Glorious Days and Nights: A Jazz Memoir By Herb Snitzer


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Glorious Days and Nights: A Jazz Memoir
By Herb Snitzer
University Press of Mississippi
ISBN 978-1-60473-844-5
Hardback, $35

Herb Snitzer tells the story behind iconic photographs of jazz greats Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and more

“For any jazz lover who has ever wished to have been around in the Golden Age, Glorious Days and Nights offers a wonderful glimpse of what it must have been like." —Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times

Glorious Days and Nights: A Jazz Memoir is a personal account of the fifty year career of jazz photographer Herb Snitzer, with a special focus on his years in New York City from 1957 to 1964. A photojournalist for Life, Look, and Fortune, Snitzer was the photo editor and later associate editor of the influential jazz magazine Metronome. During the 1960s, Snitzer's life as a working artist was surrounded by politics, race, and social issues that are still important today. But throughout the bus boycotts, demonstrations, civil and racial unrest, what remained constant was jazz, the most dynamic of all musical forms.

The memoir is divided into two sections. The first is Snitzer's account of what it was like to go on the road with these musicians as they toured across the country. His anecdotes run the gamut from serious reflections on his development as a young artist photographing musicians already of great stature to more conversational recollections of causal moments spent having fun with the jazz artists. In one instance, Snitzer recalls playing ping-pong with a young Theolonius Monk.

Snitzer's tales come to life in the second half of the book—the best jazz photographs taken during his career. Glorious Days and Nights features 85 black and white photographs of jazz legends both on stage and behind the scenes. The photographs include portraits of jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn, and many others.

A number of Snitzer's jazz images have become iconic, including Louis Armstrong with the Star of David, Lester Young at The Five Spot Café in New York City, John Coltrane reflected in a mirror, and Theolonius Monk with piano keys reflected in his sunglasses.

HERB SNITZER, has been a fine art photographer for more than fifty years. His work has been featured in numerous museums, magazines, exhibitions, and books.

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