you walk in here, you’re taking a step back in time,” the Lounge’s owner Alvin Reid said. “This is where you can see the sweat falling off the musician. You have a one-on-one relationship.”

Jazz weaves threads of Harlem’s identity. On 125th St., near Hotel Theresa, where Louis Armstrong slept, a clothing store entices shoppers by adding “Jazz” to its name. Street vendors sell John Coltrane and Josephine Baker t-shirts to locals and  foreign tourists. Murals of musicians and dancers emerge when shopkeepers pull down decorated security doors at closing time.

Max Lucas, 98, has played his saxophone in Harlem since 1925, when his first gig was a duet with a banjo player in a barber shop. He performed in the Savoy Ballroom as 2,000 dancers covered the floor. During Prohibition and the Great Depression, Lucas worked rent parties, where the hosts had three-piece bands in their homes, sold bootleg liquor and charged 25 cents admission to help pay their landlords. When he joins his son’s band at the Lenox Lounge on Wednesdays, the crowd reveres Lucas as its connection to Harlem’s cultural legacy.

Every Sunday for 15 years, Marjorie Eliot has hosted concerts in her apartment, but she’s not trying to earn her rent. She lives in the building Count Basie called home and wants to preserve Harlem’s jazz tradition with her free shows. She begins by dedicating the performance to a late musician and then invokes the memory of her son Philip, who died in 1992. Eliot said sharing music brings her son back a little bit.

Jazz endures as its popularity diminishes. Songs of freedom drift out of Harlem where intimate spots preserve notes of the past and its speakeasy nights.

 

Photographer’s note:

My grandfather lit my imagination when he spoke of working in bands during the 1920’s and 30’s. He’d play his sax, and tell of a ship bound for the Caribbean at night, joining a hotel orchestra in Havana for awhile or heading below the Equator for a gig in Rio de Janeiro. The music finished his stories. After he died, I wanted to sense the life he led before he married my grandmother and settled down.

I saw him in the people I photographed and heard him in their music. Familiarity in strangers’ eyes made me pause. Fragments of his life appeared.

 

Related links

Andrew Sullivan

 

116 Responses to “andrew sullivan – harlem jazz”


  • 12, 18, 19, 25, and 27 with the lovely Cotton Club in red are beautiful images. 24 seems out of place because everything else is in landscape. But a quiet intimate image anyway.

    You’ve combined my love for Jazz with my love for photography. I only wish the music/interviews/sounds continued throughout the photo essay, I thought I hit the mute button on my keyboard. It kinda killed the atmosphere a little for me but the wonderful colours, (especially the skin tones) last all the way through.

    I can’t fault it other than that.
    Thank you

  • I’ve been looking forward to this essay Andrew and you didn’t disappoint: wonderful photographs, intro, voiceover/interview … can’t fault it. I’m not even going to pick favorites because they all belong. Wonderful colour. A labour of love.

    Bravo!

    Mike.

  • JonathanJK and Mike R- Thank you both for the early comments. My better half recommended against the lone vertical for the same reason you mentioned, Jonathan, but I liked the moment, and in the end, my opinion won out over hers. Although now I wonder.

    When I designed the soundtrack, everything was synchronized and the audio ran until the end of the slide show. I’m going to write Anton to see if it’s possible to have each image transition quicker. Hopefully that will clear up the sound issue.

  • Andrew,
    I want to watch it over and over; I want to head up to Harlem tonight; I want be immersed in that color and surrounded by those sounds and faces. Thanks I feel it!

  • Andrew, those are lovely photos and story full of warmth and insight. Thanks! You really communicate your love for jazz. I like how you use images of joyful listeners in your photos to create empathy and communicate your feelings, they are like surrogate viewers.

    David, on purely technical note, the images seem to load slow or pause too long on each photo to create a good rhythm. The soundtrack ended before the photos finished and the last half dozen pictures played in silence. I like what slideshow pro does for your video pieces on Burn, but for your audio/spoken-word with a slideshow, I think it is letting you down. I suggest you explore soundslides. It’s super easy to use and will allow you to cue your images to the soundtrack. I think pacing images to the music would have immeasurably improved Bob’s presentation. He could have gone through the atmosphere producing images fairly quickly and settled on the complex images to let the viewer contemplate and comprehend their depth.

    Advice from a neophyte, cheers.

  • ANDREW..

    yes, i wondered about the sound track too….and i discussed it with Anton…he was under the impression this is what you wanted…anyway, we will fix it soonest…sorry about that…and, i would pull the vertical if i were you..should i?? yes, nice feeling, but not so good for a slide show…

    cheers, david

  • I really enjoyed this! I have seen a few of these images before, but this is a story I can feel…

    These images are vivid, exciting, and at the same time very quite, intimate photographs- they speak to me!

    Well done!

    Cheers -Jeremy

  • Nice to hear that the slideshow does last all the way through. Would like to listen to it again.

  • Andrew,
    Really enjoyed your series.
    They create a mood that helps transport us,online viewers, to that environment.

    I do feel that the audio component comes across a little as an afterthought and felt,
    apart from the interview portion, that the audio didn’t support the imagery as well as it,perhaps,
    could have.
    It’s been suggested that one solution might be to speed up the image sequencing to better match the
    audio.
    I would see it the other way. I could imagine the piece (as a multimedia presentation) would be stronger
    if the images ran longer and/or incorporated alternate frames in a number of scenarios to further draw
    us into the scene. With this in mind it might be better possible to add audio that would be a little
    more scene specific.
    As an example, in the opening frame I kept waiting for a sampling of the street sax players music to
    fade in over the traffic. Same with the accordion performer warming up in the bathroom- a couple of
    extra frames could have stretched the scene to 15 or so seconds allowing you to include audio that would
    have let us better get a feel for the moment.

    Anyhow, the visual content is beautiful and I don’t think there is a frame that doesn’t work apart
    from the vertical. I’m sure you’ll let your better half know what some others think :>))

  • Nice work and always important to document music scenes – they come and go. My faves are # 9 and 25. Love the energy in #9 and the weariness (the blues?) in 25. Congrats.

  • ANDREW…

    i have pulled you off front page until we can get soundtrack fixed…

  • I think it is a very solid and professional journalist job. Nothing more nothing less. I loved the soundtrack, again very professionally integrated with the exception that it is several frames short (may be it is my browser or player problem). There are some beautiful shots – i.e. I loved 22 and 24 – just great. Again, very solid.

  • David,

    Sorry to be editing on the fly, but the consensus seems to be to cut the vertical. If you have the time, sure, cut it. I was stubbornly clinging to the moment apart from the presentation. The only thing I have to fear is Jen telling me, “I told you so!”

    Looking forward to being out front again.

