Two original oversize photographs of Sonny Stitt by photographer Herman Leonard, 1953

Sonny Stitt (artist)
Herman Leonard (photographer)

New Orleans: Herman Leonard, Circa mid 1990s. Two vintage borderless, oversize photographs of jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt by photographer Herman Leonard, taken in New York in 1953, struck by Leonard circa mid 1990s. The two photographs of Stitt includes one uncropped horizontal photograph, revealing the edge of the negative on the far left, titled and SIGNED by Leonard along the bottom edge in silver marker, and a vertical cropped print of the same photograph, which Leonard used in publications, with two of Leonard's photographer labels, which include the subject, reference number, date, and location, on the verso. Also included is a shipping notice on Leonard letterhead to noted jazz photographer Jeff Kliman, with a manuscript marker annotation in Herman's hand reading, "(The Sonny Stitt is a TCC print. I'll get you a fiber based one as soon as I can!)."

One of the best documented saxophonists of his generation, bebop and hard bop saxophonist Stitt recorded over 100 albums over four decades. Nicknamed "Lone Wolf" by jazz critic Dan Morgenstern because of his tendency to rarely work with the same musicians for very long, Stitt recorded with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Oscar Peterson, and Gene Ammons, among others.

Legendary jazz photographer Leonard began his career opening a photography studio in Greenwich Villiage in 1948, after receiving a BFA in photography from Ohio University the prior year. Working as a freelance commercial photographer by day, Leonard spent his nights at the Royal Roost and Birdland, photographing jazz icons such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gilespie, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Billie Holiday, among others. His photographs are archived at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, and represent a valuable and unique record of the jazz scene from the late 1940s to the early 1990s.

14 x 11 inches and 11 x 13.5 inches. Vertical photograph with some light edgewear and light creasing at the extremities, else Near Fine overall.

[Book #159913]