We visited the Grammy Museum Friday evening, on Figueroa Sweet at LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles. I expected something glitzy and promotional, fit for Universal City Walk and while there are elements, it is a serious small museum, focused on listening experiences, where one can gain a beginning university education in the history and features of twentieth-century American popular music. Our reason for going, however, was photographic.
Maestro Charlie K advised us of the current Herman Leonard photo exhibit and accompanied us. In the late 1940s, Leonard, who died just a couple of years ago, set up a studio in Greenwich Village and began shooting at Birdland and all the jazz clubs around Broadway and Fifty-Second Street and up in Harlem. Leonard had a varied career, including fashion and shooting for Playboy, but a second intense period of jazz photography followed when he moved to Paris in the late 50s. There are no better, more evocative images of a bygone jazz world. This is a small taste.