    Thank you,
    andrew

  • Andrew, you nicely captured the connection built by music between people on both side of the stage (even where there is no formal stage at all ;) and some great moments behind the scene (for example #3). Great tones in #6 and #7, and amazing colors and atmosphere in #10, #21 and #27; but it is a good well-balanced multimedia essay as a whole. I would get rid of the vertical shot too… and also #13 looks out of place to me (please consider that my knowledge of Harlem’s jazz scene is extremely limited… but do they really dance like that on jazz notes?? ;)

  • oh boy, do i want to stay in the hotel theresa and soak some of this up..

    really enjoyed this trip into a music scene and going to enjoy it more when i have more time later and something to drink.. will write more.

    thanks andrew

  • “They would play on into the night and into blue mornings, growing louder the notes burning through and off everyone and forgotten in the body because they were swallowed by the next one after and Bolden and Lewis and Cornish and Mumford sending them forward and forth till, as [Bolden] could see them, their bursts of air were animals fighting in the room….–“Coming Through Slaughter”–michael ondaatje

    andrew :))))

    i Love this story…have always loved the story since i first saw some of it after David posted the work during the workshop you took: last year?…at the time, the short form david shared with us, caught my attention because of all the glorious hypnotic colors (the green wall in the apartment where people are watching, the red-face of the jazz pianist, the devilish-light in the Cotton club, the blue-breath of the night swing jazz, and on and one)…what i adore in this expanded version are all the ‘down’ beat shots, the down-swing of the folks at rest, of tributes to their tools and chops, all the great shiny buzz of the instruments punctuated with beebops of silence and punctual turns….the collision of these men, like old ghosts, like Buddy bolden, that refuse to give up the hop or the twich the the flight of the young…agile and damp, agile and damp, like wet hickory laying in the fields of mississippi….that wet spit of light and dark damp that croons along the back of the neck, and scratches you up damn good…..

    what i dig is that the story is not only a celebration of the musicians and the atmosphere of these clubs and the licks, but again, of the night train and wet train that all good jazz really is about: the mollon’ of the holin of the time, gone south…

    i dig the vertical, all those gorgeous curves in the picture and instrument that mimics the slow caress of Coltrane at dawn,…but maybe not where it’s placed…or maybe not here for the presentation…but, who the hell knows ;))…

    anyway, really really sweet stuff Andrew…as usual, i wanted even more :)))…more tunes, more night stuff, more morning stuff, more…when i see a story i dig, i just want more :)))…but, as my wife and sun remind me, in terms of a buddhist, im clinging, im greedy ;)))…well, i c ould take 50 of these moody night images and songs and bheind the scenes…

    very happy to see it pop up with light and color :)))

    a dipped danced upon the colored moon…

    great job andrew :))

    cheers
    bob

  • Andrew…..said

    “… The music finished his stories. After he died, I wanted to sense the life he led before he married my grandmother and settled down.

    I saw him in the people I photographed and heard him in their music. Familiarity in strangers’ eyes made me pause. Fragments of his life appeared…”

    Andrew i watched the show without reading your statement.
    I felt the connection , i felt , i felt, im still feeling…. but i couldnt explain it..
    then when i read your statement everything made perfect sense…

    “… Wiping sweat away, Edwards said, “It’s not just black history, but the history of man.”…

    Hey Andrew you did something out of the ordinary here… You werent a tourist or a fan…
    You REFLECTED your self, your subconscious here… you were digging in your soul , in your
    neighborhood , in your backyard…tracing the history of the Man, of your grandfather,
    your history… your work its not about being a PJ or an artist.. you combined both…
    your work ia about you or ME, … YES I SAW MYSELF in there… i took a dive in my soul…
    You are not choosing a subject to impress … you are not SAVING the world…
    you are not the usual PROPAGANDA MESSENGER that is so popular today around newspapers and magazines..
    But hey, again thanks for not telling me what or how to feel with cheap emotional tricks…
    I dont need to know if a great musician is broke or pregnant…
    You searched , researched , gone back to the roots..
    thanks for not being a lier or another desperate photographer to impress an editor or get a job
    thanks, thanks, thanks… another great day for BURN…
    Ahhh and about your photos , or critiquing each and every frame…laughing…
    ahhh, im gonna leave this part for the “experts” here… the blind… the ones that can see a vignaitte
    or can see the “poor” photo vs “strong” photo, the “filler” and the “iconic”… but they cant feel..
    they cant feel for “s**t”… let them dissect it for us…
    The photo “coroners”… or as i used to call them , simply : “THE DEAD”…the constipated, the “good”…
    laughing
    not driving today
    ( Andrew you have a great soul…. man, great soul )

  • CORI- If you go, Tuesdays are good for St. Nick’s Pub at 773 St. Nicholas Blvd and 149th St., but it starts late and goes late into the night. Wednesdays, weather dependent, you can see Max Lucas accompany his son Nate at the Lenox Lounge. Take the 2,3 to 125th St. It’s steps away from the subway stop.

    IAN- I used Soundslides to set the pacing and timing. Definitely easy to use.

    MARK- Thanks for the great suggestions regarding the audio. I wish I had thought of them! When I read your ideas, I saw instantly how well they would work. My thought was to keep the show under 2.5 minutes because I worry about keeping the viewer’s attention, but I’ll go back and try to work with your ideas. Many thanks, and BTW, I loved your work. Quite a few “Wows!” and at least one huge laugh in the Birds and the Bees.. the silhouette!

    CHARLES- I agree, very important, especially as the pioneers die out. How do you think we can show that music scenes become integral parts of a place or a culture’s identity rather than just something people do for entertainment?

    ABELE- Yes, those people are dancing to some fast jazz next to the bar while the club manager looks on disapprovingly in the background.

    DAVID BOWEN- Unfortunately they converted Hotel Theresa into an office building, but kept the name and the signage. When you visit NYC, you could stay at the Harlem Flophouse, a four room bed and breakfast dedicated to the Jazz Age.

    BOB- :)I love you man!! Just when I thought I had put this project down, you go and inspire the hell out of me. I’m going to print out your words and stick them in my camera bag to refer to in moments of frustration and ease. Ondaatje’s book is now on the top of my list for my trip to the library later this week. Many thanks.:))

  • harlem flophouse it is :ø)

    what strikes me about these photos is that you catch the unique atmosphere of this small corner whilst also catching the vibe at gigs through the decades..
    be it gill scott heron, primal screen or aphex twin, there are always common moments inhabited by us animals with different skin.. an exhibit at the photographers gallery of 1950´s soho can carry the same vibe as the 1990´s electronic music scene.
    these moments are not so easy to catch as you make it look here and infact for some they might even be difficult to see.

    so.. from your piece i can learn something about this little corner while also seeing something of the timeless, unfaltering pleasure.. exhaustion.. dynamism and desire which music holds for it´s masters and us all.

    i think it´s an accomplished essay for covering these bases with all the style and panache of the people existing within it.. flows like water tastes like wine.

    i´m in agreement about wanting to see more, though..
    while it may be accepted to leave a viewer with the urge to see more, in this case there is room for squeezing the last drops out of whiskey bottle.. it finished all too soon for me..

    perhaps that is just the way of a good gig or weekend blending with sounds..
    when the bitter end arrives it is always too early

    :ø)

    cheers.
    david

  • Really lovely story, well told all round. Makes me want to go shoot some train[can it be shot instead of blown?]. shot jazz a few times before but mainly the young bloods, matanta roberts etc.. Frame 8 bugs me, but it really is a very small bug and in the overall scheme of things and its probably me just being glitchy.
    NICE WORK.
    PEACE

    john

  • PANOS- Efkharisto! I have to print out your note too. I can’t wait ’til we meet again. That’ll be part two of the Looseness Workshop. Thanks for looking deeply at my essay, sharing your passion and having the guts to speak what you believe. Now I need to channel some of that energy myself.You’ll find this funny or disturbing… When I was a newspaper shooter, one of the word editors said to me one of the benefits of working for a newspaper was “moral superiority.”

  • “moral superiority.”…
    good god !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i totally believe you…
    i started back in athens greece too, as a newspaper shooter….
    yes, yes, i’ve heard that “moral” thing too back in the day,
    maybe in different words but yes…. sad, sad, sad….

    I really , really felt that your essay was way “deeper” ( another word that i hate )… than just a “jazz” story…
    Its a personal story.. its starts from grandpa…goes to you… roots… You made me “feel”…
    your statement simply confirmed it…
    ( i tried to hide that i personally know you, because i didnt wanna let people here feel, that a friend kisses another friend’s ass… i would rather keep my mouth shut if it was for ass kissing… and if you read on the other thread my theory about Taliban beasts, you will find out that im allergic on kissing ass… laughing……)

    … and again i will never forget the feeling of “instant friendship” that i felt that night in the JFK airport… or the laughs in your car , you were driving, me riding shotgun….
    Again, you have a great soul… i hate to say this, but i owe you…
    soonest..

  • ANDREW

    FANtastic!!! You’ve made me feel very proud of you and all your quiet efforts. This is such a feel good piece without being too sweet. It uplifted my heart and my spirit, I felt the rhythm and the love. Many new images that I hadn’t seen, just great, love the bathroom shot, love the way you layer imagery front middle sidestep back, that you can shot digital and make it have the emotional feeling of film. he colors and tones, the real moments captured so naturally..so proud!

  • Yay! Now it is up, it is obviously much better. Though I do have to say that the second image should be 4th or 5th now, seems more appropriate.

  • Hello Andrew,

    You’ve captured some beautiful moments. You feel like you’re there.
    I see you’ve got some photos from St. Nicks Pub! A great place place to document the jazz scene. I used to live just a few blocks for there.
    Beautiful essay Andrew.

    -Srini

  • A wonderful essay, Andrew. What’s funny is that I saw some of these images as you were first making them — I had stopped into DAH’s loft to pick up a camera bag I’d “won” on the Road Trips blog, and your photographs from this essay were being projected for your fellow workshop participants and a visiting editor. I marveled then at the colors and compositions you’d pulled from these challenging shooting situations, and still am “jazzed” while viewing the pix again here. You’ve got some chops, man. Hoping the world at large will one day see more of your work. Congrats. Keep going! (And DAH — I regularly use your old Domke bag — it’s the gift that keeps giving. Thx.)
    – don

  • YES
    great to see this back online ..
    love it.

  • “Shooting digital…. feeling of film”
    Jee…there you go again…I , I’m … ok, I’ll zip it..
    I’m going for a walk…
    Welcome to 2009….

  • Andrew,

    Very good essay. How long have you worked for?
    You are very good photographer. You have good eye, and very sensitive piont of view.
    You are working for NGO? If not, you should.

  • Very nice essay on jazz in Harlem. Envious!

  • BILL LUSTER…

    you old (young) rascal…nice to see you here again…i do hope our paths cross soonest…it is always a pleasure to see you my friend…

    cheers, david

  • have i lost it? have i gone blind? has BURN burn-ed these images in my eyes??? but for the life of me i do not see the slide numbers anymore. is it just me?

    i am a nymphette in photography and pretty much do not know what is good or bad photos. so i might need the slideshow to be numbered i guess so i can follow. only way i can learn.

    and… i cannot follow where DAH’s online workshop is with roadtrips. unless i dig way back i guess.

    might need to meet the man himself…

  • Hey Andrew,

    Nice style/ quality, your images! Can you give some tips on how you get them to look like that? Thick/ heavy, rich images..

    Bye, David

  • Great images, sequencing, and I like the voice over and music. Just wanted more!

  • Love it! I remember the initial photos on the old DAH blog. I’m a jazz lover too, so I ate this up.

  • GRACIE…

    you have not lost it my dear…in order to have slides and sound synchronized here on BURN, we have to go to a program that eliminates the slide numbers….just a tech reality….

    the whole of “Road Trips” was pretty much an online workshop for many…yes, you would have to dig around a bit and read a whole lot to catch up on all of it…

    i do not know if i am hard to meet (some say yes) or easy to meet (others say yes)….if you are near wherever i happen to be at the time, i always welcome a meeting….i am in New York this week if you are around….or, Spain next week if you are around…your choice!!

    cheers, david

  • Hey MARCIN,
    I’ve been freelance for one year, and was a staff photographer at a daily newspaper for ten years before that. I’d love to work for an NGO. Any ideas? Fantastic work on your site, by the way. You have a really interesting vision. I love the muted tones and compositions.

    Thanks Erica, Bill Luster and Don Hamerman! If I could follow in any of your footsteps, I’d be happy.

  • Excellent, excellent work! andrew

  • is David Griffin paying attention to this? put this project in line at the yellow magazine.. (if that’s what Andrew wants.) many kudos Andrew, very well done mi amigo!

  • DAH,

    thanks for your reply. i thought and thought and played it over and over before i posted my message before i wasted any of your time.

    we do have a mutual friend. i went to touzon’s santa fe class last year and enjoyed it so. if you mentor a mentor then you may be way out of my league so ill stay in the shadows for now and just hope until i have something to show. but he told me about BURN and i think now that i have dug in a (little bit) in your road trips i know i would learn so much more. i definitely do not have the skill but i have the “want to shoot” but the day job is the way to go for now because the bills need to be paid. but as the day wears on, i would rather write and shoot.

    i would have to say, burn is such a great site. during the weeks of james’ and lisa’s essays on Manila, i have to confess i turned BURN off because to me – coming from that country, it was pretty embarrassing and it hurt like hell to be exposed like that. this is what i think, poverty is NO EXCUSE to be ignorant and all aspects of society there: government, church, elite and the common people are all to be blamed. but though as strongly as i feel about this, my guts were wrenched as they spilled… because of my own guilt because i do not have a solution i could offer especially with myself here basking in good fortune.

    but on a lighter note, the last few featured photographs saved me: no pictures please, self portrait, fervent, even though the comments were a little intimidating for such a neophyte like me to follow (sorry for the rant)

    and this essay…

    i am glad andrew is responding to the posts also because i thought there at least once that maybe the photographers of featured essays and photos were “muted” for the week they were featured.

    this essay made me feel the music, and the life and the purpose of going through the thoughtless motions we do every single day. that at the end of the day when “nightlife” starts, as photographers, writers, or whatever you do, realizing that you’re doing something so passionately will save all of us in the end. then it’s all going to be all right…

  • Pinoy Photographer

    There are some weak images around the middle. Other than that, it’s an excellent essay – full of colour from your characters.

