Fuji xpro2, 52mm, f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 3200
Lettuce is a hard hitting modern funk band whose bass player, Jesus Coomes is nothing short of a stage imp. Not only does he play wicked bass grooves, but he jumps up and down like a madman and wears the silliest socks. Go check Lettuce if you can, it’s a guaranteed evening of fine music and booty shake.
Pattern and ‘Bone
Fuji xpro2, 52mm, f/2, 1/60s, ISO 6400
I love shooting trombone players at the best of times. Because of the length of the instrument it has a potential for strong diagonals, and from the right angles there’s a lot of different potential shots to be had. But when I saw the pattern on Reut Regev’s dress (playing ‘bone with Hazmat Modine) I knew the potential had just gone up tenfold! This is one of my favourite shots of her that night.
Fuji xpro2, 110mm, f/3.2, 1/125s, ISO 3200
Cory Seznec is a wonderful guitarist whose band is full of wonderful talents. But there is something about double bass players that makes for great compositions, I find. I really like the intensity in Thomas Garoche’s expression here. Incidentally, this was my first gig shot with the 50-140 f/2.8 OIS lens, and my first gig ever shot with stabilization. It’s wonderful! I haven’t pushed it to extremes yet (I was still shooting at a speed faster than the focal length) but I will try pushing it in the future.
Ounsa and Crowd
Fuji xpro2, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Ounsa Mébarkia is a fantastic and spectacular singer who occasionally plays with the wonder French brass band Ceux Qui Marchent Debout (CQMD). I saw them live at New Morning a couple of years ago, and revisiting those photos I found this one which I liked a lot. The pattern on the dress, the expression on her face and the crowd in the shadows below…
Fuji XPRO2, 50mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 2500
Scott Henderson is an impressive jazz-rock guitarist who played with (amongst others) Weather Report in his younger days. I saw him live with his trio in Hong Kong last October. I was sitting in the front row which made for great photos, but really hurt my ears it was so loud…
End of the Night
Canon EOS7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 1600
Monophonics is a spectacular band to see live. Singer / keyboard player Kelly Finnigan has the kind of stage presence and energy that you don’t expect to see live these days anymore. Saying he ends each gig drenched in sweat would be a lie: he is drenched from the beginning of the third song. For this particular gig I was standing a meter away from the band and eye level with them which gave me some cool opportunities for photos I don’t normally get to do but also proved super challenging. This one of the winning shots from that gig.
Fuji X-Pro2, 85mm, f/2, 1/200s, ISO 6400
I’ve said it in the past: in my now sizable experience shooting jazz concerts, framing pianists is the hardest job. Getting meaningful shots from the front is virtually impossible, and getting a facial expression and at least part of the instrument from the back is no trivial affair. I think I tick most of the boxes here with David Torkanowski although to be fair it’s far from my best concert shot.
Canon EOS 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
The fabulous French big band Bigre! has a song on their repertoire called Be Good Bluesy Johnny which is at heart an interplay between barytone sax and blues guitar. There’s a break in the middle of the song when the band suddenly goes 12-bars-ish and the guitar starts wailing. It’s orgasmic. The first time I heard this time was when I went to see Bigre! live for their latest album release party. This is the precise moment when Nicolas Mondon launched into his solo.
Fuji X-Pro2, 85mm, f/1.6, 1/80s, ISO 1250
Shooting bassist James Singleton on that Stanton Moore Trio gig was quite tricky: he had a music stand just in front of the bass. Thankfully after a while I managed to move a bit and the 24MP capability of the X-Pro2 allowed me to do severe cropping. The hair and the hand make the photo, I think (I hope ?)
Fuji X-Pro2, 85mm, f/1.4, 1/100s, ISO 2000
Last summer I had the incredible luck of arriving in Paris just the day that the Stanton Moore Trio had been playing the Duc des Lombards. I was there, first row, with Stanton not 3 meters away from me. It wasn’t an easy set-up for photos, but the music was fantastic, and I did get a few interesting shots anyway.