“And You Slip into the Breaks and Look Around”: Jazz and Everyday Life in the Photographs of Roy DeCarava
This chapter presents an account of Roy DeCarava's epic, imagistic narrative the sound i saw, which comprises photographs taken in the 1950s and 1960s but not widely published until 2000. DeCarava's the sound i saw: improvisation on a jazz theme can now be seen as his crowning achievement as a photographer and African American artist—nearly half a century after he first conceived and planned it. This remarkable collection of 196 photographs weaves examples of urban photography dating from the beginning of the 1950s, when DeCarava became the first African American photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, together with informal portraits of jazz musicians, taken between 1956 and 1964, with the addition of an elliptical poetic text written by the photographer himself.
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