  • ANDREW :))))

    so happy to see this up again! :))))…and Im happy you enjoyed my ‘riff’ on your ‘riffs’ :)))))…it’s so lovely to write for project, words inspired by the run of the melody :))))….

    dont let it go for sure :)))

    hugs
    bob

  • Like Jim P, I just wanted more. You’d taken me back in time, to the roots of jazz, into the intimate spaces where it all began…and I didn’t want to leave. Your audio adds so much to the work. Of course with jazz being all about sound, it figures that hearing traditional jazz, the street sounds in Harlem, and this 98 year-old living legend tell us his story brings it all home. And your photos take us there through our eyes. A sensory delight.

    Now, I’ve been a jazz lover for over 52 years and have lived in Detroit, a jazz mecca, for 4 of those years, so you can imagine how this hits me where I live. You have really captured the essence of this music and the people who give it soul. Bravo to you, Andrew!

    Patricia

  • correction: I’ve lived in Detroit for 43 of those years…

    Patricia

  • GRACIE…

    yours is one of the nicest, genuinely sweetest letters i have received here on Burn…with a letter like that, i may just keep going a bit longer….

    thank you ….

    cheers, david

  • PATRICIA..

    laughing…i saw that “4 years” and i was just scratching my bald head when you fired in the correction…

    nice catch!!

    cheers, david

  • oh happy, happy..what a wonderful essay! I met Duke Ellington in Manhattan one time..these photos just warm all the cold places inside..thank you for a wonderful read and a heartwarming look-see..

    best:
    kat~

  • sweet? SWEET???
    go ask raul and let’s do this over beer. maybe when i DO start talking, you’ll change your mind.
    teehehehe

    youve got a great group going here… im not going to start naming names … but youve got to love panos. though i dont think i would want to dare and meet him.

  • GRACIE…

    yea i thought you might not like “sweeeet”…sorry…just popped into my head…

    Panos…so many people get so angry with him and it is the biggest comedy show on the road for me because i know him in person and i know how he yanks chains….. anyway, i know what Panos is doing…he LOVES to freak out everybody..that is his THING….but let me tell you that boy is on the case..he is the most DEPENDABLE of all the photographers on this forum when it comes to getting things done…he is the ONLY photographer here who got his material to me on time , in good order….yes, the easiest person to work with of everyone here…and i love all the others who i have mentored online like Patricia, David, Rafal and Bob and Erica in another category, but let’s just say online relationships built..of all those nearest and dearest, Panos is the easiest to work with….and for all the Panos naysayers, i will just bet my money long range on Panos…he has one thing few have…total honestly with who he is….and he shoots THAT…nothing but that…who cares if the pictures are “good”…they are straight…raw…anyway, we will see…..we are going to edit tomorrow for a slightly cleaner version of his essay here (no no not too clean)…check it out in a couple of days….

    cheers, david

  • phew…DAH, you had me worried there for a second. Please don’t file off too many rough edges or pick off all those fleas off Panos because his work is so gritty and soulful that it would be a terrible loss to see it sanitized, homogenized, pasteurized and desensitized..but i’m trusting you and Panos to keep it real, for all our sakes :))) you go, Panos!

    kat~

  • oops..sorry, you weren’t even talking to me..heh!

  • DAH,

    thank goodness for explaining panos. though i did not doubt for one moment that he is real. too real. that’s probably the most shocking fact. well, with all the f’s and sh’s that he says on these threads, i might just need to buy a steel raincoat, that’s all. you know how all tragedies have comic relief? panos
    is IT.

    i have no doubt that he will in his words – rock the world – with his essay. but take care when you go through the proofs(?) he might not file his nails or his teeth.

    ANDREW,
    loved your essay. im too young to have lived that era but i swear im an old soul so i just breathed it all in. i was there.
    the music was a great touch cuz i didnt have to think too hard cuz the music was already playing in my head with your title shot. just great.

  • KATHLEEN…

    do you really think I would SANITIZE anything???

    pleeeeeeeease!!

    cheers, david

  • This is so good…I wish I could do something like this!

    I felt like being in Harlem. Congratulations!

  • DAH

    uh….um….the politically correct answer to that question would be no..the truthful answer is that i don’t know a thing about you and what i have seen here merely scratches the surface of the man you are..forgive me if i somehow insulted you but i am not like a lot of people here who have met you, e-mailed you, been mentored by you or been on the receiving end of a portfolio review..my comment about Panos was tongue-in-cheek because i know his work can only be domesticated just so far. The raw energy is embedded into every pixel like a bloody stain, but since you ask, well, how would i know if you would sanitize anything, photographic or otherwise? i mean, really?

    And btw..i just love this essay and it’s text..this is just great stuff..thanks for featuring it and thanks to Andrew for producing it.

    cheers backatcha
    kat~

  • Ok..
    I was driving .. Now I just pulled over on a
    AM/PM gas station.. Right before the mountain
    I have to climb.. 8500 ft elevation .. All the
    way to the top of the mountain ..
    Big Bear..
    I will lose reception going up hill so I wanted to
    catch up with the comments..
    And then I read it…
    I read what GRACIE, KATHLEEN and DAVID just said..
    (pause.. Nothing to say.. Speechless.. Shaking a bit…)

    Let me tell you about my day… ( so I can digest what “they” wrote..)
    I was in the HOOD all day..
    Southcentral LA..
    Vernon, western and 52nd street..
    I’m excited because once again I exposed myself …ONCE AGAIN
    to some silly, unnessesary violence…
    .. and no, it’s not what you may think..
    No, I wasn’t trying to score..laughing..
    I went for “safari”..
    I met a family and I asked them if I could
    photograph them..
    And I did.. Crazy stuff happened today..
    I ended up photographing the whole BLOCK
    instead.. I’m happy, I do have the photos..
    I will make a nice story and post it SOONEST..

