Sunday, 16 January 2011

Portraits: 1

For more on these portraits, see here, and the Portraits tag at right.

Geri Allen; jazz pianist: April 1989, backstage in Greenwich, London.
Now Professor Allen and making music to much acclaim, Geri was establishing a secure name for herself in music (at this time, it seemed that this just perhaps unsettled the very-established leader she was touring with – I remember him coming out to check who she was meeting when I brought a copy of the photo to her hotel in London). I had liked her playing since first seeing her with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, and also had had chances at different times to photograph a rehearsal and a concert in NY as well as soundchecks in London. So I'd requested this job from The Wire's art director when I knew she was to be interviewed. Fortunately, she gave me the job, allowing me the move from regular live photographer to occasional portrait one. Though, I did slightly wonder if Geri herself wasn't completely satisfied I wasn't a stalker (believe me, I wasn't – taking the photo to her hotel was at her request to see it before publication!) after seeing me turn up on several musical occasions. I was happy with the result, as, fortunately, was art director Lucy at The Wire and, I believe, Geri herself.

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