Sylvain Luc is one of the most amazing jazz guitarists alive. The stuff that comes out of his brain and fingers puts most other musicians to shame and yet he seems like a very humble guy. He wasn’t actually alone at that gig but rather in a duet with pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. Still, I don’t normally do wide shots of musicians like this, but I felt this worked really well.
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.
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.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
I haven’t shot a concert in a real long time, but I’m going through past concerts for good photos I never published. This is Nicolas Mondon from the fantastic French big band Bigre!
Canon 7D, 320mm, f/3.2, 1/200s, ISO 1600
Tommy Emmanuel is a guitar player extraordinaire, dragging the art of picking to new heights, kicking and screaming. He’s quite the showman as well, and while I manage to take a few more spectacular shots of him, I picked this one because of its crisp quality. I’m actually quite amazed I pulled off a shot that crisp from that far away in the audience. I don’t own any albums of his yet, but I don’t think you can go wrong with a Greatest Hits.
Snarky guitar drenched in light
Canon EOS 7D, 85mm, f/3.2 , 1/250s, ISO 1600
Last week-end I was lucky enough to attend the JZ Festival, an annual jazz event in the heart of Shanghai. It featured a ton of talented artists but the one that had me the most excited was Snarky Puppy, a band I discovered recently and fell completely in love with. I was standing very near the front with a good 70-200 zoom and took a ton of cool shots which I’ll be sharing this week (for those who cannot wait, the full album is on Flickr here). Guitarist Bob Lanzetti was standing a little bit to my right and at times he was literally bathed in light. I managed to capture the picture above in the middle of a cool solo.
Canon 7D, 80mm, F/2, 1/40s, ISO 1000
While I was preparing my business trip to San Francisco a few weeks back I found out that Charlie Hunter was playing in Mill Valley on the one evening I was free. I booked tickets and was treated to a wonderful light-hearted duo gig with Charlie on his weird bass-guitar hybrid and Scott Amendola on drums. I wasn’t close enough to the stage for repeated shooting, so I just soaked in the music and laughed at the stage banter and interaction between these two wonderful musicians. Still, I managed to capture this shot which exemplifies the trademark Charlie Hunter face contorsion in the middle of a solo. Processed in Lightroom with X-Equals’ XeL 2.0
Canon 1000D, 80mm, f/1.4, 1/80s, ISO 800
Revisiting my archives of concert shots for this book project I have, I rediscover some old gems. This shot of Vinyl‘s Billy Frates taken at the Blue Nile in New Orleans during Jazzfest 2010 stands out. The green cast is the lighting, not a post-production addition, and I think it conveys a great feel. It also goes to show that I was once capable of doing sharp shots at f/1.4, and that my Canon 1000D wasn’t such a bad camera after all!
Canon 7D, 32mm, f/2.8, 1/320s, ISO 1600
When I went to see Monophonics at La Java in May, it had been a long while since I hadn’t shot a concert in the truly atrocious conditions that you sometimes face in clubs with limited to no lighting, no stage and no space. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out how to deal with the results of that shoot. And then, perhaps because Monophonics is in France again but I’ll miss them this time, I revisisted the photos and decided to embrace the grunginess of it all instead of trying to erase it or tame it. The clutter I normally do my best to avoid shooting or to edit out, I left in. It’s a different kind of energy, and I’m not sure I’ve got it right, but I’d be interested in your feedback!
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.2, 1/80s, ISO 1250
Pedro Kouyaté is an intense musician in all meanings of the word intense. There are magical moments in his live sets where he seems to lose himself in his music, which I suppose is the whole point about transe music in the first place. Check him out live if you ever get the chance! The photo was edited in Lightroom 5 with XeL 2.0‘s Agfa Scala emulation.