    …. and then I read the comments…
    David , what can I say??
    I already had numerous enemies here..
    “friends” that they were openly begging you
    and suggesting to you to force me QUIT..
    Bloggers calling me names left and right…
    They were even suggesting me to refrain from commenting, even sex…
    And now..
    Now it’s gonna get even worst..
    Hate and jealousy .. Just because , just because
    I was just doing my “job”..
    My job which was nothing more than photographing
    my own life.. My “backyard”.. Myself, my mirror..
    They were calling me selfish because I never tried to
    save the world, I never tried to turn a prostitute into a nun,
    I never tried to save the homeless , I never tried to find the
    Cure for HIV..
    I’ve been accussed of hijacking “intellectual” conversations
    about G.Winofrand, or Steve McCurry .. and instead posting XXX photos,
    Photographing my own genitalia instead..
    I’ve been accussed of being a NON PURIST because I proudly announced that
    FILM IS DEAD ( so did the dinosaurs )…

    And now YOU have the balls to openly support me?
    Support the ANTICHRIST??,
    (laughing…. Hysterically)
    Thank you David…
    for TELLing IT LIKE IT IS…
    and thank you also for creating a new “army”
    of haters towards me.. Starting tomorrow ..
    ( laughing )
    Ok… Enough.. Still at the gas station..
    I need to drive.. Go give Freida a kiss and do that link with
    Photos from the Hood..that I shot today..
    BIG HUG
    Driving
    Panos
    Thank u
    Thank u
    Thank u

  • what the fuck, Panos?

  • Too bad there are no numbered slides here, would be much easier to comment on the photos. But I must say I love the ones with the overpowering colors. Some really nice shots here, and overall a good essay. Interesting people, nicely shot photos. I remember some of the shots from Roadtrips but it really looks like youve done a great job of expanding on the story, Andrew.

  • Threading from essays to styles to commenting on each other, BuRN readers, writers, and photographers are a funny group…and I’m glad to be part of such dynamic, intelligent, and thought-provoking characters… I can’t wait to meet some of you…

    Anyway, the essay definitely left me wanting more…I felt like it was just the introduction of something more…but what? I liked the writing a lot…so well-written…I love the fact that Andrew Sullivan said, “I saw him in the people I photographed and heard him in their music. Familiarity in strangers’ eyes made me pause. Fragments of his life appeared.” Therein lies the connection, and it is evident in the imagery. I also loved the dialogue voice of Max Lucas playing as the slide show did…it brought the past into the present, revealing this history to remain important and relevant to us today…welldone

    That’s all I’ve got the energy to write for now…my eloquence is escaping me as sleep fairies dance upon my sagging lids…’til tomorrow, fellow BuRNers… and remember…SPRING AHEAD! I am so ready for longer days filled with glorious sunshine!

  • Panos, you’re such a prick. Keep it up. Glad we finally met and don’t worry, if people ask me what you’re really like, I’ll lie. See.

    Andrew! I just don’t write much here anymore ’cause I don’t know what to say and I hate to just throw out another I love it, this is great, great work, but it is, and I do. Been one of my favorites since you started it. Glad we had the chance to meet. Peace brother.

  • Ahh Young Tom…
    There is a possibility … to see you again soon in seattle…
    i fell in love with that city… i dont know why…
    And you are a hell of a good company…
    you are not a “pseudo”… u r real.
    :)

  • Yo man, please give me a ring (give me a couple days notice) and I’ll pop on up to the city (love to ride the ferry). I’ll need a break, this carpentry stuff on the farm is killing me! :))

  • Young Tom… absofuckinlutely…

    ok, i need to say say something … important , for me at least…
    There are two SOULS that i love the most in this universe…
    One is my SISTER , MARY Skoulida, that now lives in Arta Greece…
    Mary ( Maria) is the person that supported my photography the most…
    Forget photography… without her i would have been dead long long time ago…
    Even creatively dead… She helped me with Leica, she even bought me the air tickets
    to go visit Look 3 last year… She is “responsible” for me meeting David…
    Ii can write a book about the emotional support all those years that i was looking
    and following the wrong direction….
    but there is somebody that i love even more ( if this is possible )… and thats her
    daughter, my niece , the most beautiful and most intelligent young lady in this world…
    Her name is VISSARIA….
    VISSARIA, I LOVE YOU… AND I WILL SEE YOU SOON…
    ( these are the 2 souls that cared and always care THE MOST about me )

  • PANOS

    Big Bear?

    That’s it. I’m shooting your territory tomorrow. A bucket of Stella just for me.
    It’s been too long since I’ve lived there to catch the grittiness you get, but I’m shooting it anyway.

  • ah panos! waited a while for your post. i knew you were up to something. but then the sun did not set yet when i spoke. i totally digged “venice”, i have to say. you were in their faces so are you in ours here in BURN.

    know that when you are onstage (hopefully not doing something illegal), i am on DAH’s side BUT right behind him, NOT close to you – (maybe clapping). let’s make that clear.

    and ANDREW! thank you again (and sorry for the side rant- i think i started it)

    before i went to bed i had to turn on NINA SIMONE. and went to sleep and rested. thank you lots.

  • PANOS…

    yes, sorry …you WILL have new enemies…..please try to not give them quite so much to chew on…

    AND, please do not forget i openly support many photographers here, THAT is what i do (you just require a little more explanation than most!!)…my shout out right this minute, right now, is the talented Andrew Sullivan whose thread we only hijacked because Gracie asked a question about you….if i had my coffee already i could write a truly interesting piece about the difference between Andrew and Panos…you are 180 degrees different, but both with something to say…anyway i am going to the corner deli for coffee..back later

    oh yea, one more thing:

    always be humble……HUBRIS….don’t forget…

    cheers, david

  • YOUNG TOM…

    we lost you for the longest time…put down that hammer and get back here where you belong….actually, i have been in hammer and saw hell for the last month too…heading your way april 10 i think…can you handle it???

    cheers, david

  • RAFAL….

    slide shows with music in sync have no numbers….no, not all slide shows with music accompanying, but in sync music or soundtrack…

    by the way, i will go with your final edit albeit we will never agree on a couple of those pictures…but, that is just the way editing always is…not a problem….the vertical is gone however (jarring visually in a slide show and too much related to the picture that follows)….just want to make sure you are standing by this final edit..yes????

    cheers, david

  • Gracie
    know that when you are onstage (hopefully not doing something illegal), i am on DAH’s side BUT right behind him, NOT close to you – (maybe clapping). let’s make that clear. you are f-ing politically correct. Does it resonate? Lets read further.

    Is this is a new tendency here to be against or take side to be noticed? Do we need a new category on the right side of the page just for that purpose?

    Gracie, Kathleem – could you open up your mind and calmly make an assumption for some theoretical analysis? What if Panos is Magnum someday soon? I truly believe he is on the way for a big one but for now lets make it as an assumption for brain exercise.
    Would you bring your sanitizers and start hunting for those fleas? Would you meet the real Panos then?

    there is a lot of fake commenters on BURN – desperately and shamefully fake. most of those are just sheep with agenda that know “words” and want to have an “intelligent discussion” .

    Andrew Sullivan,
    Don’t forget me when you and that panos guy do part two of “Loosenes Workshop on Moral Superiority”. I am on your side :). Let’s not involve DAH – let’s just get the prostitutes who live in grave yards that have hiv and save them.
    nice jazzzzz.

  • Rafał, David, Panos,

    Final edit? I see you work hard all the time. I am curious about EPF this year. You guys still on top. Work in progress. I’ll be waiting for results :)

  • MARCIN….

