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Chuck Krall: Jazz in Images

Chuck Krall Still Photographs. Photo by Bob Marley

Since the 1960s, Chuck Krall has photographed scores of jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Herbie Hancock, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Mongo Santamaria, in addition to blues, reggae, rock, R&B, and pop icons. His work has been featured in Rolling Stone, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, the San Francisco Chronicle as well as promotional photographs for major record labels. His contagious passion about the stories behind the photographs portray the artists as everyday people, rather than icons, by showcasing their individual personalities.

The slide show of Krall’s work begins with Rahsaan Roland Kirk who was known for playing multiple horns at once and using a circular breathing technique.  Krall also photographed several blues artists including Muddy Waters, Junior Wells, and Jimmy Reed with a big, toothy grin. Live photos include Latin jazz icon, Mongo Santamaria, as well as jazz vocalist Lou Rawls with Aretha Franklin, and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie at a concert for middle school children. Versatile jazz pianist, Herbie Hancock, has his arms around Jamaican guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith and singer Jimmy Cliff. View the slide show below:

Photographer Chuck Krall visually documented many of the major jazz and blues figures throughout the 60s and 70s. A charismatic storyteller, his photographs were featured in some of the most well-known publications in United States. View a slideshow of his work and listen to his story.

Multi-instrumentalist, Lionel Hampton, was the first jazz musician Krall photographed using an amateur camera. Shortly after,  he photographed trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie playing to an auditorium of middle schoolers. After the show, Krall joined Gillespie and his wife Lorraine at a nearby Jewish deli where he learned about Gillespie’s bent trumpet, dancers named “Stump and Stumpy,” and Gillespie’s contributions to rock and roll. Perhaps the highlight of Krall’s stories is his description of the unexpected but gentle spirit of blind horn master, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Krall also explains the happiness experienced by blues artist, Jimmy Reed, when he learned somebody wanted to take his picture. View Krall’s website and listen to the audio story below: