Pharez Whitted

On Jazz and Photography

I wish the Pharez Whitted Group had a standing gig at the Green Mill.  These guys played some of the hardest-hitting, soulful music I'd heard at the Mill all year.  From my seat down front, I had clean views of most of the band (no music stands!), so I snapped away.  

My affinity for jazz has grown in the last year alongside my approach to photography, and I believe the two are related.  I've discovered that, for me, photography is largely improvisational. I arrive at a shoot with an idea of what I want, but the final product is often a collaboration between the subject or client and myself.  The best images come from on-the-spot decisions, and I've learned to embrace the unknown or unexpected.  Jazz teaches me this lesson every time.   

Thanks to Pharez Whitted (trumpet), Eddie Bayard (sax), Lovell Bradford (keys), Jon Wood (bass), and Greg Artry (drums) for a weekend of killer music.  

Pharez Whitted at the Green Mill

Last Saturday night, I did two really awesome things. 1) I spent 3 hours listening to the great jazz pianist Willie Pickens at the Green Mill while he fired off Thelonious Monk tunes like it weren't nothing.  And 2) I met and photographed trumpeter Pharez Whitted, who is a very nice guy but will knock you over with trumpet solos.  I love photographing musicians.  They do their thing, I do mine, but I've never thought of them as mere entertainers.  There is art, there is the moment of creating music, and they've spent years learning how to be really good at it.  Photographing musicians is a privilege, and a task I am continually drawn to purely out of respect for their work and for a love of music.  

Pharez Whitted blows a mean trumpet at the Green Mill.

Pharez Whitted blows a mean trumpet at the Green Mill.