    Rafal will have his essay published in the next couple of days…we have just been working behind the scenes on his edit…”work in progress” will be a backstage effort…i am now working on essays with David B., Lassal, Anton, Jonathan…i would love to work with you if you have a new project (or an old project) you want to develop…?????????????

    EPF….my oh my so many submissions!!!! at the last minute of course..actually i think i am going to extend the deadline until april 1 just because i am overwhelmed with so many things at the moment…but, do not worry, no problems at all..lots of fun….but, yes i do work all the time one way or another….

    cheers, david

  • There is only so much one person can do, given even enthusiasm and sense of mission. We usually only understand that in retrospect.

  • haik,

    i have always liked what panos brings here. he’s too funny. he’s just “in my face” a lot with his comments, that’s all. AND i do not have anything to show so there is no secondary gain for me to mention DAH in my posts. there’s no point as to being pc – as you call it.

    though enough about him. this is ANDREW’s essay. and must i say, listening to nina simone last night was warm and fuzzy.

    it’s all good.

    luvs, gracie

  • KATHLEEN…

    oh my…i absolutely took your comment “tongue in cheek”, and was not the slightest insulted Kathleen..i was laughing….you know how it is with writing sometimes…you write like you talk in person, but in person you can see the the “twinkle in the eye”…i was just tongue in cheek back at you….i assume we will meet at some point…hope so…

    JIM…

    yes, i know what you mean….but, i do see at least one more step forward with BURN….technically we can have multiple pages behind any story….we could really get “layered” here if i had a small staff of two or three….i am building now a slide show (multi-media piece) on BURN for presentation at Look3…..i have often thought of a book to come out of the last three years of this forum…when i build this upcoming show, i will be able to see the totality of our efforts…this collaboration with an audience…in print we do not collaborate…we just give the audience what we think they want…this is a quite different medium….the beauty of it is only one thing…and it is the beauty of all things really creative…it is innocent…there is no “agenda”…supporters, but no advertisers….pull the plug on BURN tomorrow and it will stand there as its own thing flaws and all…the flaws are part of the innocence…if it all becomes just too much, i will know it…..i have never been afraid to walk away from something that was not working….for me personally, it would only become “too much” if i could not do my photographic work..so far, because of the nature of my current project, there is no problem….

    cheers, david

  • Is that the Bill Luster who worked (works?) for the Louisville Courier? I remember you from an article in Camera Arts magazine. I really rated that magazine as it took photography seriously, unlike the majority of U.K. magazines who just repeated “How to photograph Spring, Autumn, Fireworks etc.” (they still do). Post us some photographs Bill.

    Best wishes,

    Mike.

  • David,

    did Anton pass along my thinking process about some of those? If not, and if you are curious I can send it to you. But I think yeah, its bloody tough editing online….I think if we were doing it face to face it would be easier to verbalize the reasons for our choices:) But I think we bridged the gap enough, give or take 2 or 3 photos. Big thanks for your slashing my essay down to a shorter one, I had some trouble doing it but it feels good…like a fighter coming down to figting weight.

    Reminds me, I gotta buy a mic and sign up for skype.

    Could you ask Anton just send me the final screen shot so I know nothing got mixed up in the “translation”? Ill give it the green light asap tomorrow.

    Oh yes, EPF….how do we submit? What do you suggest for length of essay? 30-40? Less?

  • Oh the vertical, thinking about it now I think verticals do mess up a flow so Im happy to axe it.

  • Hi DAVID,

    You are person full of power :) How you do that?
    I’ll be waiting for EPF winners.
    maybe I will start new essay in april, but I am not sure like most of things in my life. I should have enough material to do some story I was thinking about.
    If I will have first pictures I will put a link as usualy.

    Have fun, be strong… :)

    peace

  • RAFAL…

    yes, we will send you a screen shot…but, i think we are right on it…and, as you know, i tip the final edit to the photographer…particularly in your case where the work is so totally personal…

    all of the EPF parameters are right up in the corner clearly indicated (i thought)…has been there for at least 6 weeks…headlined on the Magnum site, written about on BURN by me several times….this worries me….if you did not know that (and you are a smart man), maybe others do not as well?????????…scratching my head on this one!!!!

    cheers, david

  • heh sorry:) I actually did check it out before….Ill check again…

  • DAH,
    phew..i thought so but wasn’t sure and didn’t want to make assumptions..glad we straightened THAT out and glad that ain’t a can of ajax in your pocket..heh…meet you..maybe someday ;)

    Haik

    holy cow, did you ever misunderstand me! wow..i love Panos’ work, writings, attitude! i don’t always agree with him, nut-uh..film ain’t dead for me, for example..but i wouldn’t change a thing about him. Except maybe some of those blown exposures in his photos, but even then, hell i would gladly trade a few blown pixels for subject matter that soulful, gritty, vital and streetwise. When i talked about fleas and sanitizing, i was making a plea to DAH NOT to quit that grit that is Panos..hope this clears that up!

    Panos, i love ya but sometimes you can be muy “Pobre mi, i’m such a hated (read bad) Mother fu**er, ain’t life grand?” Well, maybe you’re losing your edge and should try harder because i for one think you’re one of those forces that really injects life into Burn. But maybe a little less chip and a bit more self-deprecation? dunno..just an idea..but again, like with your work, i’ll take a little chip in return for your grit. Balance is key, ain’t it?

    best:
    kat~

  • Andrew

    Loved it when I saw it a few months back when I posted a link on The37thFrame. Love it still. Really a nice piece. Like Bill Luster said…. envious.

  • A lot exquisite (for lack of a better word) work on catching light, the light of jazz?, as it goes so well with the many nunaces of the music itself, and its usual nocturnal settings. As a single picture, #24 (old gentleman with handkerchief) is superb in both its understatement and story-telling.

  • Oh, and do I understand it’s 11.30 in NYC, not 10.30?

  • Kathleen ,

    ( i dont always agree with myself either )…
    and of course film is NOT dead… its just that i never “go wrong” anytime i use this “pick up” line…
    I love to see peoples faces turning “blue” thats all.. :))))))))))
    life is short to be very serious and “intellectual”…
    and i think that you can “read” me well behind the lines… You do have Sense of Humor…
    Of course me and you we would like each other…U R Not uptight…u r smart and funny , this is who you are..
    Do You think that qualities like yours are easy to find ??????????? One would think of , but no…
    Most thinking “deep” …you think “light”… you have such a light spirit..Your spirit is not “clogged”..
    Again you are an oasis here in Burn..

