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.
Fuji XPRO2, 50mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Because the Ceux Qui Marchent Debout gig in April was a record release party there were many guests on stage. One of these was a trumpet player with a really beat up trumpet (you can’t see it here because of the plunger) but boy did he have a clear and powerful sound (not that Bruno, the official CQMD trumpet player doesn’t!) I’m assuming he was an old band member, but I couldn’t catch his name. So he’s the mystery horn.
Fuji XPRO2, 85mm, f/2.8, 1/80s, ISO 1600
I have a particular photographic fondness for sousaphone players. The bizarre shape and sheer size of their instruments makes for very graphic photos if you can catch their face in the middle of the twisted brass. This is Roufi of the fantastic funk band Ceux Qui Marchent Debout.
Ounsa’s Golden Voice
Fuji xpro2, 85mm, f/2.8, ISO 1600
The launch party for Ceux Qui Marchent Debout‘s new CD Don’t Be Shy was a blast musically. Photographically speaking it was a double challenge: it was the first gig I shot with my new Fuji xpro2, and the New Morning in Paris is not the best scene for photos. It took me a while to get my settings right and get a feel for the camera in low-light. The Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 is a stunning lens in general but its AF is slow, especially in low light (whereas the Fujinon 35mm f/2 performed flawlessly). Anyway, all this to say that I really started getting good shots once the guests showed up on stage. This is the fantastic singer Ounsa Mébarkia, and probably my favorite shot of the evening, even though it doesn’t feature any of the members of the band I was there to listen to.
Canon 7D, 185mm, f/3.2, 1/500s, ISO 400
Vintage trouble in general has a nostalgia feel not only in their music but also in their looks. But while that might be true of the band in general, it’s striking about singer Ty Taylor, a living blend of James Brown and Junior Wells with the energy to live to that legacy. I shot this ages ago, but it went bizarrely unpublished until now.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1250
It’s often said that you can see a man’s soul in his eyes. Well, that’s certainly true of Ian McDonald, guitarist and vocals for the extraordinary funk/soul band Monophonics. This was shot in very bad conditions, the only redeeming feature being that I was literally in the band’s face. Don’t know if they liked it much, but I sure did!
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2.2, 1/500s, ISO 800
In all my history of shooting concerts, I don’t think I’ve ever selected a shot of the artist turning his back to audience as a keeper. And yet there’s something about this shot of Trombone Shorty that I find compelling. Go figure.
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1000
Concerts I attend are mostly jazz and rarely benefit from the rich (and disturbing) lighting that rock concerts often benefit from. Trombone Shorty being on the edge between jazz and rock, his concerts have funky lights most of the time. Such lighting messes up a lot of shots but also once in a while gives you quasi-monochrome shots where the musician (Dan Oestreicher in this case) is silhouetted rather than seen. Love those shots.
League Grade Scowl
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
Michael League, as my friend Marcus puts it, is the rarest of bass players: he seems to smile all the time. Once in a while though you can catch him scowling like he did here at this Forq gig in Paris last summer.
Canon EOS 7D, 310mm, f/3,2, 1/500s, ISO 400
Nalle Colt is the guitarist of Vintage Trouble, a blues/soul revival band that packs a ton of energy. In my early days of shooting concerts I would use a lot of dutch angles, then I stopped doing it. But once in a while, it works quite nicely.