Fuji xpro2, 140mm, f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO 6400
It was hot as hell at the New Morning during the Dirty Dozen Brass Band gig. In fact, one of the band members remarked that it was as hot as New Orleans, except they have air conditioning there. This led drummer Julian Addison to play the second set bare chested, which the ladies probably enjoyed, but pleased me as a photographer as well. It gave these shots a distinct 70s atmosphere.
Fuxi xpro2, 120mm, f/2.8, 1/200s, ISO 6400
Last week I was lucky enough to see the Dirty Dozen Brass Band live in Paris. It’s my 6th time seeing this band, and it never gets old. This is trumpet player and singer Greg Davis, and I particularly like this profile outlined by the blue overhead light.
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.
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.
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 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.
Paul’s Big Sound
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 1250
Paul Robertson is big in every sense of the word: big frame, big sound, big groove. He combines a really powerful vibration with very fluid lines when he plays, a fantastic contribution to the Soul Rebels sound. This isn’t a fantastic shot, but it captures him in action, which I guess is good enough on some level.
Julian in Shades
Canon 7D, 135mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 1250
The New Morning in Paris is a tricky club to shoot in. The light is harsh and there’s always something in the background. With the Soul Rebels it’s made even harder by the fact that most of them have one or two microphone stands in front of them. So I was quite pleased with this shot of Julian Gosin in his shades.