    Gracie,

    i do have similar beliefs about your spirit also…
    Just woke up, im not sure if Haik wanted to offend you… i’ll read again, but
    i do have ( i hope ) sense of humor similar to yours..
    “Steel Raincoat”…. laughing… you do make me laugh and i value this more than anything else…
    Self sarcasm i think is the ULTIMATE RESPECT towards others…
    taking one self so seriously is the ULTIMATE INSULT…
    and you are a respectful person…
    thank you for calling me “real”…
    You see this blog started “seriously” , being “serious”, all of us talking about photography,
    photography this, art that, blah, blah, blah…
    And fighting with eachother, trying to prove to each other, who is better, who is taller, who is
    smarter, who has a longer “Unit” (laughing, if u know what i mean…).
    And then we started meeting in person…And finally love and respect came…
    All i can say is that ,I cant wait to meet you…

    and yes, ANDREW sorry, GRACIE is right…. enough about me… but one last thing (about me)..
    Im gonna work on the yesterdays photos from the HOOD… south central LA…
    I cant wait to share with you the story…
    Its fun… i also recorded some audio ( which i dont know what to do with it right now )…
    but we will see… who cares…

    ok…HUBRIS… lights back to ANDREWS AMAZING ESSAY…please
    thank y’all ..
    ( Haik, i will call you as soon as i can find “reception” up in here… 8500 feet elevation, AT&T feels dizzy…)

  • ANDREW
    your work is rich..
    strong feelings..
    mood..
    lighting…
    great individual shots..
    want to see more…
    **

  • Panos

    “its just that i never “go wrong” anytime i use this “pick up” line…”

    i’m sorry (or not) but this line made me laugh my ass off. i know it was a play on words really, but in the right circles this WOULD be a pick-up line in the real sense. i mean, hahahaha, i am still laughing…it sure would work on me! okok, back to the business at hand, which is photography..me and my Yashicamat are outta here.

    oh, last thing: Can’t wait to see your pics from south central L.A. My daughter is in college somewhere deep in the Inland Empire which probably isn’t even close to where you were shooting. My son used to go to college at Loyola Marymount and he skated by himself all round Venice and Santa Monica and L.A. in general. He told me these amazing stories of meeting other Latino skaters who took him to their ‘hoods that were guarded by gang guys..my son looks gringo in spite of his Latino heritage and the other skaters would have to give the nod that Juan Carlo was Latino and then he had to say the right word or two in native ‘spanol to get in. His stories made me think of “Training Day” and frankly scared the crap outta me. But in other ways i was so envious of him and hence, of you too. Keep shooting those ‘hoods, Panos..

    and thanks for the nod :)

    kat~

  • Panos..let me ask you, are you living in the hills above Claremont? up in THOSE mountains? wow..if so i was there in November..it is soooooo beautiful..is that where you are? My daughter goes to Pomona College..
    ok, really gone..

    kat~

  • DAH wrote,

    “.if i had my coffee already i could write a truly interesting piece about the difference between Andrew and Panos…you are 180 degrees different, but both with something to say…anyway i am going to the corner deli for coffee..back later”

    OK David, you laid it out there, and I’m intrigued. Now Panos and I are waiting for your thoughts on how we differ. It could be an interesting piece to study. I will say, that Panos and I have more in common than most people might believe. I’m the quiet one! And DAH, if you’re looking for another work in progress photographer, I have a couple things going I could definitely use your perspective on.

    Thanks to everyone for all the great feedback, and TOM HYDE, I’m with you, I often am at a loss for words when it comes to commenting here on Burn. Hmmm, there’s one difference between me and Panos.

  • David, just one more step? ;-))

    Yeah, I’m busy into my project but I’m still here too. Just sitting at the table, drinking a beer, watching. Framing is nearly done, and I can hardly move. If I never have to shove full one-inch plus sheets of plywood up to the second story again, I’ll be a happy man. But I love building things, researching everything, figuring it out, doing stuff I’ve never done, doing it right, over-engineering everything, and sweating the details. I’ve got months left.

    David you know if you finally come to the most left coast and you don’t call me I’m gonna be pissed. What do you mean, can I handle it? I’m almost offended ;-)) You are most, most welcome here anytime (although you know I’m in the middle of nowhere), and Seattle is just a skip across the water for me, or Bellingham. And Sydney, if you need a ride just shout out. And Katia, if you ever need ANYTHING please think of me. Seriously.

    With apologies to Andrew Sullivan … young tom

  • DAVD ALAN HARVEY

    Can I assume you mean myself? If so my direct email address is crackedbutter @ mac.com if you want to discuss my current project further?

  • Andrew,

    GREAT texture in this piece, really dig the ambient tracks of audio and the vignetted images you weave in to the overall action. I wonder is the sequencing might benefit from a different set of lead images and/or a slight re-sequence in the audio–felt that the sounds of the street were very dissonant when viewing the squeeze box player in the bathroom there. Just a thought :) Overall, VERY nice start… also wondering if there are more possibilities for gathering content to focus on the neighborhood/community and what jazz has meant for this local culture.

    MORE Multimedia Please!

    Cheers
    Seth

  • andrew–

    i’ve seen your essay about 7 times now.
    the word that keeps coming up for me is “satisfying”.
    it’s a richly satisfying experience to see, hear and feel this.
    i love how the images, music and max’s voice
    (and gorgeous throaty chuckles)
    all weave together beautifully.
    they were meant to be together.

    impressive work.
    keeping an eye on you now. ;)

    k.

  • warm smile and hug to you, young tom.
    looking forward to seeing you again soon. :))

  • Kathleen,
    ALL…
    YES… up on those mountains….
    i drive alone all the time… i know exactly the areas that your son used to skateboard..
    I had my bike stolen once around those shady bikepaths across the LA river…
    but,
    new link
    NEW LINK
    NEW LINK…
    I JUST wanna share my loneliness and the love for those mountains and that LAKE, that stands alone on the top of the mountains… at 8500 elevation…
    ( dont rush for feedback… just sharing my loneliness… story of my life…)
    please click the link below.. “Lake & Loneliness”..

    http://picasaweb.google.com/innerspacecowpanos/TheLAKEAt8500Feet?authkey=Gv1sRgCKySmcnfhM24hAE#slideshow

    ( the “hood” photos are still in the oven)….

  • … again, please increase the slideshow duration from 3 to 5 seconds… thank you…

    http://picasaweb.google.com/innerspacecowpanos/TheLAKEAt8500Feet?authkey=Gv1sRgCKySmcnfhM24hAE#slideshow

  • …. and ANDREW yes, i agree…
    we have lots in common… the reason i post links here,
    is mainly because i feel welcomed, i feel warmth, you giving me refuge …
    sometimes i feel very lonely in my “own” room…
    All, Andrew is on of the sweetest men i have ever met…
    period

  • damn andrew – this is nice. i remember seeing this after a workshop (i think) – this has grown into a lovely essay. the audio and music is perfectly matched to a very nice edit and sequence. i loved the “silent’ images amongst the music scene. well done my friend, well done.

  • Panos

    ohhh..ok…i know those mountains then..my daughter rides her bike up there. It’s crazy how fast the environment changes from inland empire hot and dry to mountainous cold and snowy..you live in a wondrous place. I never saw the lake though. Hmm…next trip.

    I get the lonely thing big time. i’m always alone too. Do you think a lot of photographers are like that?

