Unlike a concert date, the experience of a music festival is often much more than the presentation of the performances onstage. For attendees and musicians alike, there are layers of activity surrounding the moments of downbeats and final crescendos. Glimpses of these can often pass into the ether of memory unless preserved under the watchful eye of a curatorial documentarian.
Jim Marshall [1936-2010] was one such photographer, and during the heady 1960s, his presence at the jazz festivals in Monterey, California, and Newport, Rhode Island, allowed the capture of images from scenes unfolding both onstage and off with careful clarity.
This book is a vital record of a transitional period of both jazz and American culture from the ending of the bebop era towards one of more modern styles. Images on the pages reveal intimate moments between musicians, the audience, the media, the cops, the crew, and others, with the gathering of the festivals as the common bond. Brilliant in their up-close, candid, black-and-white crispness, Marshall’s photos invite everyone backstage, and give them a seat in the room to witness seemingly firsthand the interaction of performers, vendors, media, and all who were fortunate enough to attend these celebrations from this bygone time.