    Anyway, nice slideshow..thanks for being you, Panos.

    best:
    kat~

  • KATHLEEN,
    you have been such an inspiration for me lately….
    the following slideshow
    “A DAY IN THE HOOD” is dedicated to you..

    im proud…………. gimme a minute of your time…

    A DAY IN THE HOOD
    A DAY IN THE HOOD
    A DAY IN THE HOOD…

    fresh, brand new link y’all… from last night…

    http://picasaweb.google.com/innerspacecowpanos/ADAYINTHEHOOD?authkey=Gv1sRgCO297p7MwMygnAE#slideshow

  • PANOS

    I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire parade of beauties. It wasn’t just the women; it was your captions and the dear Panos energy they radiated. You go, guy!!! You are DOIN’ IT!!!

    Now I’ve got to go to bed. It’s 1:20 a.m. here in the Big D ;=)

    hugs
    Patricia

  • Panos..

    holymamamia!

    i went out running..it was 10:30pm..full moon or something like it and i did vueltas around the block, around and around and around, not a creature was stirring, not even the savage guard dogs…came back, laid right down in the grass of the park next door, laid down and stared up through the branches into the sky..the wind howled, the branches snapped and trembled, shivered and spasm’d, the pink flower bunches dressing up the roble sabanas whipped off like tops and spun downward through the dark, landing softly all around me. Next to me a dead snake. i held it, silky, shiny, supple, so slim, like a bracelet on my arm, but dead, so dead. i tucked it into the base of a tree thinking it might magically come back to life in the madrugada and be grateful that i had given it a hiding place to sleep off its coma..and then came in, thought about just going to bed..nah, made tea, fired up the Mac and to what do my wondering eyes does appear (or whatever) this, this, well, this, blast of giddy, funny, happy, groovy panos production. Tom Waits on my Ipod, i stare at this evolving celebration and am aware of my mouth just hanging open, lax, my eyes glassy eyed staring in disbelief and then laughter, bellyaching laughter erupting through my silent house, startled cats skittering under the nearest piece of furniture..Tom Waits singing about a veal cutlet coming down and assaulting his cup of coffee but the coffee wasn’t strong enough to defend itself and neither am i strong enough to fight off this assault on my soul. Panos, you are a freaking genius..your photos, the captions, the overdose of skin, smiles, flash, dazzle, cootchie-coo and tyler (county, Texas) too..ohhhhhh, manohman, those close-ups, i could smell their perfume, hear their giggles, how da hell did you get to do this thing? Studio lights? Was this sorta planned? Trust was everything.You are a man of the people, for the people, with the people. And i’ll tell ya something, it’s people like you who are the most alone. How do you figure that anyway?

    Wow..what a treat..and dedicated to me..how the hell did i earn this honor? Make me just float down the hall to bed why doncha?!

    my very very best congratulations..

    your friend
    kat~

  • Patricia,
    thank you…
    ACCESS, self sarcasm, love AND RESPECT IS MY SECRET….
    secret??????????
    oh please…
    ALL, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LAUGH AT ME……..
    hugs…
    ( i emptied myself today… i dont know what would i do with you.. all of you…)
    not driving
    panos

  • oh, ok, one more time through your slide show and then to bed..i can’t help myself, your Hood is like Mardi Gras! i’m still just gobsmacked..

    k/

  • kAT…
    i ,… ( tom waits )…
    you know what ? there is nothing really for me to say……

    … the way you write, oh , the way you write…
    the way you can write…
    your ability to write…

  • i don’t know what to say either, Panos..i am just kinda speechless. You and the Irazu Volcano made my life complete today..actually, Jim also made me giggle and that was like Christmas in March all by itself. But this last hour of the day, you, well..i think i better shut up or i might make an admission of something i would not know how to take back. And i still recall your Mars Volta lyrics. That’s when i knew…

    your bud’
    kat~

  • PANOS

    I almost miss your slideshow!
    Man… You see people… your really see all of them… mostly women but anyway.
    Many photographers try to show a story in few pictures but in your work it is impossible! I love that you publish so many pictures and there are sometimes “weak” pictures!
    This is REAL photography. You are like Larry Clark only close to real life. Close to everyday life.
    pure photography.
    keep going.
    peace

  • MARCIN,
    you belong to this rare breed of artists that are not defined one dimensionally…
    Are you a sculptor, a photographer, a writer, a poet , a humorist….????
    i know “who” you are… but you know what?
    i dont know “what” the fuck you are..
    you are a whole “school”, a whole “lane” by yourself…
    i dont know, i have no idea.. but one thing i know for sure…: ” you are way more than one thing “..
    you see life as a WHOLE… as a buddhist… you dont break it down to pieces…
    you sense, you feel,
    you are not a coroner, you are not a scientist, YOU ARE A POET…
    it is so easy for you to understand the circle… no beginning no end,
    a circle… it is so easy for you to “SEE” even with eyes closed…
    senses mean nothing to you… you can listen with the tips of your fingers,
    you can taste with your ears, you can smell with your eyes….
    you are a poet!

  • Panos,

    Once I almost f..k with poet (she :). This is all I have common with poet or poetry.

  • Ho Panos, can’t sleep here (jet lag), now that’s what I call stimulus package, that 52nd st slideshow. Wonderful piece of life and ‘hood girls want to have fun and they can still let the men, at least one, man in to it. I am jealous. They are all gorgeous beautiful, with infectious feminity. Your slideshow, it’s my welcome back to America gift, life is great, anywhere… Photography too!

  • Herve,
    welcome back…
    “stimulus package”………….????
    yep, there is no way to expect from Obama to do everything for us…
    If you want your stimulus check eariler, please,
    take a ride down the 52nd street….
    you wont be disappointed….
    ;-)

  • Warm, rich, inviting, fulfilling.

  • Hey Andrew, I’m late to the discussion here but I’m really stoked to see this project coming along. It’s fascinating that all that old soul is still there in Harlem, still as real as it ever was, still unpretentious and not a tourist circus-show. Your photos are brilliant, both artful and full of story. Look forward to seeing you soon, and seeing this piece in print somewhere…

    cb

  • Andrew,

    I am very late to the party… As I have also written on Chris’s essay, I have been away with a no ability to comment for the past weeks… Great top see it come together Andrew and to see that you kept working the topic. I tell you, I was familiar with your work as David used part of the story last year at Look3 and also posted some of your work on Road Trips. The good news is that your work back then was already very strong but the great news is that you have many new shots here that in my view are even stronger than the ones you had back then. Says a lot about the need to keep working and working and working a topic…I particularly like some of the new shots inside the club, closer shots to the artists, the performers..you have captured in my view better the life and soul of these Jazzmen… Where does your project stand now? Still energy to keep working it or is this getting to a natural end?? Should continue to push this one until you all get us that book of yours :):):):).

    Hope to see you sometimes. Take care.

    Eric

Leave a Reply

You must login to post a comment.